For unknown, ununderstood and unjustifiable reason, the cabinet in Egypt does not adopt the technic of “paper and pen” despite that most of its members come from the academia and engineering field including scientists and professional experts in their specializations.
This technic of “paper and pen” goes back to the fact that we are a “speaking”nation… and most probably “ignorant” one too… long time ago, it was difficult for our ancestors to know their rights and duties precisely… and so the only technic used was “spoken” promises and declarations… as there was a man whose job was to hike across the roads, streets and allies in big cities and small ones… in villages, hamlets and farms… shouting out loud what the ruling authorities want to declare to the public or inform people of… also, mosques’ rostrums played a role in such thing as they acted as the media platform where the ruler was declared dead, ousted or even stepping down and new ruler appointed… the famous phrase giving such notification of change at that time was “X assumed the power and was being prayed for in mosques”!
The cabinet, that no one questions the efforts it exerts or the burdens it bears, left us to the rumors… those rumors spreading through verbal conversations and unverified information going viral over social media and newspapers… over reasons of raising prices that has a nickname called “prices movement” without any hint to where these prices are moving… to the right or to the left… up or down.
And so, non-stop unestablished information went viral over those assumed reasons… some said that these are the requirements of the International Bank famous for bankrupting the poor and middle-class worldwide by making use of their crises since the first time it was established… some others said such requirements are dictated in this timing specifically after Eid al-Fitr as most people are broke after spending their money over the expenses of the feast… some said that such timing synchronizing with the anniversary of June 30 revolution was chosen because there are some who want to drive a wedge between president Sisi and the people… those people waiting for their leader to save them from terrorism, corruption, tyranny and transfer of power to the former ruler’s son; Gamal Mubarak.
Back to the technic of “paper and pen”, people in old families used not believe their breadwinner over his account of spending the salary or money gained from selling the crop… and so he used to say: let us calculate it by paper and pen… meaning by writing down in real numbers and precise arithmetic operations.
In our case, the paper and pen are much needed so that people can know the reality behind the fuel prices and the difference between its real price since the fuel was first extracted, refined, transported, marketed and exported to the moment it was sold… it was a must that such difference between the two numbers decreases and comes to an end since the state budget can no longer continue bearing the burden of such differences on the expense of other sectors like education, health, services and other.
The paper and pen are much needed also to know how the social and economic situations will change – especially those of the poor and middle-class; meaning the majority – and the time span needed for such change to take place… they are needed too to refute and explain the social bias of the regime and government… and if those widespread rumors, saying that the regime is biased to the favor of the wealthy rich who do not care if they paid an extra pound or even hundreds in the new increase of fuel prices, are true.
Yes, we need paper and pen to declare facts in absolute clarity and transparency because we are in trouble… and “we” here goes not only to those who supported the change in June 30 revolution and stuck to their stance opposing muslim brotherhood and Mubarak’s regime as well before and after June 30… but also it goes to wide sectors of people who no longer have a sticking-together logical interpretation to give reasons for such soaring prices especially their timings after the feasts and along with the revolution anniversary.
I appeal to the cabinet headed by Mr. Sherif Ismail to have the same courage they had to correct wrong policies that were not meant to continue… to give detailed explanation for the reasons, policies, phases, direct and indirect effects and results related to those correction measures.
In the same time, I would like to add that there is an unacceptable repetition of what some have called “miss-directing of decisions” starting from the decision to re-draw the marine borders with Saudi Arabia and the fate of the two islands… and not ending by the decision to raise fuel prices and electricity as well.
There is indeed miss-directing of that issue of the two islands regarding the timing, the way it was declared and the circumstances accompanying… the same thing happens again with correcting the course of economic situation to the extent that our case appears as if there are some conspiring against the popularity of the president which he earned through his clear stances and his ability to face the crises and take decisive decisions.
For God sake, get a professional politics director!
Translated into English by: Dalia Elnaggar
This article was published in Al Ahram newspaper on July 6, 2017.
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