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Unrest is eroding the fabric of Egyptian society

Last updated: Friday, August 02, 2013 6:06 PM
Unrest is eroding the fabric of Egyptian society



 SAMAR FATANY


The Egyptian government must restore calm and order before the country is dragged into a civil war that will have no end. What is needed in Egypt today is a new approach of accepting and respecting the differences between all segments in society — Muslims and Copts, liberals and conservatives — to put an end to hostilities and eliminate the tension and divisions that threaten the nation’s stability.

The Egyptian Revolution continues after the former elected president of Egypt Mohamed Morsi failed to bring calm and end the chaos, violence and unrest that is eroding the social fabric of Egypt's diverse society.

The Egyptian people had great expectations and were hopeful that the election of the first civilian president would usher in a more prosperous future. However, Morsi failed to understand that the Egyptian people elected him as a leader to serve their interests, they did not elect the Muslim Brotherhood to control their lives. He failed in his task to achieve reconciliation between the different groups in society. He did not reach out to the 50 percent of the population who did not vote for him, among them the secular, liberal, and Christian elements in Egyptian society. He was unable to ensure them that their views and aspirations would be honored in a government of religious and political pluralism. His policies did not guarantee that all Egyptians would have an opportunity to contribute or benefit from the progress of their country.

Ousted President Morsi disappointed many Egyptians who hoped for a civil, democratic, constitutional and modern state. Public resentment and mistrust continued with hardly any economic or social progress.

Morsi's government failed to conduct proper restructuring of government departments and was not efficient in appointing qualified staff to implement much needed reforms. Managing and capitalizing on Egyptian human resources is a major task that can guarantee social justice and improve the standard of living of the Egyptian people. The aspirations of the Egyptian public must be met with concrete action by capable individuals rather than by those whose only qualification is that they are supporters of those in control.

The chaos and uncertainty are what prompted tens of thousands of citizens to flock to Tahrir Square to vent their anger and rage at the state of affairs in peaceful disobedience. They will no doubt support any positive change and policies that can provide them with a life of dignity and self-respect. Political analysts assert that the immediate challenge is restoring stability and enforcing law and order. There is an urgent need to establish a more effective police force to end the state of lawlessness and to enhance professional police performance to protect the innocent. Morsi failed to serve justice according to the international standards of human rights. Egypt today is in dire need of trust between government and civil institutions that represent public interests and demands. There are still many challenges facing this new people's revolution and there are no clear and certain solutions.

The media must act in a more responsible way to voice people’s concerns and frustrations. It should play a more active role in creating a spirit of solidarity between the different factions of Egyptian society to help them achieve their national goal of building a democratic country rather than driving them apart by inflammatory talk shows and publications with accusations that cause further divisions and mistrust.

Any future government should not underestimate the aspirations of the people who represent a strong force that demands transparency. Egyptian youth feel that their demands for justice and equal opportunities have not been met, so they continue to protest for better policies that serve their interests and address their concerns. They are a generation that can no longer be subservient to dictators and unqualified leaders. The youth have created a large network to expose human rights violations. They will continue to do so until new government officials address urgent social, economic and political challenges.

Egyptian women have shown courage and have also played an important role in the Egyptian revolt. They boldly participated in the Tahrir Square protests. Women online activists were instrumental in exposing government excesses nationwide. The new government should make sure that qualified women are given the opportunity to have a say in government and a future role in building their nation.

Human rights and freedom of speech are the order of the day. Policy makers today cannot get away with false promises and cosmetic changes. Governments can only succeed if they build trust and implement laws that provide justice for all. Public discontent should be addressed with immediate efforts to serve the common man rather than merely addressing the needs of the few who are in power.

The whole world is watching the developments of the Egyptian Revolution. People around the world are still inspired by the broadcast of images of patriotic Egyptians determined to save their revolution and striving to fight dictatorship and failed, monolithic governments.

All Arabs and the global community sincerely wish the Egyptian people success; they have the right to choose their leaders and to hope for a prosperous future in which all of their voices will be heard and in which they are able to help guide the ship of state.

– Samar Fatany is a radio broadcaster and writer. She can be reached at samarfatany@hotmail.com

 
   
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