Friday 20 May 2011

Where are the Egyptian Politicians? فين السياسيين المصريين!

Where are the Egyptian Politicians? فين السياسيين المصريين!

I was arguing with a friend over certain protests. We were arguing whether many of the protests that were happening were actually necessary or not, and whether they were being conducted in a proper manner or not. We never really concluded anything useful, except one thing: many people are protesting because THERE ARE NO POLITICIANS DOING ANYTHING. Well, I mean it just doesn't seem this way.

No, Seriously, People get their rights through Direct Action (E.g. Demonstrations, Strikes, Sit ins), Elected Representation (E .g. Parliament), Media, Government, NGO and Civil Society, and Politicians.

We don't have a parliament, our government is trying to walk a tightrope and be neutral, the SCAF is quite frankly mind-baffling, NGO and Civil Society is mostly engaged with reconstruction these days, the Media is doing a decent job (believe it or not, although it remains coy with regards to SCAF, understandably) but its job remains in exposing issues, and we know how the situation is with demonstrations and other Direct Action.

Which leaves a question. Where are our Politicians? Where have they disappeared since April till now? Why aren't there people campaigning on behalf of protestors and causes? Why aren't they out there representing the people and their demands, or at least communicating with the people?

Since the end of the Referendum, our politicians disappeared. Some are supposedly working on political parties (and they have little time to do so), some are just giving speeches to mostly bourgeois or bourgeois-like audiences in Cairo and Alexandria, doing TV shows, they are all pretty much preparing to run for President (!), but there is a genuine lack of politicians on the ground campaigning and doing actual work. In return, there is a plethora of religious-oriented figures on the ground, talking to protestors, to the SCAF, to the people in towns, villages and cities, and actually solving problems. Some argue that traditional politicians are feeling weak in a new country dominated by sectarian issues, where people seek direct guidance from religious figures, and that argument has merit, but they still have a huge role, and they MUST prove themselves capable of being involved even in Sectarian issues and not surrender a monopoly to the new power-mongers.

Nevertheless, they are absent. And until they somehow come back and make themselves effective (again?), they will leave frustrated Egyptians nothing to do but demonstrations. And the country really needs demonstrations to stop, and that won't happen (and SHOULD NOT HAPPEN) unless the people feel that someone out there is taking care of their concerns.

So, where are they?!

(Note: it is just a coincidence that both pictures have El-Baradei in the centre. I am not insinuating anything. In fact, I am starting to become a supporter myself of the man.)

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