The Egyptian people are ready to forgive the government’s past failures and turn a new page in their country’s history.
Throughout the recent presidential elections, held after three years of chaos and confusion, Egyptians have realised the significance of the “state” in their life. They became conscious of the importance of regaining the state’s stature. Thus the vast majority favoured what they believed to be the candidate who would do his best for the state and for the people, namely Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi.
Al-Sisi’s biography clearly shows that he devoted his life to serving the country as he was climbing the rungs of the career ladder, making it from an army officer to a defence minister. The popularity he gained through these posts inspired him to side with the people who were protesting against the Muslim Brotherhood on 30 June, and hence gave way to his crucial decision to intervene on 3 July.
There is nothing new to say about the critical role the state plays in the lives of Egyptians. Throughout history, the bond between the state and the people has always been strong. The central state ensured security and stability as they are the cornerstone for building a vigorous civilisation and observing the rule of law. On many occasions, Egyptians forgave the state for its injustices on condition that it protected them from dangers, preserved the country’s unity and maintained the kind of stability necessary to develop their spiritual and material lives. This is why Egyptians are ready to bear no malice against the state’s failures and drawbacks through the last few decades and start off with a clean slate. However, what is necessary at this moment is the invigoration of the state’s new characteristics in order to meet every Egyptians’ needs.
Regaining the “state” in Egyptian life is one thing, but glorifying it is another matter altogether. Egyptians need to stop thinking of the state as sacred. They need to come to terms with the fact that regaining the state as it was before 25 January or 30 June is clearly out of the question. People should be cautioned against confusing the state with the homeland. The state is an institution that has an administration and a political system, whereas the homeland is the ground, the people and the life that is built on this land.
Egyptians will never accept a state that restricts their freedom of expression or threatens their economic, social and cultural rights, especially after the 25 January and 30 June revolutions. Instead, they are looking for a new social contract between the citizens and the state whereby the state meets the citizens’ needs of security, stability, social justice, and democracy. In return, citizens are able to demand more rights but will do so in a peaceful manner.
People desire that the constitution and the country’s laws be respected by the state, and that it refrain from violating their human rights. They want it to adopt new policies to combat poverty, remove slums, and altogether avoid the obsolete policies that produced those problems in the first place.
In short, the Egyptians who desire to regain their state, and whom voted for Al-Sisi, want a new model that responds positively to people’s calls for democracy. Additionally, it is a state that should be able to overcome any obstacles and challenges related to the country’s economic progress and improves its standard of living. Moreover, eliminating food and economic dependency opens the door to scientific progress, progress that has long been absent in Egypt.