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Mohammed ElBaradei could unite and change Egypt

31 January 2011 / 20:01:37  GRReporter
4837 reads

Anastasia Balezdrova

Mass protests against the authoritarian regime of Hosni Mubarak have been shaking Egypt for almost a week. GRReporter contacted the President of the Muslim Association of Greece Naim Elgandur who follows the events in his homeland with concern but with great enthusiasm too.

He said protesters would not give up. "We are witnessing a struggle for supremacy between Mubarak and the military. Soldiers do not know which side to take but they will certainly support the winner. If people are determined to stay in the streets the military will be with them. That’s why no one can tell what will happen next."

Naim admits that he heard many different things from journalists and activists in recent days but their authenticity could not be confirmed. For example, that Israel "which supports Mubarak fanatically" had sent an airplane full of chemical gas, plastic bullets and other ammunition.

Regarding reports about lack of food, fuel, electricity and water in Egypt, Naim believes that "these are the actions of the Mubarak’s system which aims to lead to chaos and destruction in order to trigger military intervention so that dictatorship be established again.

Five of my children live in Alexandria. My elder daughter has just called me. She calls when there is connection. She said they had no food. Bakeries are not working; super-markets open for a while and close quickly for fear of being robbed. The people themselves guard the government buildings and their homes to keep the revolution. For some have tried to just steal it by causing this chaos. They opened the prisons and let the criminals loose. The police have ordered them "Go, break, steal."

Naim Elgandur claims that police officers under cover in civilian clothes were also ordered to play vandals. "The people who have damaged the National Museum of Egypt were one of them. The exhibits do not belong only to Egypt, they are part of the world cultural heritage. The attack on the museum aimed to make the international community respond in favour of Mubarak. They did not steal anything. They broke many things. Citizens have captured many of them and brought them to the military.

I wish to say that the guys in the tanks are my brother, nephew, son. We do not know what the generals who are in the offices with Mubarak think. In any case, neither they know how ordinary soldiers would react if they had been given orders to attack protesters. In these days people are hugging the soldiers in the streets, giving them flowers. The people get on the tanks filled with delight. They spray slogans like "Down with Mubarak", "No to Mubarak" on the tanks. It is not possible to erase them now so the tanks move in this way."

Who are the people who continue their protests despite the victims, the injured and the government resistance? Naim Elgandur says that the movement has been formed in the social network Facebook. "This is a movement that does not owe anything to any party. Its strength lies therein which influences so many people. The opposition has not managed to bring so many people in the streets over the years. Young people have managed to do this through the social networks. That’s why the Internet access has been cut. But those clever young men had already managed to make a plan and have other means of communication now. For example, they stay in the square overnight and wait the others to come in the morning who will stay there until they relax.  

They do not belong neither to the Muslim Brotherhood, nor to the Left, nor the Right. These are young people aged 20-30 years. The older followed them, but young people are the leaders of the protests now."

As Naim says, Hosni Mubarak had had no contact with people in his 30 years of ruling. "He and his son had gathered businessmen around them and I can not really figure out what they will do with so much money. We're talking about billions of dollars which will be reported later by foreign banks and the press. Even if he wanted to spend a million dollars a day he would not steal so much."

He gave one of the many examples of corruption against which Egyptians protest today. "The businessman Hisham Talat Mustafa who had a relationship with the Lebanese singer Suzanne Tamim is known worldwide. When she left him he paid $ 2 million in cash to a member of the Egyptian secret police and ordered him to go to Dubai and kill her. Fortunately, security cameras have captured him and the perpetrator of the murder was discovered.

This was the only reason for Mubarak's government failure to conceal the scandal and it was reported by the media. So, the businessman was forcibly seized and is now in jail. A little later we found out that the plots on which the businessman had built luxury residential complexes have been purchased by the state for peanuts. Then he sold the homes to rich people and shared the profits with Mubarak’s children. He has purchased every square meter for 0.05 euros while a pound of meat costs eight euros in Egypt. You see what kind of corruption we are talking about.  

Things in the legal system are similar. Even if you win a case, the police is the one that implements the court decision. The police, however, do not pay attention to you. I personally have decisions in my favour, according to which the state must pay me compensation. But they have been outstanding since 1997-1998."

Tags: PoliticsEgyptMuslim Union in GreeceProtestsCivil movementMohammed ElBaradei
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