Once again, calls for chaos and mayhem in Egypt have fallen on deaf ears. These calls, each time under a different guise, emanate from the same proponent, the Egyptian actor turned businessman turned voice of the opposition, Mohamed Ali, who is currently residing in Spain.
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No one heeded Mohamed Ali’s call for demonstrations on September 20, which comes, ironically, on the first anniversary of the failed demonstrations he called for this time last year. Accounts and platforms serving the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, supported by Turkey, Qatar, and others as well as certain Western liberals, shared videos with catchy titles depicting houses being demolished. However, according to Russia Today, these events took place about 10 days prior in protest of the demolition of illegally built homes in Alexandria.
In any case, the Egyptian security authorities released a statement that things are “normal” and stable in Alexandria, and that nothing out of the ordinary was noted.
This targeting of Egyptian resolve, and trying to use the demands for services or complaints about price increases, will not stop, nor will its failure deter further attempts. Mohamed Ali, the programs that spew forth from Turkish studios inciting protests and unrest, and the abundant stream of anti-Egypt media published on the Al-Jazeera channels... all this is the enemy's media front. Thwarting Egypt's progress and going beyond the Brotherhood's dream is a “strategic” goal for this enemy. This is the same enemy targeting Saudi Arabia, and these days it has increased its tempo, spurred by Saudi Arabia’s leadership of the G20 summit and Saudi Arabia’s achievements with regards to the Saudi Vision 2030 programs, as well as its success in weathering Coronavirus or the storms of war. For these and other reasons, the attacks have become more frequent and intense. A Saudi film-maker friend of mine tells me of anti-Saudi films whose broadcast dates were moved up in order to coincide with the G20 Summit and sully the image of Saudi Arabia.
The failure of the movements of Mohamed Ali and other current enemies of Egypt reminds us of that of his Saudi counterparts. A prime example is the resounding failure of the so-called “Hunayn demonstrations” on March 11, 2011 in Saudi Arabia, coinciding with the chaos of the Arab Spring... after intensive preparations and calls for protests the result was a big fat zero.
Today, we are seeing fabricated stories of anger about major Saudi projects such as Neom or Alula, with videos circulating about the purported negative reaction and anger over these projects. Whatever pretext this anger is being fabricated for, and the real goal is not the interest of the citizen who is, at best naive, and at worst, complicit, if he knows whose interests are being served; the real goal is to disrupt these major projects.
The people will never stop, but as Al-Mutanabi said:
His honor is not worthy of being safeguarded And he is not admirable, that I may praise him through poetry.
He lies, I did not debase him through satire Rather, before my satire, he was already lowly.
This article was originally published in and translated from Asharq al-Awsat.