Prof. N Kotby skriver fra Cairo

The Egyptian Revolution 2011, now and the near future

Impressions and dreams

Jan 25th, 2011 was, is, and shall ever be a glorious event and a turning point in the long history of Egypt. Although most Egyptians do not yet know well their history, the previous statement is by no means an exaggeration or an emotional expression. This is a revolution that erupted from a stagnant community that not even the most optimistic could foresee a meager chance for its occurrence. The Egyptian youth whom we accused of being hopeless, uneducated, non-belonging without a trace of understanding the meaning of nationalism, has surprised and raised admiration of the whole world and not the least myself. Those wonderful youth did, indeed, shock the ruling system in Egypt. The youth who declared their decision to call for a demonstration on Jan 25th did not raise a moment of concern from any one. Most of us just dismissed this call as a dream that shall never come true. Many a demonstration had been organized and failed to gather momentum of more that few hundreds, who were brutally and easily dispersed by the uncompromising, remotely controlled, state central police.

On the 25th of January a wall has fallen, the wall of fear and submission. Tens of thousands converged on Tahrir [liberation!] square confronting the brutal police machine with a courageous heart and a perseverance to declare their dissatisfaction with the ruling regime and shouting loud and clear their demands. Demands not for bread and jobs, as it was ridiculed by the propaganda of the ruling regime, but for FREADOM! The cry soon became uncompromising, the fall of the regime who ruled for 30 years!

In fact Egypt was governed by a military dictatorship for sixty (60) years!

The rapid and tragic development of events that followed is still so vivid in our memory, and the memory of the word, that need not be detailed here. But, the fact remains that the revolution has spread widely all over the country of Egypt.

At this point, one has to focus on one very special aspect of the series of events, the intentional withdrawal of all sorts of police presence in the country in a time of crisis. This step is known now, based on unequivocal document, that it was planned to herald a wave of terror in the city and country lead by the secret police and what they used of ordinary vicious criminals. The withdrawal of the police in these circumstances is, without exaggeration,  an act of “High Treason”!


Concessions made by the regime:    The regime started playing its cards.

First, the regime announced that it understands and accepts the dissatisfaction of the protesting youth.

Then it appointed, a long waited, Vice President. But it turned out to be a military person with a murky carrier as chief of intelligence, with all the “intelligence” traditional practices of tortures and compromising “deals”. A person who failed in most of the delicate tasks he undertook by special and exceptional appointment of the president.

It sacked its cabinet. But, another military person was appointed as prime minister!  He is an air force general, with very little political experience appointed to lead the country politically in a time of a great crisis, actually a revolution. The person was talking about giving a second chance for the president who is a “father figure”. I also had many academic, social, and related father figures. But, in politics there is no place for father figures.  The new prime mister was mocking, on a TV interview, at the critics who did not accept that he had almost the same old members of the sacked old cabinet. His rational is that “how can he change all the cabinet members at once”! Did he not hear or read that a new administration is indeed NEW! This happens in every instant that an election brings a new democratically elected administration!

Egypt is in need of a more politically qualified prime minster!

These concessions did not convince the protestors. The mere looking at it is a waste of time and effort!

Second, the regime resorted to plan “b”  A plan of a using a wave of criminal chaos leading to terrorizing,  not only the protestors in Tahrir square, but also sending a clear message to the watching nation that such criminal chaos and instability shall engulf every one if the protest does not end instantaneously. This is a crime against the nation reaching a degree of “High Treason”!

Third, there was a series of other concessions which meant only another sort of “window dressing”. Any person with a moderate memory rereleases that all those promises were never respected during the log life of the regimes.

Despite that, a certain sector of the population started leaning towards giving the regime another chance.

A short time after the speech of the president where he announced the new concessions, there was another plan of terror orchestrated by the high officials of the ruling party, some shadowy millionaires, and the ministry of interior!! This plan aimed at attacking the protestors in Tahrir square by gangs of criminals mobilized and lead by the secret state police. The attacks were so brutal that they did not even care to refrain from throwing their Molotov bombs on the Egyptian museum, that great world heritage and a treasure of Egyptian pride. The scene reminds us of the description one reads of what happened in the Coliseum of Rome during the time of Emperor Nero!

While the revolution was going on and increasing in vigor, people realized that these concessions and promises are not worth thinking about for the very clear and simple reasons:

–          Not running for the next election! Lies. He promised when he came to power in 1981 not to run a second term, then he ran for 5 terms.

–          Changing certain articles of the constitutions; he did change it 2 years earlier to the worst and no one dared object.

–          Starting a dialogue with the opposition, this procedure was attempted more than once and ended in failure. What would one expect; a master is talking to some school kids of his making!

–          Accept the court verdict regarding the falsified election of some members of the sitting parliament; as if submitting to verdicts of the courts of law is a generous gesture of that regime. Further, how would the 100 or so members be reelected? Along the same corrupt election laws.

No mr. president!       Too little too late

It is a waste of time to think seriously of discussing these concessions!

Proposals for the transitional period:


One has to realize the fact that the country is in a state of revolution. The whole political system, with all its institutions and corrupt and tailored constitution has fallen.

The search for a constitutional outlet is a sheer waste of time. The legality at this moment of time is the Revolutionary Legality.

The transitional period:

This should be given an ample amount of time for its stages to mature and become successfully applicable! No talk about time limits or time stress.

Egypt has been under a military dictatorship for SIXITY (60) years!!!

So give it some time to recover!

The following are some of the urgent demands and suggested scenario for the transitional period.

1-      Immediate liberation of the Egyptian media; press, radio and TV. Sacred right for freedom of speech!

2-      Immediate release of all political prisoners.

3-      Dissolution of the 2 chambers of the parliament.

4-      Resignation of the newly appointed government.

5-      Resignation of the president.

6-      A National Unity Council, made of all the figures of the leaders of the youthful revolution and “clean” public figures of judges, professors, thinkers, and media people – shall convene to appoint:

7-      A presentational interim council of 3 persons of “clean” respectable citizens. A military senior officer may be one of the 3 member council

8-      A government of national unity. This shall be a care taker government with a maximum of 15 members.

9-      A new election law should be declared within a week or 2. This should focus on the following reforms:

–          Voting by the system of relative unconditioned roll lists of each of the political groups.

–          Cancellation of all sorts of special quotas for any class, profession, religion, or gender.

–          Voters can cast their ballots by the national identity card.

–          Expatriates shall have the right to cast their ballots at polling stations in their respective city/country of residence, provided that they still hold their Egyptian passports.

–          Appointment of a National Electoral Committee made of leading “clean” judges, public figures and university professors. The Committee is to supervise all the steps of the electoral process, form nomination to formulation the new constituency zones, to polling stations specifications to vote counting to looking at complaints and reports of irregularities, till the results are declared.

–          The whole process shall be monitored by national human rights groups, all opposition powers, and International monitors.

–          The polling stations shall be guarded and protected by the civil youth who succeeded in protecting the whole country when the national police choose to vanish and give up its responsibilities.

10-   Call for election of a National Assembly to write a new constitution according to the national aspiration of the people to have a civil democratic welfare liberal society where freedom of thought, faith are supreme, and equality is absolute. Market economy should be adopted, with strict legal procedure to guard against monopoly and exploitation at any level of the economical process. Indications that leading posts on governorate levels, on local government levels, on trade and professional union levels, on academic levels, shall all be decided by free democratic monitored voting. In short it shall be a democratic state from top to bottom!

11-   Freedom of formation all types of political parties or groups.

12-   Freedom of movement of the parties to reach the constituency.

13-   Right of the people for peaceful demonstration, and the right to strike.

14-   A clear declaration that the care taker government shall respect all international and bin- national agreements signed by the previous regime.

15-   A serious and urgent process to rehabilitate the police forces with clear new guide lines regarding its primary task of guaranteeing civil security and protecting the sacred duty of respecting the dignity and freedom of the Egyptian citizen on absolute equal grounds.   .

16-   The Armed Forces is to be praised for the hitherto neutral role of securing some sort of civil order during the crisis. The Armed Forces is pleaded to go back to its barracks and be prepared for its primary task to protect the boarders of Egypt, and not its cities or any corrupt political regime.

[Latest news (5:30 pm Cairo time) the supreme armed forces council took over control! This is a new wave of military dictatorship!!]

The transitional period shall continued till time is ripe and national campaigns have reached its effectivity. Then and only then, an election for the parliament shall be called for. A cabinet, government, of the parties who got the majority shall be formed.

This parliament shall then call for a presidential election. This should be a free, transparent, and monitored process.

Hopefully then Egypt shall have a president who would serve a maximum of two (2) 5 year terms.

Such are my dreams of the “valid passport” for Egypt to enter the developed world and the 21st century.

A last message to the protestors;

The last time your forefathers and mothers stood in this square was 92 years ago, in 1919, when on the Nile side was one of the main barracks of the occupying British army, Kasr Al Nile barracks. That great revolutionary generation stood fast till their demands were fulfilled. To remind the youth, these demands were:

–          Reassuring their identity as Egyptians after this identity had disappeared for 401 years under the Ottomans.

–          Obtaining a liberal constitution asserting democracy, freedom, and equality.

–          Independence from the great power of the day, Britain.

My dear fellow protestors, my kids and grand kids in Tahrir Square, if you leave now without having ALL your demand answered, there shall be no such gathering for the cause of EGYPT for the next hundred (100) years.

Take good care of my Egypt, our Egypt.

May God be with us all and save our country to help itself and to help the human community worldwide!



Urgent Problems of Egypt

This is an attempt to project, define, and prioritize the major problems of Egypt from one point of view.


The problems of our community can/may be divided into 2 major groups:

I – Problems that fall in the category of hard ware.

II-Problems that fall in the category of soft ware.


I – Problems that fall in the category of hard ware

This group includes:

1-               Solid refuse collection and disposal.

2-               Sanitary sewage drainage.

3-               Urban slum rehabilitation.

4-               Rural rehabilitation of all villages.

5-               Transportation facilitation on all levels:

a)               Inter-city; roads, bridges, railways, river ways, and sea ways

b)              Intra-city; traffic, public transportation

6-               Water needs:

a)               Development of the River Nile

b)              Sea water desalination

c)                Austerity measures

d)              Recycling of water

7-               Alternative energy:

a)               Solar energy

b)              Wind energy

II- Problems that fall in the category of soft ware.

This group includes:

1-               Eradication of corruption.

2-               Freedom of expression by all means and at all levels.

3-               Guarantee and guarding of human rights and equality.

4-               Modern democratic civil state providing full range of liberties.

5-               Reform and nationwide delivery of a modern national educational system  at all levels.

6-               Guarantee of effective and humane medical care system for all.

7-               Effective and just social welfare system.

8-               Basic rights for a job, and eradication of unemployment, supported by an effective system of vocational training.

III- Combined soft and hard ware problems:

1-               Eradication of pollution on all fronts.