‘When I try to lift you from poverty, they asked me to step down,’ says Al-Sisi

Fatma Lotfi
3 Min Read

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has asserted that the reform is an ongoing process, which will not be finished in just a few years.

During his speech on the first day of the sixth National Youth Conference at Cairo University, titled “Innovate…Advance”, with the participation of more than 3,000 students from several Egyptian universities, scientists, ministers, and top state officials, Al-Sisi said that developing the educational system is a priority to “build the Egyptian citizen.”

“We need to effectively move toward re-building the Egyptian personality, whereby it can progress to meet modern requirements,” said Al-Sisi, adding, “During the last decades, the Egyptians were ‘targeted’ (in the level of values and characters), which resulted in unacceptable consequences.”

Al-Sisi further added, “We are a nation that is in a position of need on economic, educational, ethical, and social levels, and we should end that,” emphasising that “building the Egyptian citizen is the responsibility of the society, not the government.”

“When I try to lift you from the state of poverty, (they) launched the online hashtag which called for (Al-Sisi to step down). Therefore, I have the right to be upset,” Al-Sisi said.

During the opening session of the conference, Al-Sisi promoted Minister of Defence Mohamed Zaki to Colonel General. Zaki was appointed in the recent cabinet reshuffle in June, replacing former General Sedki Sobhy.

“There is a special relationship between the Armed Forces and the Egyptians. The army has always done its role properly,” Al-Sisi said before announcing Zaki’s promotion.

Separately, Al-Sisi discussed topics tackled in recent drama shows and movies, saying, “We accept inappropriate behaviours in theatre, drama shows, and movies, and (they) said it is an artistic freedom. But there is a slight difference between both.”

Furthermore, during a session on “strategies of building the Egyptian citizen” personality, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said that the government is ready to implement its programme, which is based on maintaining national security, economic development, upgrading the government performance, and Egypt foreign policies, as well as improving the standards of living of Egyptians and building the Egyptians personalities.

“During the last four years, we were strengthening security and stability in the country, but now it is time to work,” Madbouly noted.

Egypt’s National Youth Conference kicked off for the first time in October 2016 in Sharm El-Sheikh with an aim to openly discuss internal issues of the country, with the attendance of officials, ministers, and youth.

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A journalist in DNE's politics section with more than six years of experience in print and digital journalism, focusing on local political issues, terrorism and human rights. She also writes features on women issues and culture.
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