Thursday, 23 February 2017

Achieving the dream

I received a lot of comments over the domestic development dream which I tried to tackle some of its features in last week’s article… it was not a coincidence that I found an almost collective agreement and hope over the knowledge, experience and character of the minister Dr. Hesham el-Sherief… also, there were skepticism and doubt that the current hindrances existing in the heart of the composition of many government entities could defeat that knowledge and experience and dash the hope… and so we will keep spinning in the same empty circle for good.

Many were suspicious of tens of “generals” who occupied the leading positions in the ministry and the municipalities while they, due to their educational and career background and the age range when they finished duty in their original jobs, are far from realizing the work nature in the domestic development… also many of those “generals” are absolutely convinced that the civil job they now occupy is just a reward for the time they spent serving their duty in the army or the police… and that the hardest effort they could exert is to stay loyal to the regime and guarantee stability… in plain words, not allowing any rebelling of any kind… of course, the corrupt people made use of this to practice their corruption in exchange for maintaining stability.

Also many are scared of the historic experience – historic here means old in time and not unique – of the Egyptian bureaucracy in scuttling any sincere endeavors exerted to do something useful based on science and its applications… also based on clear cultural and civilization bases… that is what happened since the time when the employees made the Eloquent Peasant shout his complaint out loud asking help from the ancient Egyptian king “the Pharaoh”… and throughout all the ages until the era of contemporary and modern Egypt… to the extent that we – my generation and the ones preceded mine – lived the reality of trying to have a liberal entity without having real liberals… then building a socialist entity without having real socialists… then trying to have a capital liberal entity without having liberals… etc.

In each time, we faced the same ugly faces that thwarted every sincere attempt to do something useful for this country.

There are also fears that those anti-change and success people, those who always oppose science, knowledge and culture and consequently are in harmony with ignorance, underdevelopment, selfishness and corruption, may deliberately block the way before the new minister and set the traps and obstacles in his way… and even put iron bars – not just sticks – in the science and culture wheel!

It is okay to mention all these fears in order to avoid them… however, I believe we shall mention the other aspects as well… including the fear of that mentality and culture that blames the official in charge alone for the responsibility… as if we are standing in a circus round where the magician is doing his magic tricks while everyone is clapping and then everyone goes home… in my opinion, this issue is not a simple one and actually it represents the main problem we should fight… it is exactly what the president took notice of and since then he keeps saying that he alone cannot do everything to save the country… and that the people and the government and presidency should cooperate together to fulfill such mission.

I think that despite all the negativities and depression we have, it is the duty of all those who care about our country’s present and future to move in two directions… the first is to cooperate with the official in charge – in our case here, the minister of domestic development – by accepting his invitation which he coined in few words he said during his visit to Assuit as he called for establishing a council for experienced people in every governorate… now, it is time we thoroughly discuss such idea… how to implement it and what is the mission of such councils… and how these councils can escape the endemic diseases we have in our social and cultural composition… etc.

As to the second direction, it is to act freely and horizontally nationwide… and discover or may be come up with the means and forms that can revive the spirit of the comprehensive renaissance in the Egyptian body… as we have hundreds of non-government organizations and thousands of creative people, whether poets, story tellers, painters, craftsmen spreading in all corners of our beloved Egypt… we just lack the network that can collect all these lines together, exactly like the fishing net… and when the active people in both directions meet – and definitely they will – the true face of our beloved country will appear… our Egypt that was the example to validate the law of “challenge and response” set by the most important history philosopher as the basis for achieving the nations’ progress.

Those many people concerned about our country and who are aware of the enormous and tough challenges we face stood still and did nothing but diagnosing the problem… until we all became professional in diagnosis without overcoming this to finding the cure… and until we had so many challenges to tackle… we came back to the first challenge that faced the first inhabitants of the valley… it is the challenge of dealing with the river, desert and sea… our ancestors succeeded in facing such challenge but it is back again… right now, we are facing the challenges of desertification and the sea – meaning the attack of the sea on our lands in the north –… also, we have to face the challenge of water crisis or shortage… that clean water needed for life.

In addition to so many serious challenges we all know and talk about… in my opinion, the solution is that we should respond to all these challenges on a wide scale… as wide as the whole of Egypt… from its villages and deserts to the allies and cities… I wish those people inhabiting “the compounds” or those gated communities can contribute to such required response otherwise the consequences will have no mercy on all of us.

This saying of “you have our hearts with you” is no longer working for our current time… it is either we work hard or we are doomed… let us all unite our efforts, hands and potentials to build our country.

Translated into English by: Dalia Elnaggar

This article was published in Al Ahram newspaper on February 23, 2017.

To see the original article, go to:

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