In News & Reports, Selected Opinion

By Lofty Basta MD, FRCP, FACC

Sisi, the President of Egypt championed equality and justice for ALL Egyptian citizens. Egyptians hope and pray that he will repair the damage inflicted by the Muslim Brothers who proved not fit to Govern and were driving Egypt towards the cliff of total ruins, division and bankruptcy.

Sisi inherited a total mess. The head winds became stronger as the years went by. Sisi took the courageous step of fulfilling IMF conditions to lend Egypt money; it demanded that subsidies disappear and that the Egyptian Pound reaches its real value. By fulfilling these demands, the Egyptian pound reached a new low of almost 5 cents and inflation hit 28%. Daring to do these showed that President Sisi’s did what NONE of his predecessors including President Sadat shied away from. True, these actions promise to move Egypt in the right direction of stability and growth. However, although he vowed to ban parties based upon religion to be represented in the Egyptian Parliament (according to the Egyptian Constitution); Salafis were allowed to serve and by allowing Sheikh Abdel Rahman (the blind Sheikh) convicted in America as a criminal to have a burial in Egypt as a hero and Martyr defy logic. Obviously, he is turning a blind eye to extremist ideology, contrary to his repeated assertions. In addition, widening of the Suez-canal did not translate to more income, tourism continues to languish and suffered setbacks from the bomb placed on the Russian airplane while in the Egyptian City of Sharm-El-Sheikh, the drowning of another airplane over the Mediterranean, the faulty bombing of the Mexican tourists and the murder of the Italian Student writing a thesis about Egypt and its general air of instability and lack of safety. Likewise, foreign investments continue to be meager as the cost of doing business in the country remains prohibitive and the price of declaring bankruptcy is going to jail since other investors are allowed to sue.
These erect barriers for innovators and venture capitalists. Such difficulties and other hurdles impede growth in the face of an exploding
population and increasing unemployment. In addition, civic institutions remain non-existent, political parties are immature, Governance leaves much to be desired, the scourges of corruption, inefficiency and bureaucracy are unabatedly on the increase, while citizens are increasingly engaged in discussions about their religions and their role in society.

Christians continue to be denied leadership positions in the Government agencies, diplomatic core, the military, Universities, Colleges and others. Imams are even more powerful than ever and Christian leaders have to accept the status quo or else. Truth be told that President Sisi has done more than other Presidents in two generations to rebuild the Churches destroyed by extremists. But the fanatic extremists continue to kill the Christians in Egypt, destroy their homes, rape their women, enslave their children and tell them that they are infidels, unclean, sons of pigs and undesirables while they watch their Churches demolished. True, some Muslims in Egypt call for equality among citizens but the majority are for discrimination. While the Egyptian Constitution, like ALL THOSE IN DEVELOPED COUNTRIES, calls for equality and justice for ALL, recent polls indicate that Egyptians are more polarized than ever on religious lines.
So far, Sisi has relied more on the Military and less on Civic Institutions and “Think Tanks” to solve Egypt’s intractable problems in transportation, education, healthcare and finances. He needs to trust the many Egyptian lay scholars to address these problems.

Meanwhile, Trump wants to befriend Sisi in order to defeat ISIS. The only leaders whom he can lean upon are Sisi “President of Egypt” and King Abdullah of Jordan.

Sisi’s obligations:

  1. Implement ALL the elements of the Egyptian Constitution ratified by the vast majority
  2. Give the Christians their fair share of leadership jobs starting with the Diplomatic core
  3. Establish “Think Tanks” to help you reform education, Health care, Law, business….etc.
  4. As they do in Morocco, Imams are required to follow transcripts prepared for their sermons
  5. Minimize religious debates in news media. Aspects of progress, must take their place

Trump’s obligations:

  1. Egypt needs money for investment and progress
  2. Support the pending legislation that deems Muslim Brothers to be “A Terrorist Organization”
  3. Egypt’s military needs the warfare and spare-parts to fight against ISIS in Syria and in Libya
  4. Egypt needs the American expertise to hasten its progress and make its future plans
  5. More cooperation is needed between American CIA, and Experts to wage war against all enemies including the tribal insurgencies.


Photo credit: Foreign Policy Blogs

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