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The resistance abroad

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Dear future Egyptian diaspora: We get it

Mahmoud Salem

Mahmoud Salem

In the social circles I frequent, there has been a dramatic rise in social outings and engagements, where people seem to want to discuss two topics: The economy and who is leaving the country.
Whether it is to a job in a Gulf country, to family in North America, or buying your way into an economically struggling European country, many people are either leaving now or making their plans to leave soon.
For those who are interested, the current price range is as follows: €160,000 to move to Spain, €100,000 to move to one of the already established compounds for Egyptians in Cyprus, €50,000 can get you situated in a house on a lake in the Czech Republic and about €15,000 can get you comfortably into Costa Rica, which has the added benefit of not having a military (some of us are scarred for life it seems).
While unfortunate, this is completely normal and expected, given the state that the country is in and the direction it is taking. The country’s economic prospects are dim, the streets are not safe for women of all ages, the secular opposition is more confused than a chameleon in a bag of Skittles, and the Islamists seem intent on turning Egypt into a failed state. A brain drain is the logical outcome for those who have lost hope in the country for the time being, and I, being one of those who are staying, have no ill will or recrimination towards those who are leaving. If anything, I have a few words of advice to give them, if  they would have it.
Dear future Egyptian diaspora: We get it. You stood your ground and fought for two years and no significant improvement was made, and now it is time to pay attention to your future prospects. No one can blame you, and if anyone does, then they belong to the hyper-emotional hysterical contingent of the population that should be ignored forever. Pay no attention to them. We already stopped a while ago.
That being said, you have now a much greater role to play than you ever did in this country, and our survival will be contingent upon your efforts. You are about to become a part of the resistance abroad.
The first thing to do is organise yourselves into effective groups that share common benefits and take care of their own. Create trans-Atlantic business associations to pool your resources and create a financially strong community. Create professional associations, thinktanks and cultural networks that aim to help each other advance your chosen careers and professions. Found NGOs that do both charity and development work in Egypt, and focus on healthcare for the poorest Egyptians instead of education, for education’s benefits are long term while healthcare brings you immediate loyalty. Establish a political front in every community you are in that engages local and national politics. Please be mindful of the golden rule while creating all of this: NO ISLAMISTS ALLOWED!
After you do that, you will reap the social and financial benefits of having a strong organised diaspora community, something that regular non-Muslim Brotherhood Egyptians have never had. However, don’t confuse the perks with the purpose, for this community has a very important purpose to play.
First, within whatever country you will be in, fellow community members can organise domestically to maximise their political clout, which should be directed towards all levels of government, for today’s local senator is tomorrow’s president.
Secondly, establish a culture of yearly consistent financial contributions that get divided into investment funds, development funds and political funds to be used in both the country you are in and back in Egypt. Found scholarships in European and American universities to help absorb the smartest Egyptians and send them back to us. Thirdly, engage in domestic activism against the Islamist agenda in western countries by explicitly stating that they don’t represent Islam or Muslims and informing the world of what they have done here. They made you leave your country, so please make them pay. Finally, register and vote in every Egyptian election, and send local parties and politicians donations when it is time for elections. They will need all the financial help they can get.
You are about to become a diaspora, a transnational political entity operating on behalf of your entire people, and thus are capable of acting independently from any state or government. You will be the resistance abroad, the people who will come back when we finally get rid of the Islamist occupation, which will happen sooner rather than later. There will be a lot of work to be done to repair the damage that those fools have caused, so we will need you and your help. Have no doubt, we will prevail, so don’t sell us short.

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

  • Monia Abou Ghali

    “the secular opposition is more confused than a chameleon in a bag of Skittles” Perfectly said.

  • Sherif F.

    As a member of the existing diaspora (have been abroad for 21 years), I would like to discuss this further. I have actually spent big chunks of time for an entire year trying to organize and be a strong group of diaspora activists for Egypt’s sake. I found several challenges to bringing together the Egyptian diaspora in a meaningful and impactful way … I almost don’t know where to begin discussing it … but I want Egypt to win.

  • wegdan

    By the way m.b.h are not that powerful , i think u over reacting

  • sally

    Rather that focus on the Islamist junta that is running Egypt and concerning themselves with matters of Sharia law activists should be looking at how Egypt can change its economy for the better. the IMF will soon be imposing rules that will include the long over due dismantling of the national owned companies that are dominating the economy of Egypt. Whatever else happens people should support this and the opportunity for Egyptians to free themselves and bring forward a middle class that will themselves demand all sorts of freedoms. Only when a country has free enterprise and free markets can people truly consider liberties.


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