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Shake it, shake it baby!

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On the long wait for Morsi’s interview, and the Harlem Shake!

Rana Allam

Rana Allam

We waited and waited, hour after hour for the airing of the President’s interview on TV, disgruntled at the disrespect the presidency insists on showing the Egyptian people. I personally waited until past midnight, then decided to sleep, which was in fact a good decision. I have work in the morning, like most Egyptians (those who still have jobs).

Our rulers work at night, though. They make statements and speeches and interviews after midnight. Announce decisions and presidential decrees and constitutional amendments on the wee hours of the morning. Pass constitutions at dawn.

These are probably the working habits of members of secret organisations, since we are ruled by one. They had day jobs, and probably worked their magic at night. Their meetings were held in secret places, heavily protected, hiding in the dark.

Their members would probably be used to hours of waiting because some have jobs, some get arrested, some are taken for questioning, some were at business dinners. They would wait for each other, and the lower-ranked members wouldn’t even have the right to know the reason for the long wait!

We are being treated as such, lower-ranked members of a banned group of people, deserving only a hint of an excuse through a  Turkish Press agency  quoting an unnamed source, explaining that the delay was because of technical difficulties! I wonder what the new spokesmen were doing that night, why neither of the two issued a short statement giving reasons for the delay to the millions of Egyptians glued to their TVs waiting for the appearance of the man who keeps calling himself “the president of all Egyptians”.

Such disrespect! Then the president appears in a two-hour long interview, saying practically nothing. It was the same rhetoric that has failed many times before.

The president repeated what his supporters have been saying all along: that he is the “legitimate” president, and that the ballot boxes have chosen him, and that those opposing him are but a few, who will continue protesting no matter what and should be ignored, hence his belief that “this is a very agreeable time to have parliamentary elections”.

To him, there is no civil disobedience, nor nation-wide protests, merely some “thugs and criminals who are armed and will be dealt with by the law”. These “thugs” have infiltrated the “peaceful protester” gatherings, and this is why “the police find it difficult to differentiate between protesters and criminals”. These protesters, according to the president, are Egyptians with merely differing opinions, not really opposition. And when they call out “Leave”, they don’t mean it like THAT. Really, he said so!

By the way, the president believes that the state of emergency he placed the canal cities under is based on the will of the people of these cities, despite his dislike for the policy. He said only a few of them opposed the decision, but most of the people “welcomed” the curfew and state of emergency to secure them from the “outlaws”.  Really, he said this too!

He also believes that people should stand up to outlaws: “If a man is walking and sees someone blocking the road, he shouldn’t wait for the police, who might arrive after an hour, but should stand up to the man blocking the road”. Yes, we should all be police officers and take the law into our hands because the police will arrive too late!

The elections will be held on time, no matter who boycotts. According to our president, the few parties who might boycott the elections do not represent Egyptian opposition. Many independent people will participate, and it is the “Egyptian people’s will that prevails”. Besides, “Who said the Freedom and Justice party is the ruling party?” Morsi wonders. There is no parliament, so there is neither majority nor opposition, as per the president.

He assured us that he contacted 150 people to make sure that Egyptians approve of holding elections, consulting political figures and advisors before taking this decision. I can only recall his former advisors who resigned because he never consulted with them; perhaps he has changed!

Qandil’s government is definitely not a failure; there are some “comments” on its achievements which could be corrected, but the president says he has confidence in the cabinet’s capabilities. And of course this means we should have confidence too, despite the numbers and reports and our clearly failing economy. And rest assured, “the suffering of the poor people in Egypt pains me” he said. (!)

The police are, of course, doing their best. The president thanks them over and over again for their diligence and commitment to securing the country.  On the shooting and the torturing of Egyptians, he said “it is impossible that we return to the police state, we will never approve of any violations, send us the complaints if they exist, and we will take the necessary measures”.

And again, he assures us that the interior ministry is doing their best to protect the nation against crimes. “The police protect the revolution as well, we should appreciate their work.” I suppose we should thank them too. So here goes: Thank you interior ministry for shooting our activists in their heads, torturing them, kidnapping them, detaining our children, and assaulting our women.

Not only are Egyptians thanking their president, his organisation, cabinet and police officers, they will perform the Harlem Shake in thanks at the Muslim Brotherhood’s HQ this weekend!

About the author

Rana Allam

Rana Allam

Follow her on Twitter at @Run_Rana


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