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Letter to the president

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Mahmoud Salem

Mahmoud Salem

Dear Morsy,

Like many Egyptians, I was looking forward to your government’s attempt to implement its decision to close down shops at 10pm, out of the sheer comic value it would’ve presented. I set up an observation post in front of my building in Roxy Square, chairs, Shisha and all, to get a front row seat to the Tom & Jerry-style shenanigans that would take place the moment you tried to shut down the shops there.

And then the news came in that your government backed down on its decision and would delay it for another week, which at first got me into a fit of laughter. To my amazement the laughter turned to increasing levels of anger as time went by, with a single thought dominating my head:  Is there no shame, at all?

The point of any state is its ability to enforce its authority on the ground; it is what is referred to as political will. Any state that doesn’t do that is basically turning itself into another mirage state, one that only exists on paper, which is not what the Egyptian people signed up for when they went to the election polls. The people wanted a functioning government: one that has a vision, runs the country based on that vision and can enforce the rule of law, which your government fails to do on all fronts. Is the decision to shut down the shops a bad idea?

Yes! Absolutely; but here are the options that any government has when it gets such a bad idea: 1) Don’t propose it at all, or 2) Go through with it and try to enforce it, even if it is doomed to failure from the beginning. Since you decided to propose it, I wanted you to try to close the shops, and fail, but at least you would’ve failed with some semblance of dignity or self-respect. Your government now has neither and has become the laughing stock of the entire country, which brings us to the real question: Dear president, what are you doing exactly?

What exactly was the point of the Muslim Brotherhood putting you up for president in the first place? To be in power? What power? What’s the point of power if you are incapable of exercising it or enforcing it? So far I, and every Egyptian I know, can count at least five major decisions that you or your government took in the past four months and couldn’t enforce. And it’s not like those decisions were great ones and there is a conspiracy preventing you from executing them; they were simply bad decisions, either legally or practically, and they showed an embarrassing amateurish style of governance.

If you can’t handle power, why go for it? So you can give us a weekly sermon every Friday? So that your governments can get us more in debt and execute shady international business deals, which we know very little about? I mean, we get that the grand ambition of the Brotherhood is to enjoy the same kind of business corruption of the NDP, and that unlike every other Egyptian, the head honchos in your secret society are enjoying a sudden prosperity, but at least the NDP were trying to make it look good, and they were not scared to enforce their will, two things your people can’t seem to do. And yet again, is that really all there is to you? Did you not learn from your predecessor at all?

Listen, when the people elected you they didn’t do so in order to watch you make a mockery of the national symbol of the presidency by having you touch your privates, nor did they do it so that you can give us religious sermons that are not only boring, but are falsely interpreting the Quran. They elected you so that you can make things better, fix the country, and create a functioning government. They basically elected you to work, your excellency, but you are not doing your job at all, and it’s starting to show.

Not only that, but the people are slowly getting the message that this is a government without vision, plans or tools to execute their laws and decisions, and will start ignoring you. And then the question won’t be whether or not the opposition will be able to unseat you or your party in the next elections, but whether there will be a point to another election in the first place, because nobody wants to be part of a government that has no power of execution.

And why would they? If they wanted a place to exchange ideas and draft laws that won’t be implemented, they would start a think tank or a social club, and it would be one where they don’t have to debate with idiots whether or not a nine year old is eligible for marriage because she had her period. It’s not only you that’s failing, it’s the entire concept of the state, and if that falls, well, good luck bringing that back. Am I getting through to you? Do you understand what’s at stake here? Do you get that you are taking the country into anarchy?

Mind you, anarchy will not bother me nor my friends. We will adapt, get guns and electric generators and generally be fine. Others won’t be though. We will turn into the land of do-as-you-please,  and the supreme majority of the country, some of which are Muslim Brotherhood, will suffer greatly. Is that what you want? No? Then do your job. Or step aside if you are unable to.

Whichever choice you make, you better make it quick. We have serious problems that require serious solutions implemented by serious people, and so far you have shown that you neither have the solutions nor are you serious about finding them. You better change that quickly, because we can’t take four years of this. It has been only four months and we are already cracking.

Sincerely yours,

Mahmoud Salem

About the author

Mahmoud Salem

Mahmoud Salem

Mahmoud Salem is a political activist, writer, and social media consultant. His writings could be found at www.sandmonkey.org and follow him @sandmonkey on Twitter

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  • Anonymous

    Haha “listen you stupid bastard” my fav part.

  • Flute

    Hits the nail slap bang on the head.
    Mr President is turning Egypt into an international laughing stock which is a great thing. Why? Because if there is one thing Egyptians will lash back at it is someone who offends their sense of pride, warped and all as it may be.

  • Joe

    If he steps aside are you the man to step in?
    Talk is talk. Are you ready to fix things Sandmonkey? What is your plan and vision and lay out here how you will implement it for us and lets see if we like it and think it will work or not knowing ‘Egyptian mentality and culture’. I am waiting…

  • hazem

    Excuse me i think by now we all know that MB are stealing the dream and part of their role is to dim the revolution and that no vision is associated with them because they lack creativity and an essential part of creativity is accepting failure as part of the process. all they do is playing cards and manipulating “not releasing prisoners, waiting for the right time for them.
    ‘working’ for them is get through with their crap like the constitution.

  • KNelson

    Thanks for this-can we have a translation into Arabic. Even better, some billboards?

  • Joe

    What happened to the ‘Hey you stupid bastard’ line to Morsi? Was our daring caviar vigilante Sandmonkey too scared to leave it? or has he been dragged off to state security? Maybe Mr Sandmonkey needs to learn manners as his typical American gangster talk just sounds stupid coming from an Egyptian trying to be a Westerner. Umm Mahmoud should have done a better job in teaching her son manners.

  • TooToo

    Excellent article, I hope the moron reads it


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