Thursday, 7 June 2012

Mr. President, you have been warned.

Mr. President,

Whoever you are, whether leading Muslim Brotherhood figure and former president of the Freedom & Justice Party, prof. dr. Mohammed Morsi or former minister of aviation and prime-minister of the Mubarak regime, lieutenant general Ahmed Shafik. You need to know that I, like many others in this country, didn't want you to be the first post-revolution president in my beloved Egypt or at any other time for that matter. 

You are where you are despite the wishes of millions of Egyptians and you need to remember that very well. I imagine that the main force that drove people to choose you was either fear or greater disgust for the other candidate. The reason I'm telling you this is because I want you to know your place, know that we will not tolerate state media attempts to portray you as 'the great national leader' through songs and documentaries glorifying you and your past. After thousands of years, Egyptians are finally ready to abolish the position of Pharaoh in their country. Your former accomplishments and/or academic degrees are not of importance and you will be judged by what you do while in office.

Whoever you are, I would like you to be aware that you represent a lot of what I despise as an Egyptian liberal. You advocate for a big, intrusive government and you clearly disrespect the autonomy and intelligence of the individual citizen. 

Please know that I will not stand by as you try to make decisions for me that I should be making for myself in complete freedom. I will not tolerate censorship on my opinions and you can be sure I will write to criticize you in the harshest manner. No, you are not my father, no you don't deserve any respect because of the title you can now add to your name. I have been following your news, listening to your words and researching your opinions for a while and I have no reason to respect you, you will have to earn that while in office with incredibly hard and thoughtful work. 

Know that I will not tolerate you making decisions for me on the economic, cultural or social front. You will not subsidize sectors simply because your friends are active in them using ordinary Egyptians' tax money. You will not hinder the working of the free market for the sake of those close to you who stand to lose if faced with true competition. It is your job to tackle excessive bureaucracy and to make it as easy as possible for Egyptians to participate in a corruption-free economic environment. Workers' unions and syndicates as well as consumer groups and business owners' associations shall exist independently of government control. No favors to certain groups over others will be permitted. In short, you will not treat this country as your family business!

I don't need you to tell me what to wear, what to say, what to eat. Stay out of my wallet, my fridge and my closet. You will not dictate to me what morality is and how I should live and I won't stand for any abuse of religion and/or manipulation of religious institutions on your part in an attempt to justify your crooked policies. You will treat all Egyptians as equal before the law with no government discrimination based on sex, ethnicity or religion.

Human rights will be zealously defended  against any vicious attacks on them by your security apparatus under whatever pretense. NGOs and human rights organizations shall operate freely in the country when you're president. You will respect the rule of law and don't expect to get away with any exceptions to that in favor of your cronies.You will be responsible for the competences that have been granted to you in the constitution, if you feel you're too old or weak to do your job, don't count on any sympathy, your predecessor tried and didn't get any. Surround yourself with people who know what they're doing and who will advice you with honesty and integrity, again, if you don't, that is solely your failure. 

Finally, I absolutely do not want to hear empty, loud speeches and hollow rhetoric. I want you to be realistic and transparent when talking to the people you work for, the country is facing many difficulties and challenges, your job is to tackle them without adding any to the list yourself. Know that any impediment to the free exercise of our political and civil rights will be faced with vigorous protest and any attempt on your behalf to stand in the way of the Egyptian people's liberty will cost you dearly. 

Mr. President, you have been warned. 

An Egyptian citizen.


  1. Very reasonable, but two key questions. One, will the number of voices like yours reach critical mass to hold either president accountable? Two, will your effort to monitor human rights reach into Upper Egypt and the Delta with all their complexity?

    Here's hoping, and best wishes.

    1. We can only keep talking & hope our voice reaches the masses, but of course talking is not enough & there is the hard part. As long as we're running behind some imaginary consensus where it's expected of us to compromise too much instead of creating our own alternative & standing behind it strongly, we won't move forward. I can only hope we learn these lessons as soon as possible..

  2. This is a great letter that all Egyptians should read.

  3. You're amazing. Will you marry me? :p