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On blasting Morsi into space

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Sara Abou BakrEgyptians have done it again.

After ousting a dictator two years ago, now they are sending their first elected civilian president into space.

President Mohamed Morsi is now sitting in first place in Axe’s competition to send one civilian to space, an adventurous soul seeking a new frontier. Voting is required and whoever gets the most votes will be sent to space.

The 6 April opposition movement got wind of this and an ingenious idea revealed itself; why not send Morsi to space? The idea had two main merits: first, Egyptians will be rid of him. Second, Morsi will get to use his self-proclaimed NASA expertise, boasted of by the Brotherhood during his presidential campaign.

A photo of Morsi’s face, sporting his usual expression of extreme wonder, was plastered on a spacesuit and calls for voting spread all over social media networks. And success! Now President Morsi has a very real chance of winning the competition.

People are now demanding to know if it is possible to send all members of the Brotherhood Bureau with him.

Despite the humour behind this, a closer examination reveals disgruntled people who are so fed up with presidential lies, a weak government and the Brotherhood pulling strings over every state decision that they are willing to blast their “elected” president to “a galaxy far, far away”.

The Brotherhood has, for the last seven months, been lecturing Egyptians on the sanctity of elections, accusing anyone who contradicted presidential decrees as well as the opposition of “infringement” on the “legitimacy of an elected president” and “the will of the people” decided by “electoral ballots”.

It seems all the lecturing propelled Egyptians to find a new way to get rid of Morsi without “infringing” on the results of ballots, rather without “infringing” on any proceedings on Planet Earth.

Morsi’s legitimacy is not in question here. It’s a question of the anger of frustrated Egyptians who two years after a revolution that promised them dignity, freedom and a decent living are poorer than before, seeing their children beaten, stripped and killed on live TV.

Human rights organisations are again parading cases of torture and wrongful imprisonment at the hands of the police, with 21 rights groups saying detainees receive worse treatment than during Mubarak’s era.

A new protest law suggested by the current government and passed quickly to the Shura Council last week will limit freedom of protesting, which was the core of the 25 January revolution.

Amnesty International has criticised the proposed law restricting NGOs to working on projects deemed fit by the state, dubbing it a “new low”.

Freedom of the media is another topic of contention with the Morsi administration, with a media figure investigated on almost a weekly basis nowadays.

A price hike of between five and 10% can already be seen in Egyptian markets and with the dwindling purchasing power, people are feeling the effects of poverty at almost all socioeconomic levels.

Anger, death, bloodshed and poverty have been brewing for the last seven months of Morsi’s turbulent rule; decisions taken then retracted, promises of wealth and new investment only to find the government begging for a $4.8bn loan from the IMF, dictatorial presidential decrees issued, and a constitution passed by Islamists marginalising other parties and minorities.

This toxic mix overflowed in Port Said after 42 people died in clashes in January and the commercial hub by the Suez Canal is now on its seventh day of civil disobedience. Residents have stopped factories and transportation, while marches by thousands of protesters flow through the city every day. The commercial losses are thought to total millions of pounds. Though Morsi promised to restore Port Said to its former commercial glory, reinstating it as a free trade zone, the people refused the “bribe” and demanded simply: “Morsi go now”.

The calls for civil disobedience are slowly spreading to other cities and governorates; Ismailia, Suez, Domietta , Kafr Al-Sheikh, Alexandria, and now the idea is brewing in Cairo.  On Friday night women in Shubra blocked the streets demanding people listen to civil disobedience calls that so far have fallen on deaf ears.

Meanwhile Morsi and his Brotherhood are ignoring the telling signs of anger, just as Mubarak did. The Egyptian opposition has yet to figure out that they actually should live up to their name and “oppose” rather than “compromise”. People are gearing up for another wave of the revolution while the seculars and leftists are playing politics with the Brotherhood which will lead them to lose both the streets and any coming elections.

The opposition has to adhere to the principal of not negotiating with the current regime, which has committed atrocious crimes over the past seven months, but of course the phrase “principled politicians” is an oxymoron.

However, if no politician listens to the street, Egyptians will more than likely blast them all to space.

Or just blast them.

About the author

Sara Abou Bakr

Politics editor at Daily News Egypt Twitter: @sara_ab5

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