The Day All Is Settled

The Day All Is Settled

Mohammed Salah |

The street in Egypt will not stand down, the situation will not settle, and calm will not return without measures and policies by the administration to end the chaos and reduce the tension, by achieving the bare minimum of the demands raised by political and social segments that believe they have been wronged under the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood – and others who reckon that the Islamist group, its political arm, and the president are leading the country into a dark tunnel.

Truth be told, Egypt is already inside that dark tunnel. The country must be guided out of its predicament urgently, not only because this works in the favor of all Egyptians, but because it is in the interests of all rival parties jostling for power as well. These factions, in their hostility to one another, are challenging the will of the revolution, undermining its principles, and shattering the hopes of those who were its engine, even as every faction claims to be the protector and savior of that revolution.

Even after weeks full of heated tension – full of hurtled stones, Molotov cocktails, bullets, and clashes between the public and the police – things often turn from bad to worse, almost always advancing the cause of mutual hatred rather than healthy competition. And with every act of the opposition to the administration and its policies, sharp and violent reactions ensue from the authorities, in a manner that is inconsistent with the words of the president himself, let alone logic.

Meanwhile, there is a state of full alert, monitoring every word, speech, or exchange, and every decision or even appearance of the president, who is never spared from constant criticism if not mockery, not to mention his decrees, the conduct of his party, and the behavior of his allies and supporters. Yet the president himself was the one who asked people to criticize him and set him straight and even pledged to step down if he failed to achieve the goals of the revolution or fulfill the demands of the people. He also promised a renaissance in his first year in office, which has yet to materialize.

Overall, the situation in Egypt is set to remain unchanged for as long as the administration is able to survive without tangible achievements, beyond the usual regime propaganda. This is also contingent upon the ability of the various factions of the opposition, or the lack thereof, to mobilize the street and put pressure on the president, his party, and his group, i.e. the Muslim Brotherhood.

Both sides are biding their time until June 30, ‘the day all is settled,’ when one year would have passed since Dr. Mohamed Morsi was sworn in. Both sides see this date as a major milestone in the conflict between them: If it shall pass without tumult, rallies, and popular pressure, then the president will conclude that the opposition has been defeated, and his party will infer that there is a clear path ahead for it to take Egypt into the direction it so chooses, while the Muslim Brotherhood will be handed an important victory that would bolster the position of its candidates in the upcoming legislative elections.

But if ‘Tamarrud’ were to turn from merely being a campaign to gather signatures for a petition on paper, to a boisterous crowd in the street, practicing disobedience against the president, his party, and the Muslim Brotherhood to which he belongs, then the opposition, or all the factions not belonging to the Islamist movement, will have to face up to the challenge of proposing the alternative. Otherwise, it would be making the same mistake that the Muslim Brotherhood made when it succeeded, with other forces, to topple the Mubarak regime but then failed miserably in power.

Remarkably, every party seems to buy into its own dreams or wishes. The opposition, for instance, is counting on that day at the end of next month to force the administration either to make real concessions or to step down. For its part, the Muslim Brotherhood believes that the day will come to pass like many other before it, and that the movements and efforts seeking to topple the president or even to put pressure on him will fail – or as the Vice President of the Freedom and Justice Party Dr. Essam el-Erian said in a friendly call the day before yesterday, “Egypt will rise in spite of all conspiracies or moves that aim to knock it down.”

Such are the calculations of both sides, when reality, and since the revolution, indicates that Egypt is now caught in a vicious spiral of events that are often tragic or end up being tragic, while non-politicized people feel almost weary, sick, and tired of the faces imposed by the revolution, or that imposed themselves since the revolution.

It is no secret that a broad segment of the Egyptian people has realized that all the parties to the political game, in both the government and opposition, have benefited from the fall of Mubarak without building a real democratic rule that safeguards the rights of the citizens, and implements policies that brings them a better life than the one they lived under the regime toppled by the revolution.

Indeed, the people of Egypt, instead of securing a democracy and a better life for themselves, find that they are following a struggle among the same factions that rose against the former regime, before turning to fighting one another after its ouster at their hands.