Making choices is a chronic crisis for people. Sometimes, it appears like one is free to make a certain choice when in fact he or she is responding to or being driven by the circumstances around him. On June 30, Abdelfattah al-Sisi had the capability as army commander to choose to side with the people, with the authority or to remain neutral.
The choice was his despite the repercussions and whether the decision would be made under the influence of his personal character, as a man of the military, as an Egyptian or as a man with a tendency towards piousness. Despite all that, Sisi on that day, had the choice of which road to take.
He ultimately chose what harmonized with his character. His choice turned him into a legendary hero for most Egyptians and Arabs. His decision revealed characteristics which otherwise Sisi may not have discovered about himself.
These characteristics turned him into a model of a leader whom all simple Egyptians, who represent the majority of the Egyptian people, look for. And so overnight, Sisi turned into a beacon of hope for all these people.
So the relative freedom in making decisions was present in June. But is this space of freedom still present? I think the situation is completely different today. That space of freedom is no longer present. Choice transformed into commitment and abandoning it is abandoning responsibility.
Egypt's grave problems
Everyone is wondering who will be the next president. Egypt is currently passing through a very dangerous phase. We are confronting a huge economic crisis, and our production has decreased. Our calculations only include expenditure but there's no real income. The crisis is escalating as a result of halting production, and we may not be able to confront the repercussions shall the political crisis worsens.
On the political level, Egypt is confronting a weak and confusing political reality. We don't have cohesive political parties or social parties with clear features. This is the truth which we must confront ourselves with.
This is the truth which those practicing politics must confess so we begin searching for the proper solution. This political reality divides and does not unite.
On the political level, Egypt is confronting a weak and confusing political reality. We don't have cohesive political parties or social parties with clear features. This is the truth which we must confront ourselves with.Abdel Latif el-Menawy
On the security level, Egypt is confronting dangerous challenges it has never witnessed before. We have a group that hijacked the country for a year and which the Egyptians overthrew and restored the country via a real revolution.
But this group has allied itself with the axes of evil, inside and outside Egypt. It has put the people in front of two choices: either rule them or kill them. We must admit the truth that this group has presence in some circles.
And even if this presence is in fact weak, it's much bigger than we thought it would be. Egypt is thus confronting a dangerous security challenge that transcends to the level of terrorism.
Who will lead?
This information leads to one conclusion: Egypt is incapable of managing the state. Egypt at this phase has elements that will lead to failure.
Therefore, success cannot be achieved via traditional methods but through exploiting the energy of the Egyptians who are competent to manage it. But this can only happen on condition that there's someone available to unleash these energies.
This person must have the Egyptians' trust and he must have the capability to lead and persuade the Egyptians in a manner where he leads the work and makes sacrifices at the same time. He must be a man whom the simple Egyptian people believe. Who from among the suggested names is capable of leading the Egyptians during this phase?
The decision to join the people on June 30 was a choice. Today, responsibility includes commitment.
This article was first published in Al Masry Al Youmon Dec. 25, 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