Renowned poet Abdelrahman El-Abnoudi slammed a recent initiative whereby figures from the Mubarak regime hand over a part of their illegally acquired money in exchange for freedom or reduced sentences.
El-Abnoudi is one of Egypt’s most prolific poets writing in colloquial language. Covering a range of issues, his work is also deeply political.
“How would people who know how to hide their money in international companies hand their money over?” El-Abnoudi said on TV programme Nas Book presented by Hala Sarhan on Rotana Cinema. “They will give us the crusts and will never return what they stole. The thief will always be a thief, and when we let them out they will conspire against us,” he added.
“I would agree that they pay the money and get out of prison as long as they also let out all the drug dealers, arms dealers, prostitutes,” he said. “Where has everyone’s dignity gone?”
He said that he often feels that it is those former regime figures in Tora Prison who are behind what is happening to Egypt, adding that they are not subjected to proper prison conditions.
El-Abnoudi considers political activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah an iconic activist, as well as Ahmed Harara who lost the sight in both his eyes in protests over the past year. Egypt sees with Harara’s eye, El-Abnoudi suggested poetically, before demanding that a statue be made in honour of Harara.
Regarding the crisis in Port Said in the wake of the events at the stadium that left over 70 football fans dead, he said, “They are trying to pin the events on the people of Port Said, but they are icons of true heroism and the true essence of being Egyptian.” He described the events at the stadium that took place on 1 February as “part of the plan Egypt has been subjected to since the revolution.”
He explained that people are tired of politics and that every time someone opens a media channel they find a fiasco where everyone is on TV saying something – “people who know, people who don’t, people involved, people not involved.” The risk is that “people will relapse into apathy after their eyes were open to politics all of a sudden.”
Demanding that discussions on the revolution be treated with responsibility and be mixed with life, El-Abnoudi stressed that the Egyptian people learned a very important lesson over the past year: that they can revolt. They will not bow their heads to rulers again, he said.
He suggested that the revolutionaries form one political party to fight the old regime which has not yet been defeated. “Unless we destroy the old system, the revolution will not have done anything,” he said, “because the revolution should come with its own system to replace all the corruption and bad management.”
When asked about his opinion on the current parliament he said: “The parliament has a virus in it which is the National Democratic Party of Mubarak.”