Egyptian bloggers

Egyptian bloggers

: I was curious what Egyptian bloggers were saying about Mubarek’s decision, under pressure, to allow multiple-candidate election. On an Egyptian blogring, I found Big Pharaoh, who says:

Now, I am not stupid nor am I living in la la land. Mubarak’s decision today came after immense pressure from the US and the current earthquakes (the purple revolution in Iraq and the Hariri revolution in Lebanon) that shook the region days ago. However, I credit US pressure as the number one reason. Condoleezza Rice cancelled a trip to Egypt scheduled for next week because of the arrest of Ayman Nour and Mubarak’s failure to “change”. Well, it seems that Bush turned out to be bloody serious about this democracy in the Middle East thing. It also seems that Bushie will in fact make it to the history books that my grandchildren will be reading at school 50 years from today. If Syria or Iran fell, Bush can rest assured that he will add his name to the Lincoln-Wilson-Roosevelt-Reagan quartet.

Well, what do I think about all this? I mentioned before that I didn’t want Egypt to rush to the ballot box. I wanted Mubarak to be pressured to open up the civil society of Egypt so that alternatives to his rule start to pop up. We simply do not know better and we needed time in order to see the alternatives and decide who is better.

Unless I am 100% sure that one of the candidates who will compete with Mubarak will be better than him, I’ll probably vote for Mubarak next October whom I believe will win because of the resources he has as the country’s sole authority.

The Egyptian paradox.

One Pissed Arab says:

Now Mubarak is simply under too much external pressure (the wet cat in his lap) from the United Bush of America to get his act together and fast, and there was no avoiding it. After all if Mubarak is really giving in to the demands of “his people” then he must have just replaced the batteries in his hearing aid. The public have been screaming for reform, and the opposition only grew recent ballz when they felt the external pressure.

So I am not digesting any of it because it looks like another scene in the same redicioulous play that we have all watched 4 times before, Mubarak gets to win this election too, and whoever succeeds George Bush, will be left to deal with it.

The Arabist Network says:

Now for the politics of it. People are interpreting this very differently on the ground here in Cairo. The official opposition seems to have embraced it unequivocally, often praising Mubarak in the process. The reaction from activists from movement such as Kefaya seem to be saying that a) it

  • Dishman

    “playacting”… could be.. it worked in The Ukraine.

  • Perhaps Mubarak should make the paradigm-shifting gesture of removing himself as a candidate.

  • The more interesting thing here, I think, is the remarkable consensus of local support for the spread of democracy in the Arab and Muslim world. When there is overwhelming agreement on which direction is the right one, it becomes very difficult to go in other directions. You can delay and take only small steps (as Mubarak is and has been doing), but there’s nowhere else to go, so in the long run you end up there anyway.

  • R

    I wish you were reading in Arabic :) Our Egyptian blogosphere has suddenly doubled, even tripled in size in the last 4 months.
    I will not be exaggerating if I tell you that one third of the Egyptian bloggers have either started their blogs just to discuss the political reform or have dedicated most of it for this purpose. For those who can read Arabic, Digressing was the first blog to strongly express opposition to the re-election and has recently won the the best arab blogger award (BABA) as the best political blog in the Arab world (Although this award hasn’t brought the guy but more ‘big brother’ trouble).
    With the exception of Big Pharaoh, most Egyptian bloggers are against Mubarak’s reelection. Some of them are opposed to the system and some are opposed to the person. “Enough” is a movement that includes some Nasserites, liberals, and other activists who have organized two peaceful demonstrations last week in Cairo and Alexandria.
    Another aspect I have been following in my blog is the farce of Egyptian “Main Stream Media” (you can call them also official newspapers). These have been strongly singing loyality and support to Mubarak, opposing any attempts to amend constitution.
    Suddenly, just yesterday, they’re now singing again praise and loyalty, giving kudos to Mubarak for feeling “the pulse of the Egyptian people” and for being more keen about refrom than the opposition parties!!
    What a joke! The editors of our Main Stream Papers have suddenly acknowledged a “popular pulse” or a “popular demand” for reform!!
    Tehy–as always–insist that no Egyptian accepts any external (i.e., Western) interference.
    Let’s wait and see.
    Most bloggers are happy but suspicious.

  • Juan Golblado

    The problem with the announcement about allowing multiparty elections is that the most serious liberal candidate, Ayman Nour, is still in jail and last I heard was on hunger strike (and he is a diabetic, according to his wife).
    There is plenty of time between now and when elections might be expected to be held for something to go wrong. But for now Mubarak has very effectively taken the spotlight off the main source of liberalization in Egypt – easy to do I guess when he’s behind bars.

  • Daniel Eriksson

    This is a big step forward, but it

  • Syl

    It will take a while. But, good grief, Afghanistan, Iraq, Ukraine, the Palestinians. Now look at Lebanon. And I hear murmurings of people in Syria. Something profound is happening. The status quo is no more. It’s electric.
    ‘Bush lied. People died.’ is soooooo two years ago.

  • Don’t forget, Putin declared that Russia is an estimable democracy, right in front of the world’s press just last week. Knowing full well that everyone he was telling that to was aware he is appointing rather than holding elections for local governors.
    Obviously, there is a general belief that lies are as good as the truth, when the press is controlled. Hurray for blogging!

  • R: A great update on the Egyptian blog world. Thank you.