Should Egyptians expect more blood, sweat and tears?
Someone like legendary British leader Winston Churchill is need to lead Egypt through its times of crisis
The Bank of England, the UK’s central bank, announced that Winston Churchill will be the first British leader in the country’s modern history to be featured on banknotes. The banknote will be issued during 2016. Churchill, who led the country during World War II, will be featured on the back of the £5 note. The banknote will also bear the famous statement he made before the House of Commons in 1940 and which is “I have nothing to offer but blood, tears and sweat.”
Churchill, the most prominent military leader in Britain’s modern history, was appointed First Lord of the Admiralty when WWII erupted in 1939. He held the post of prime minister following Arthur Neville Chamberlain’s resignation in 1940, and he remained in that post during the war.
Churchill managed to lift the morale of his people during the war while his speeches were a source of great inspiration to the Allies. He was the first to flash the victory sign with his index and middle fingers.
His writings on British and world history won him the Nobel Prize in literature in 1953. The speeches he wrote and delivered during the tough times which Britain endured during the war and during the German air raids on London prove that Churchill was a combination of a witty politician, a talented author and a leader who understood his people’s mentalities and thus knew how to strengthen them and enable them to challenge what seems impossible.
No impossible promises
The British people at the time were prepared for such a leader. But Churchill did not appeal to the people’s sentiment by ignoring reality and he did not make promises which implementing was impossible. He was frank and honest, and he made commitments in exchange of commitments made by his own people so they can accomplish a dream together.
The Egyptians are looking for a leader who’s willing to be among the first of those to offer blood, sweat and tears. He who thinks is up for it must step forwardAbdel Latif el-Menawy
When looking at the current Egyptian situation, I realize it resembles the British situation during Churchill’s era. The similarity here is that Britain was going through a difficult phase. The country was on the verge of defeat and brink of economic collapse. It was a desperate case. We are currently going through a real crisis in Egypt.
The country’s economy is going through its most difficult phase of its critical condition. There’s a state of internal confrontation against parties pushing towards the state’s and society’s collapse. But the most important similarity is the psychological situation of both, the British and the Egyptian people.
Spirit of resistance
Both people possessed the spirit of resistance and challenge as well as the desire to emerge victorious from a situation in which failure was more likely. The British people were lucky as they found a man to lead them towards victory. The Egyptians are currently waiting for someone to suggest himself as the leader towards victory.
The Egyptians are currently going through a rare state of insistence and desire to unite towards one aim. Their situation is close to that they’ve been through during the October War. Back then, the Egyptians united and thought of nothing other than that their country is confronting a war where winning is the only choice. Back then, everyone felt a real desire and willingness to unite towards achieving the dream of victory.
The Egyptians currently have a similar spirit. But they want to find a leader capable of creating confidence that they can confront challenges.
Uttering the truth
They want to find a leader, who like Churchill, is capable of uttering the truth to his people - the truth that there is a difficult situation which many believe will bring nothing but failure but which can be overcome if there’s a new spirit and a capable leader.
The Egyptians are looking for a leader who’s willing to be among the first of those to offer blood, sweat and tears. He who thinks is up for it must step forward. Or the people must push the person whom they think is up for it towards leading them.
And just like Churchill promised his people of sweat, blood and tears, he also promised them “of victory...Victory at all costs.”
This article was first published in Egypt’s al-Masry al-Youm on Dec. 8, 2013.
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
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