Friday, 26 March 2010


Amr Hamzawy and Marina Ottaway on Egypt

  • Friday, 26 March 2010
  • Fouad GM
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  • While scrolling recent Carnegie and Carnegie researchers' publications, I came across an article by Carnegie - Middle East Centre's lead researcher, Amr Hamzawy dating back to March 11, 2010. In his article, Hamzawy notes that "one of the few and rare convergences between the person of president Mubarak and former IAEA director and potential non-partisan opposition candidate for presidency Mohammed El-Baradei, is that they both share a belief that Egypt doesn't need a hero nor a saviour - but that the Egyptian people are their own heros and are capable of furthering the cause of social and economic progress."

    This perhaps runs along the same lines of my comments on Angry Arab's revision of his position on another Egyptian Nobel Prize Lauret, Dr. Ahmad Zuwail, and the constant Arabo-Egyptian quest for an internationally-accredited saviour.

    However, I'm not entirely sure I agree with Dr. Hamzawy that president Mubarak - or El-Baradei for that matter - genuinely believe that they reiterate. I continue to be sceptical of what Hamzawy calls "the maturity of political culture amongst the Egyptian elite - government and opposition". I immediately remember the earliest reformers since the turn of the 20th century and their calls for the "benevolent dictatorship" and the effect that had on Egyptian politics with the 1952 coup d'etat-turned-revolution.

    In any case, my positions aside. Another Carnegie researchers, Marina Ottaway, wrote a web commentary on February 25, 2010. Ottaway analyses Egypt's transition from "semi-authoritarianism" (a term she helped coin) to "one-dimentionality." Ottaway seems to agree with what colleagues and sharp-eyed, well-informed traveller-friends of mine was suggested - that Egypt has become a one-dimensional society where there is no true alternative to the present ruling establishment, at least politically.

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