“I will not accept humiliation” is the line I liked best in what was dubbed a “rebellion anthem” which reminds us of that old patriotic song engraved in our hearts: “God is bigger than the aggressor’s maliciousness.” I also contemplated late Egyptian leader Mustafa al-Nahhas’ statement: “He who gives up the right of his country once, remains shaken and [possessed] by morbid sentiment.”
I think that bringing back these concepts from our history is an expression of the state in which many Egyptians, who decided to take to the streets to change reality, are living in. Those Egyptians seek to alter a reality which they consider a difficult test by God - a test in which God brings Egyptians back to their sense and in which he reveals the lie that existed for years, a lie which stated that those so-called Muslims are the solution. It’s a test in which God reveals the illusion of the Muslim Brotherhood’s political powers and uncovers the organizations’ schemes that go beyond the country’s borders and interests.
What to expect?
But the current question is what do we expect from the army and the people? The answer to this question is clear and simple but implementing it requires understanding, awareness and determination. The army is the people’s army and it will not one day be biased against the people’s will. It will not play the game of calculations and interests, instead it will only do what it has always done; protect the country. But for many complicated foreign and local reasons, the army will not be the one to initiate an act because the act must be a popular one in which the Egyptian state institutions, mainly the army, play a supporting role.
It’s the day of the beginning of correcting the path of a country which has been hijackedAbdel Latif el-Menawy
Simply speaking, state institutions build positive support for restoring the now hijacked Egypt, after the people declare their desire to achieve change and after they translate this desire into being through intensified, continuous work. Protesting on Sunday is not the only required act. But what is really required is that protests and a peaceful presence in the street continue until the people impose their desire. When this happens, it’s certain that the Egyptian state institutions, primarily the army, will support the people’s choice and decision. In this case, western pressures and desires will not yield results in imposing a reality rejected by the people. People are the base, and the army is the protector of the popular will.
Such a stance by state institutions expresses the sense of estrangement felt by institutions under the governance of the Brotherhood whose practices harmonize with the its concepts and beliefs which in turn proved to be contradictory to the Egyptian state’s principles. Perhaps the recent stance by the head of the regime during what was dubbed as the Support for Syria rally clearly expresses this sense of estrangement between the regime of the ruling party and the state’s body. This applies to most of the regime’s local and foreign policies. Simply speaking, this president is against Egyptian state institutions. Thus it’s normal that these institutions would announce that they are biased towards the people, but on the condition that the people make their stance clear and don’t change it.
A rift within the state
Although most of these institutions announced they are neutral and that they do not side with one party against another, they, even if they are official institutions such as Al-Azhar and the Church, have all confirmed that they support the choice of the people.
What I want to say is that we cannot stand waiting for others to act. We must not allow any feelings of despair and exhaustion to take over us. The most important factor for success is to keep going.
This Sunday must not be dealt with as the day marking the end. It’s the day of the beginning of correcting the path of a country which has been hijacked. Possessing a vision for the next day is a very important issue. I will present a humble vision that integrates with other visions.
The next day’s steps include: Announcing a transitional phase for a year, in principle led by the army and the constitutional court with its former members.
We must also cancel the recent constitution and work according to the 1971 constitution and the amendments made to it in 2007, in addition to the appropriate amendments made to the cancelled articles in March 2011. This must be carried out upon the review of the Supreme Constitutional Court.
Disbanding the current Shura council and the institutions established during the Brotherhood rule is the next important step.
We must pave way towards establishing new parties and forming a national salvation cabinet consisting of experts in order to run the affairs of the country, protect the army and supervise the constitutional court.
Forming a commission or a national committee to formulate a new constitution is crucial. The commission’s membership conditions must be laid by the constitutional court after consulting with effective powers in the society.
Coming up with a clear road map that specifies the next steps upon a specified timetable that organizes the formulation of the constitution, holding a referendum on it and holding presidential and parliamentary elections are all part and parcel of the next steps Egypt should take.
Abdel Latif el-Menawy is an author, columnist and multimedia journalist who has covered conflicts around the world. He is the author of “Tahrir: the last 18 days of Mubarak,” a book he wrote as an eyewitness to events during the 18 days before the stepping down of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Menawy’s most recent public position was head of Egypt’s News Center. He is a member of the National Union of Journalists in the United Kingdom, and the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate. He can be found on Twitter @ALMenawy