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Sisi unshaken while Egyptians stir

Is one heart all a nation needs? (Al-Araby al-Jadeed)

Date of publication: 5 November, 2014

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Sisi's dream of uniting Egypt around his singular will flies in the face of reality.

“We have to admit that if we were shaken… not I… I should not be shaken,” Abdul Fattah al-Sisi said in his most recent speech.

Sisi thought this would present an image of stability and firmness. Of course, his eloquence was immediately parodied on social media. Far from presenting an image of stability, his speech may cause many to fear even more for the future of their country, especially if they believed Sisi had not been affected by recent events in Egypt.

Sisi is detached from reality, like any other ruler who only sees his country’s status through the eyes of the security apparatus that protects him, the media outlets that support him and the voices that praise everything he does. How could such a ruler understand the danger he is leading his country into?

Sisi addressed the youth, saying: “We need you

     Sisi is detached from reality like any ruler who sees his country through the eyes of the security apparatus that protects him.

to build with us”. He asked them to monitor the situation of schools and hospitals. He even called on Egyptians to provide for the needs for schools and hospitals. If this request had been made by former Egyptian president Mohammad Morsi, now a figure many love to hate, people would have accused him of wanting to minimise the role of the state.

Sisi talked softly, like a father talking to his children, about the innocence, vigour and sincerity of Egypt’s youth. But ask yourself, is this the same president who rules a country whose only achievement is a war on youth?

Sisi doesn’t care about the youth at universities who are killed, injured and expelled, or the young people whose lives are wasted in prisons because they exercised their constitutional rights by demonstrating or expressing their opinion.

He is talking about “his youth” who only say one thing: “Yes, sir”. These youths never ask for the right to object or criticise, because the nation is “their mother and knows best.” However, Sisi doesn't realise his beloved youths will be targeted by his security apparatus if they expose corruption at schools or universities. If they are not killed, they will face imprisonment for “doubting the country's institutions” and for trying “to take them down”, even if they swear in front of Sisi’s picture they left the house on Sisi’s orders.

After Sisi’s speech, one of his followers criticised him for improvising instead of sticking to the speech that had been prepared for him. But what Sisi said when improvising was revealing. It confirmed he has no political vision to solve the country’s problems, and that he is out of touch with the dream he insists he is pursuing.

Sisi has the “Omega dream”, that is "the dream of assembling Egyptians around the heart of one man”. He repeats this dream in all his speeches, a transcendent metaphor for his own rule as he wants to understand it, despite the fact that Egypt has never been a homogenous entity.

Sisi thinks that he can challenge the ways of the universe, that he can unite Egyptians around the heart of one man, that he can challenge history by governing Egypt without regard to the requirements of the modern era. One of these requirements is that rulers need to recognise and manage differences between citizens.

If Sisi had actually read the constitution, he would realise many of the articles, which he vowed to protect, guarantee the rights and freedoms of those who do not want to gather around one man’s heart, especially if they see his rule as disastrous, and believe he will create more terrorism while claiming to fight it, that he might kill the future while claiming to save it.

In his own alternate reality, Sisi doesn't seem concerned when he says, confidently, that a ruler who violates the constitution cancels the contract between him and his people. He simply doesn't consider the violation of his opponents’ rights to be a violation of the constitution, because he does not consider those people to be his people.

But Sisi and his men know these people, and will not relax until their voices are silenced so that the country will obey the orders of one man, a man who cannot be held to account or subjected to any criticism, a man who cannot be shaken.

This is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.

Opinions expressed in this article remain those of the original author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of al-Araby al-Jadeed, its editorial board or staff.

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