Why do Egyptians dislike political activists?

After suffering numerous repeated strokes, the Egyptian state’s brain has reached a dysfunctional status that requires immediate surgical intervention. This is the condition that Egypt is grappling with, politically and socioeconomically.

The tactic adopted by the state (to recirculate its diseased blood) has proven to be an utterly ineffective remedy for a body and brain in urgent need of fresh blood; acknowledging the urgent need for treatment is useless if the will to cure the ailment is lacking. Consequently, attempts by the nation’s activists to inject large quantities of fresh blood into the body politic have been completely rejected by its organs.

Political activism is a new phenomenon in Egypt. A number of youngsters would like to steer the country unto a completely new path by imposing their ideas on a society that strongly adheres to its well-rooted traditions. The dilemma of Egypt’s political activists goes beyond the absence of the application of democracy (which is misunderstood, in essence, by the vast majority of Egyptians).

Activists are demanding to change the existing political dynamics, a change that would negatively affect not only state entities that have been living within their shells for decades, but also Egyptian society that has become used to Egypt’s outdated political model.

Egyptians form a conventional, bureaucratic society that tends to adhere to lengthy processes, to value seniority, to respect authority, and that is convinced that politics belongs to established politicians with solid experience. Although these traits and beliefs haven’t produced any satisfactory results for the country, Egyptians tend to complain without having the courage to change.

Meanwhile, the younger generation’s attempts to impose change on a society that has been ruled exclusively by the older generation for centuries are viewed as an attempt to bypass the state entirely – thus obviously disliked.

The younger generation’s attempts to impose change on a society that has been ruled exclusively by the older generation for centuries are viewed as an attempt to bypass the state entirely

Mohammed Nosseir

Activists believe that by consistently disobeying the state, they will eventually succeed in bringing about the changes they desire. They are mistaken. Unfortunately, these activists do not realize that their approach, which is completely rejected by the state that would be undermined by change, is also not tolerated by Egyptian society at large.

Thus, the state often works to trap activists, highlighting their deficiencies to prove the infeasibility of their ideas to society. Regrettably, this attitude of rejection pleases and calms down activists, who do not counter by offering valid, acceptable alternatives.

International funding

In spite of the fact that the Egyptian government’s corruption rank is high and that most government entities receive international funds, in some form or other, the state often accuses activists of fraud and of accepting international funding. The state does not want to regulate international funding or to fight corruption, thus granting itself the advantage of accusing others of illegally activity, while retaining its right to use international funds.

Not only has activism opened the door to thousands of youngsters to express their furious opinions on a wide spectrum of topics (about which the vast majority of these young people know nothing); it has also given people license to express their opinions without being required to assume responsibility for the views they express. ‘Political activist’ has become an honorable title that lacks the necessary substance. Activists will better serve their country when they start to use their brains more than their muscles!

In Egypt, we are stuck in a rut in which the nation’s brain and body are in need of a substantial scientific transformation. The Egyptian state, which refuses to recognize its deficiencies in the first place, is not working towards achieving any kind of modernization. Indeed, if the state had the will or the capacity to modernize, it would have done so long ago – without the need to experience any sort of uprisings!

Activists are genuinely trying to work towards modernizing Egypt; they are offering to replace the aging body’s vessels with new ones – but their erroneous approach and mistaken attitude have led to their rejection by society. Until the Egyptian state and Egyptian activists achieve “political maturity”, our country will continue to be physically and mentally unwell.
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Mohammed Nosseir is an Egyptian liberal politician who advocates for advancing liberalism, political participation, and economic freedom. Mohammed was member of the higher committee at the Democratic Front Party from 2007 to 2012, and then member of the political bureau of the Free Egyptian Party till mid-2013. Mohammed advocates for his work through providing the Egyptian government with a number of schemes to better reform its government institutes, as well as he is a regular contributor to various Egyptian newspapers. Mohammed also has extensive experience in the private sector, working with a number of international companies assisting them in expanding their businesses in the Middle East. Mohammed graduated from Faculty of Commerce, Ain Shams University, Cairo (1986); he participated at Aspen Seminar on Leadership, Values and Good Society (2011), Eisenhower Fellow, Multi-National Program (2009) and Stanford Fellow for Democracy, Development & Rule of Law (2008).

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 13:58 - GMT 10:58
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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