President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi's speech marking the 6 October 1973 victory was not only about a day of heroism in Egyptian history as much as it was a reference to the future.
When Egyptians stood united, counted on their strong will and put their faith in the armed forces, they were able to accomplish such an unprecedented victory.
Celebrating the 47th anniversary, President El-Sisi managed in his speech to weave the past with the present in such an inspiring tone for the future. For him, the October War has been the decisive act between the possible and the impossible, hope and despair, and certainly between the past and the future.
According to the president, the choice was bitter but young people should realise the October War was a unique expression of the nation’s will. It is, as he said, the true meaning of uniting the people and the armed forces to bring back their territories, dignity and realise peace.
The president said in so many words that the past should be appreciated and seen within the context of the current challenges to be able to meet the future needs which should be based on modernity.
The whole world is facing difficult options and Egypt is no exception. Yet, as inspired by the October War, our people should be willing to overcome difficulties for the sake of a better future.
But many would like others to pay for their survival to avoid their own crises. They would like to see this country fall prey for upcoming stormy waves. Thus they are targeting our nation and our territories to save themselves.
Unfortunately, some people hardly understand these facts, others hardly acknowledge the challenges. They both preferred to become a tool of destruction… a tool that blows up all the achievements for a simple mistake… a tool to spread rumours… a tool to stir strife at a time when the world is facing economic, political and social upheavals.
This difficult phase in world history is seen as a milestone in peoples’ destiny. We have seen influencial powers losing their balance in the face of difficult times that no one anticipated.
Despite the fact that we have also had our share of hardships, the many attempts to manipulate the disturbances in the region went unheeded by Egyptians. The poisoning endeavours were faced by our people who still believe in each other and in their capability to face the challenges throughout thousands of years of civilisation.
For those who opted to be ignorant, they should carefully re-read Egypt's history to understand the accumulated expertise of Egyptians. They will realise how our people have survived wars, epidemics, and economic crises and how they managed to open new horizons for development and a better future for all of us.
However, we should also realise that the world has changed and wars are not only fought by traditional weapons or those of mass destruction. Wars are currently initiated by dividing the people, spreading chaos under deceptive slogans, and dragging people into the whirlpool of civil wars. The new type of wars leading to civil strife will leave nothing behind but ashes of destruction that drain nations’ resources.
Therefore, it is our mission to teach the younger generations our history, to make our children proud of their past and to help them understand that they should pursue the glorious path of their ancestors. The mega projects currently taking place in Sinai, which was ignored since the October War, are unprecedented.
This part of our land should be developed and its resources should help its residents lead a better life. Such diligent efforts exerted in Sinai should also find their way throughout the country from Nubia to Matrouh and the Nile Delta.
Sustainable development is the only available option for nations to survive hardships. In the past few decades, the acts of war have infiltrated our homes, invoking doubts, fears and terror.
They are meant to destroy the trust between men and their national establishments while depicting the state as the enemy.
In this case, peoples’ awareness is the sole defence. Egypt has been through the painful process of recovery. This country is on its way to become a regional power. But its recovery is a threat to many and acts of war have already been launched. But, we still rely on the trust of our people. We still believe Egyptians have had it with deception.
The Egyptians, who were able to overcome what many depicted as the impossible during the October War and protected peace in the Middle East for decades, are able to defend their homeland and its stability.
*Alaa Thabet is the editor-in-chief of Al-Ahram daily