Professor Osama Madany presenting at Menoufeya University. Presenting with Egypt activist Ahmed Salama and Greg Tuke
(Last fall, I met with activists, students and educators in Egypt to discuss social change ideas and how we might create learning partnerships between Egypt and US students. Below is an Open Letter I received this morning from Osama Madany, one of the leading educators I met with in Egypt).-Greg Tuke
The Grand Deception
-by Osama Madany
On February 11, 2011, Mubarak was ousted from power and with him thirty years of sheer corruption. Full of hope and aspiration, I then emotionally sent the following message to friends, five minutes after Mubarak was deposed:
"In tears and jubilation, I write to you my first e-mail from a free Egypt; in humility and pride, I write to you my first e-mail from the land of the brave; in disbelief and aspiration, I write to you my first e-mail from the cradle of civilization that will now be a beacon of liberty and justice. The dictator has fallen. The tyrant has conceded to the relentless will of the people. Decades of darkness have given way to the dawn of our revolution.
In the eyes of the young and the old, I see hope for a new Egypt, the same hope I saw when these same eyes witnessed torture and mutilation at the hands of a despotic regime. I thank you my dear friends for standing with us in our quest for salvation, and call upon you to continue to support us in this historic moment, to stand by our side in this critical transition, to believe in our will that we can seek and achieve freedom. With your unfaltering support for our cause, we have achieved the impossible.
Long live Egypt, long live the cradle of civilization, long live the free spirits of our brave people, and God bless the souls of those who have fallen in our battle for freedom. Their blood has not gone to waste.
We continue to hope."
After two years of sheer frustration, another president has been deposed yesterday. Jubilation has filled the streets of Egypt again, but this time the price will be heavy. Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood have failed to deliver the goods. Their lack of political experience has polarized the people beyond reconciliation. The clash between Islam and secularism has overwhelmed Egyptian political discourse. A pseudo Iran-model form of Islam has been the threat capitalized upon by many posing as liberals and secularists. The masses took the bait from a relentless anti-Morsi media and deposed a democratically elected president.
True, Morsi has failed in every aspect of his short-lived presidency, but true also that a military coup has put an end to the first democratic process Egypt has ever witnessed. The military establishment will work clandestinely to maneuver the country towards another state election that will bring forth a scarecrow president who will be a puppet in the hands of the military. Also, the door will now be wide open for the old cronies of the Mubarak regime to surface again on the political scene, and many of them will no doubt run for president in the next elections. It is in the best interest of a corrupt military establishment to support and bring forth one of the old corrupt regime cronies. With the Muslim vanguard now sidelined, the stage is set for the old and the corrupt to assume power again. It is redemption moment for them, and we are back to square one.
Each time, the youths of this country erupt against the corruption and looting of the old, whether Islamists or liberals, their revolution is high- jacked by the same cronies over and again. The young revolt, fill the streets, depose the president, and return satisfied back home, leaving an empty space that is quickly filled by the corrupt and the inept. They must see through the grand deception, and act accordingly.
As previously noted, there is no ready-made recipe for reform. Corruption is ingrained within the fabrics of society that it needs extraordinary willpower to uproot it. Ours is a power struggle of the political elite who are manipulating the feelings of the ignorant and misinformed masses. I see real reform in the hands of a young, aspiring generation of Egyptians ready to make a clean start. I see the only hope for a selfless, sincere approach to our imminent catastrophe in the hands of a generation that has not been tarnished by the vicious, intertwining circles of corruption that have doomed our ageing elites, and sent them in the path of destroying a country they have grown to believe is theirs and theirs only. Those under the age of forty five must coalesce, and select a leader(s) to take control. They must form civic societies, political factions, and activist groups to transfer power to themselves. Only then will they be empowered by their generation which comprises more than sixty percent of the nation. The ageing elites have deprived and continue to deprive this younger generation of taking the initiative for leadership, which makes this process impossible to take motion. But we must have the will to derail those corrupt, selfish ageing fools who are manipulating the masses for their own personal glory. The young must assume power. This historical moment must not bypass them now. They must see clearly through the grand deception.
Greg Tuke teaches and travels internationally, working with university faculty in India, Indonesia and the MIddle East, sharing strategies for implementing international collaborations within course work. This blog chronicles key experiences and insights about those experiences. All opinions expressed are mine, and represent no other institutional affiliation.