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Eye on the revolution: Mahmoud El-Hettah, a youth perspective

In this ten-part series, Ahram Online asks those who took part in the 25 January Revolution what they make of Egypt's current political situation two years after Mubarak's departure

Dina Ezzat , Monday 25 Mar 2013
Egyptian anti-goverment demonstrators wave Egyptian flags at Cairo's Tahrir Square on February 10, 2011 (Photo: AFP)
Views: 1612
Views: 1612

In 2009, before Mohamed ElBaradei challenged the Hosni Mubarak regime, Mahmoud El-Hettah dared to propose the Nobel laureate as a presidential alternative, believing that the people would have their way 'no matter what.' Today, as El-Hettah voices dismay over the performance of President Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's first freely-elected head of state, he remains a firm believer that 'whatever the people decide will happen.'


  • In the final days of his regime, Mubarak was not the ultimate ruler of the nation; he was running the country in partnership with his son, Gamal. My fear today is that Morsi is starting off where Mubarak left off: ruling the country in partnership with the Muslim Brotherhood's guidance bureau.
  • When we talk about the engagement of the military in politics, we must remember 2 February 2011, when the army turned a blind eye to the 'invasion' of Tahrir Square by thugs and camels. We must also remember the Maspero massacre [an attack on Coptic demonstrators by army personnel], and the clashes on Mohamed Mahmoud Street and outside the prime minister’s office. Before we reintroduce the army into the picture, we need to recall the euphoria that many people felt when Mubarak handed over power to the army on 11 February 2011 – and everything that came afterward.
  • We confused our priorities when we began the electoral process before writing a constitution. Today, we are inclined to confuse things again when we re-invite the army into the political scene.
  • The Muslim Brotherhood's young cadres were there with us in Tahrir Square. Nobody denies the role they played in standing up to the attack by thugs and camels on 2 February. But this is not to say that the Muslim Brotherhood is a revolutionary organisation, or that they were part of the 25 January Revolution, or that they were not willing to give up on it [the revolution] if they were to secure handsome political gains through their talks with Omar Suleiman, Mubarak’s vice president at the time.
  •  I boycotted the second round of the presidential elections because I refused to be forced to choose between a Muslim Brotherhood candidate and a candidate of the regime of Hosni Mubarak, which the 25 January Revolution had ousted. Morsi offered himself as the candidate who stood for the 25 January Revolution – as opposed to Ahmed Shafiq [Egypt's last Mubarak-era PM], who stood against the revolution by virtue of being a member of the Mubarak regime. Today, Morsi has failed to honour the spirit or demands of the revolution that made him president.
  • Morsi, and for that matter the Muslim Brotherhood, are reducing the wide show of discontent over the president's poor performance to 'a mere conspiracy that aims to oust the Muslim Brotherhood.' This is a big miscalculation. If someone cannot see the real reasons for the public contempt, then they have a big problem. And we all know from the Mubarak experience the dangers of overlooking public discontent.
  • I am shocked at the attempts of some to justify the performance of Morsi and I want to ask them, if it were [failed presidential candidate] Amr Moussa who ordered security forces to attack demonstrators before the presidential palace, would you have said he was simply observing security protocol? And if it were Moussa who sent a very courteous letter of accreditation with the new Egyptian ambassador to Israel, would you have said that he was just observing diplomatic protocol?
  • I am tired of those who keep telling us 'give Morsi a chance.' How many chances does Morsi need? Morsi was given a chance right from the beginning when he was offered the support of key liberal figures based upon understandings reached with him, on the eve of the second round [of presidential elections], which he never kept. It has been over seven months now and he has not kept a single one of his electoral promises.
  • As far as I am concerned, the people are bound to have their way. This is the story of the 25 January Revolution, and this is the one thing that Morsi should never overlook: whatever the people decide will happen.


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26-03-2013 04:45am
This article should be read by all Egyptians
By my heart I wish that things will fall into place and things will happen according to this true intelligent statements. I just hope the price Egyptians have to pay is not too high as it is already. If Morsi is really a president of all Egyptians, then why the hell he is not simply co-operating with all the other currents. This would be the only way to proof and its also the simple answer for the fact that he is not. It seems that he is too narrow minded to understand this thinking that he can dictate just as the former regime. People must get what they are asking for, may God support the Egyptian people and give them strength to continue their fight for freedom.
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salcy kahn
25-03-2013 08:38pm
Mr Morsi has been given a chance for 4 years and after 4 years u have the chance to vote against him till then cool down do something constructive and let him do his work
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N Beshay
26-03-2013 05:27am
If he fulfill his promises
I might agree with you if he has fufilled his promises , but without fufilling his promises and with dividing the country every day more than the day before , he need to be questioned and step down .

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