by Dr Ashraf Ismail on Wednesday, April 18, 2012 at 12:42am ·


Egypt’s Revolution and Unrest

During the coming few days, Egypt is being fuelled towards an internal civil war. A number of Political Parties and other coalitions consisting of Liberal Groups and Youth Groups; all are inviting for a massive march on Friday the 20th April. The coming weeks leading to the “Presidential Election” which will take place towards the last week of May 2012 will be full of surprises to most people. Chaos and widespread blood sheds will probably be witnessed unless they show some restrain and come back to their senses.

This is the beginning of the internal divisions which will lead to a probable civil war in the coming few months. The majority of Egyptians do suffer from major stress and other anxieties due to the current political situation making them so irrational, unable to have clear decision-making process; in return affecting them in their daily life. The country’s economics are into the red. Businesses are suffering for over a year now due the political situation on the ground. The recent results of ousting 10 presidential candidates are evidently adding pressure into the daily life of the Egyptians.

Other Egyptians are using this situation to their advantage and will be fueling the mass to make riots and disruptions on a wider scale. We will probably be seeing soon on the ground and in the major squares different kind of Egyptians, rioters, hooligans, people full of hate to one another for no apparent reasons apart from using their own political propaganda “for the Love of Egypt”. Youths and the older generations are accusing each other of the current state of affairs. Both claim to be patriotic and know the best for Egypt.

Egypt is now in a much more desperate situation than ever to have an orderly state. With the lack of a strong leadership in the form of an elected president on the scene, chaos will spread even more in the capital and other cities. The majority of “Youth Groups” and other “Political Parties” are now using “death threats” and “verbally abusive remarks” against each other and promoting hate towards political figures and towards the average Egyptians too.

The majority of the mass Egyptians are poorly educated and not well-informed with the various political scenarios; either internally or on international levels. The majority and this is due to the country’s poor economics, are misled and running after slogans that imminently will lead to widespread chaos. Hooliganism became now the norm in Egypt. And, I don’t mean “hooliganism” only in the streets in the form of violent acts; on the contrary I mean it in the actual thinking and in the way they put their messages across. Appalling and smutty words are typically used against anyone either strangers, friends, or even own family members simply because they don’t share the same political views. Hate fills many hearts of the Egyptians against their own people. I have seen it in front of my own eyes how they insult others because of the difference in opinions and physical threat is being used because of siding with one presidential candidate than others.

We are now seeing a paradigm shift in this so-called “Egyptian Revolution” it turned out to be a sour change to the country. The general “Youths” claim that the revolution has achieved a lot. Other Youth Groups see that it is a long way to go even after the one and half year since its eruption on the 25th January. The “Youth” are seen now as the sore thumb that has caused all this internal mess due to their inexperience and overzealous passion towards a socio-economical change and political reform.

The sad thing is, the presidential candidates claim love to their own country and allegedly don’t have any hidden agendas that will impose threat towards any groups or sects of the community or any bias has taken place. So, why do the Egyptians resort to such verbal abuse? Psychologists will argue that verbal abuse is the manifestation of major tension or attention seeking personality or due to the lack in their ability to express themselves in a civilised manner which goes back to the way they were actually brought up. However, stress is actually showing on their faces due to the confusing political and economic situation. Would the abuse be confided to verbal remarks? Personally, I believe that aggression is slowly showing up and sooner or later will turn to physical.

We need to ask ourselves, which political party or groups are promising those blood sheds? And why would they resort to that? During the last week presidential race, some supporters did actually claim that dead bodies will be everywhere because The General Omar Suleiman has decided to join the race for the presidential elections. Do people actually know who Omar Suleiman is apart from the fact that he was the head of the secret intelligence and was the Vice President to President Mubarak for few days? The majority of Egyptians actually don’t know General Omar Suleiman at all; they have only followed and repeated ill founded rumours to satisfy their egotistical motives.

And yet, The General Omar Suleiman is now, on 18th April 2012, eliminated from the presidential election along with 9 other candidates. Though, he did show respect to the decision of his removal and instructed his followers and campaign organisers to refrain from gathering.

On the other hand, we see now on the streets in Cairo the other followers of Abu Ismail making full mouth threats and protesting in front of the committee building and elsewhere. Abu Ismail is a Salafist and an ultra-conservative candidate who faced recently an allegation that his mother had a dual American / Egyptian nationality; hence he was excluded from the presidential race. Abu Ismail’s followers have appealed the decision and claimed that his mother didn’t have the dual nationality. Apparently and in accordance to the media and the court cases, legal papers have been shown that his mother is actually a dual national. Abu Ismail’s followers are still objecting and making public threats to cause chaos on the streets. His supporters are making massive preparations in Tahreer Square for Friday the 20th April. At this moment, the average Egyptians are disappointed with the Salfies and their dogmatic stances for ousting Abu Ismail and they claim it was fabricated. Though he announced today that he didn’t know that his mother was actually a dual national.

On the night in preparation for the 20th April, one of the major 9 Km long bridges, October Bridge, is blocked by Abu Ismail supporters. It was reported that an ambulance van carrying an urgent case wasn’t able to reach its destination on time hence causing mortality. With this attitude we should expect a clash on the ground after the Friday prayer. It will not be surprising at all if the armed forces and security police would be heavily present in and around the Tahreer Square. Cairo might witness a different kind of “Friday March” that would be full of surprises while many at homes and overseas are holding their breath. Volunteers are in preparation to protect personal assets.

A number of candidates that will continue the presidential race. However, confusion about their proposed presidential programmes is common because many of them don’t have clear agenda. Egyptians in general relay on the candidate’s background or reputation, work experience, and their religious bias to form an opinion. Whether the information is correct or not; Egyptians in general manage so well in repeating slogans and rumors without actually vetting the information. So, we should expect some real surprises regarding that in the coming few weeks. If we scrutinise closely the presidential programmes of each candidate, we will find nothing but mediocre agendas displaying inexperience and inefficiency in presenting information to the mass that are poorly educated.

On the other hand, let us consider the country’s economics. During the past few days, there has been a major fire incident at Suez Canal at one of the local petrol companies. Rumors are seriously spreading around that, this fire has taken place due the exclusion of one of the presidential candidates. Do we really have clues about who that might be? Whether this is true or false, the situation remains jittery in Egypt. However, we can only predict rise in the fuel cost, lack of supply, longer queues, and consequently business performance in general will be affected. Another similar incident has taken place in south of Egypt at a petrol station. Another Fire! .. Is that a coincidence or another fabricated act? The cost of living is rising in Egypt from the prices of basic vegetable to the average commodities. The stock market is losing strength and business transactions are tumbling. If Egypt is to be saved from this financial crisis, it will need a bail out from foreign bodies with a value of $70 Billion US Dollars; double this figure in few months time in case of a civil war. The rate of inflation will rise even more and unemployment is estimated to be around 35%.

The above factors are qualified ingredients for an imminent conflict on the ground and probably we will be witnessing a clash between the various groups and political parties on the streets.

The worst thing that could happen to Egypt is this internal mess would lead to a conflict on the ground and the Army would get dragged into it. If this would be the case, Egypt will be just like Iraq, in the long run, but with a different touch and for different reasons. The sickening part of this scenario, most Egyptians refuse the fact that it could be another Iraq. This assumption is made on the basis that the socio-economic structure of Egypt is not similar to Iraq and it has no religious sects or divisions within the community. This is another dogmatic view which could lead Egypt to unforeseeable disaster because people don’t actually see or acknowledge the existance of such divisions. In my views, it is a predictable disaster.

External and internal factors have managed to create in Egypt divisions based on religious ideologies and fundamentalism whether biased to Islam or Christianity, liberalism pro Egypt, liberalism pro west, pro democracy, pro communism, youth movements in every shape and colour including “Emos” the daffodils, and the new Egyptian breed who are pro hooliganism. Those factors have managed to penetrate the deepest fabric of the Egyptian society with ideologies that were alien to the main stream thinking.

Egypt is about to face the start of a civil war unless the Army and Police show serious presence and take control with an attitude displaying supremacy and intolerance to the Hooligans. Should violence erupt I would be very sympathetic with the Army if they decide to cancel the Presidential Election and appoint a temporary president. Did the revolution achieve any things apart from chaos? The answer is NO, and Egypt is back to square one.


18.04.2012 – 1st Release

19.04.2012 – 2nd Release


Dr ASHRAF ISMAIL is the Chairman of AIG Holding | UK & Middle East

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