Playing Politics

Dear Jan25 people,

So today the results of the referendum came out, and as expected the YES vote won. In case you didn’t expect it, well, there were 4 reasons why that happened:

1) How many Egyptians joined the protests at their peak? The day Mubarak left Office, it was estimated 10-20 million in the streets. What’s 20 million out of 85 million again? 25%? That means there are 65 million who never joined the protests from the beginning, and who probably miss the stability and security of the old regime. 75% that is used to say YES and there is no proof that they changed their mentality or behavior. Never-mind those amongst you who also voted yes for their reasons. I am personally surprised it wasn’t lower.

2) Cairo is not Egypt. This may seem obvious to others, but let me repeat that point again: CAIRO IS NOT EGYPT. Stop your  Cairo-is-the-center-of-the-universe chauvinism. 25 million live in Cairo, 60 million live elsewhere. And, let’s be honest, the NO vote people did not manage to get their message across to the people effectively. There was no real TV campaign, no real grassroots campaign and no actual debate. Some individual efforts here and there, but no real coordination. This has to change.

3) The Military & the MB & the Salafis & the NDP were pushing for a YES vote. The Military, as always, just wanted to get out of this mess as quickly as possible, and the YES vote meant just that for them without having to face any real headaches. The rest knew that a YES vote gives them the best chances to win the Parliament and thus re-write the new constitution, and they had the money and the organization and tools to push for it. You didn’t.

4) You no longer represent the people. You really don’t, at least when it comes to their concerns. Your concerns and their concerns are not the same anymore. You care about the revolution, & the arrest of NDP figures & getting the country on the right track. They care about economic security, the return of stability and normalcy the fastest way possible. They only have the military now as the organized force running the country & providing some security, and you are pointing out-correctly, mind you- that the military is detaining your friends and colleagues and torturing them and violating their rights to protests, and you want them to stand up against the military, the only force in the country in their perspective that is keeping Egypt from descending into total chaos. Yeah, that will win them over.

Mind you, this is not totally your fault. There are some things you are just not paying attention to, besides that you have been losing the people steadily. The First of which are the original demands. Remember those? Remember all the millions that went down for the minimum wage and you completely swept this under the rug to engage in a battle with State Security and the military? How many of the original demands have been met so far? Why is this not a bigger issue?

You are also not noticing that the Military doesn’t like you very much, and really, why would it? The Military likes stability, and we started a revolution which brought down a regime that put them first of everyone in the country and instead managed to get them to not only abandon their stable life-style under Mubarak’s rule but to start working harder than they ever had in years. You think they care about you or your demands? You don’t think that they won’t go after every single one of us when the time comes? This is not paranoia..this is simple logic. A force that can bring down a regime can take down the next one or even bring down the military structure itself; why allow that force to continue to exist or have popular support if you can take that away? In case you haven’t noticed, the military only listens when we manage to amass lots of people, and could care less when we only manage to get a couple of thousands. They don’t like you or your ideas, and they cave in when they do in order to maintain stability & their image as the public’s saviors. And you know all those times you keep mentioning that the Military is part of the old regime? Well, they are noticing it, and they don’t like that either. Why wouldn’t they attack you, allow propaganda against you, tell people that you are immoral, armed and/or on drugs, arrest you, beat you or torture you? What’s in it for them if you succeed?

How is any of this a surprise to you?

So, now what? Well, now is the hard part. This is the part where we stop playing revolution, and start playing politics for the sake of the country. This means caring more about perception and public support over righteous and legitimate demands. Do you know what that means? Well, if you do, but think that the revolution must continue on the street, well, congratulations, you are the reason why we are losing. If you don’t, well, please relax and keep an open mind, cause this is about to get really uncomfortable.

1) You have to get over the referendum results now, & see it as the gift it is: Oh yes, we lost, and it’s great news. Why? Well, because first of all, we managed to find out how many people are really with us, and which areas or locations we need to focus on (All of Egypt..Imagine?) and the percentages from those areas. We now have actual statistics, people. We know each district by vote. We know how many people we have in every voting district. We have a nation-wide base. Sure, 20%, is small, but it’s not insignificant, and you can totally build on it. And now you also know what tactics the MB and the Salafists use to mobilize the vote. We now know how they intend to play this, and this gives us an incredible advantage, cause we still didn’t play yet. You wanna start? Congratulate them on the results of the referendum. Call everyone you know who voted yes and enthusiastically congratulate them. Offer to host referendum parties if you can even. Don’t lose them even if you disagree with them. The wall you build now over this could exist come election time, which is when you will really need every vote. In case you didn’t notice, this was just a test-run.

2) You have to focus on the people & their issues, and push yours aside for now: Yes, you will have to address the economy. Yes, you will have to offer constructive solutions to the Police problem that isn;t simply “clean them up”. Yes, you will have to lay off the military criticism and, as horrible and hard as this might be, to put the issue of those who are detained, jailed, tortured or beaten by the military on the back-burner for now. Yes, I know that they are our brothers and sisters, but I also know that this is how they are distracting you. They are making you focus on small battles instead of focusing on the war. How many of us were tried or arrested? 50? 100? 10,000? We are talking about  the hearts and minds of about 85 million, and you are not doing shit to win them. Win the public, and all of your friends will be released immediately. Continue to lose the public and you will eventually join them. Simple, really!

3) Offer solutions that appeal to the public and get you support: I know, I know. You would think demanding accountability and the end of corruption would get you all the public support you ever needed, but, nah. They spread lies about you while you are running around trying to find your jailed friends and not responding or engaging back, and whatever goodwill you got for the revolution, well, it’s EGYPT’s revolution now. Everyone has the “January 25” stickers on their car, which means that your achievement is now their achievement, and thus you get no credit. Ok, start earning credit again. START SELLING THE MINIMUM WAGE for example. In a country where 40% live under 2 $ a day, how is it possible not to get support for a proposal that would guarantee every egyptian 1200 EGP a month, especially in these economically turbulent times? You wanna demonstrate? Demonstrate for the Minimum wage, and many egyptians will join you, thus showing you have public support again. If the Military Council says yes to the minimum wage, Good, you not only gave people freedom, but also got them extra money in their pockets every month, which they LOVE, and as an added bonus you obliterated the myth that you don’t care about the economic hardships of regular Egyptians. That can’t suck. If they refuse, well, that’s good too. It will show that the military doesn’t care for the economic hardship of the poor, while you do , which makes you with the people again. And while they are there all dissapointed at the not-so-benevolent  supreme council, you start letting the people know what else they have been up to. You don’t need to lie to manipulate and sway public sentiment to your side, you just got to pick your timing.

4) Start organizing yourselves into an offline grassroots movement, Zenga Zenga style: This one might seem self-evident, but how to do it is the tricky part.

  • First of all, find your people all over Egypt, and start registering them and training them. Start with the Polling data alongside those you know through life, facebook or Twitter. You will find them
  • Secondly, organize yourselves into different units: The Internet-Unit (to lead efforts on reaching out and organizing the base on the net), the door-to-door Unit ( Go to every neighborhood, knock on 10 apartments and talk to people), the Phone Unit ( Use telemarketing techniques: call people and talk to them about the revolution. Have a training for the phone unit and conversation scenarios. Reach everyone again), the local Media Unit (those are your Intelligence and propaganda arms. They keep you abreast of the news of the areas they are in, let you know who are the people to watch out for and which are the ones to support and they are responsible for catering the media message to the needs of the locals) and the election observers unit (self-explanatory really). The more organized your people are, and the more trained they are in your talking points and counter-arguments, the easier it is for them to sell their ideas to the people.
  • Thirdly, Create the coalition of new parties in order to bring in all those new ragtag parties together and make them a cohesive block that could stand a chance in the parliamentary elections by having one party’s members vote for other Parties’ candidates in precincts that they are not running their own candidates in, and they will do the same in return. Every vote counts.
  • Last but not least, FUNDRAISE ALL THE TIME. We need the money. The NDP has all the money they stole from the country and the MB has all the money they get from Saudi & Qatar, so we need to get our own. Hit up for donations everyone you know in Egypt  who isn’t interested returning the corrupt to power or having this country turn into a theocracy. Contact your relatives and your friends abroad. Create Festivals and events whose tickets will fund your operations. There is no campaign finance legislation in place, which the MB is totally abusing, and we can as well. Let’s do that until we have enough of a majority to place in a law in place that would make this entirely unpleasant situation we currently live in behind us.

5) Start reaching out to Imams and Priests now: I once suggested that we need to reach to Imams and Priests in order to get them on our side, and I was hissed at for wanting to mix Politics with Religion. Well, as much as I agree with that sentiment and truly wish we live in a country where people don’t vote based on religion, ehh..welcome to Egypt. We are religious people, and whether we like it or not, Imams and Priests are community leaders. We have to engage them, get them on our side and have them help us with the hearts and minds of their flock. An easy place to start are the individual churches and the Sufi festivals (Fun Fact of the Day: the Sufis are 16 million in Egypt. I KNOW!), get those two groups, and then focus on all the local imams that are in your area. If you manage to convince 1 Imam in every 5, you already caused them to lose a sizable part of their base. Try to convince 2 🙂

6) Know thy enemy: We need to compile a data-base on all the NDP names we know in every district, and then research their history and public record in the parliament. We need to get the history of all the known MB MP’s in the egyptian parliament and find out what bullshit policies they were pursuing during their tenure there. We need to know how popular they are and how much dirt there is on them. We need to know who their financial backers are and what businesses they own. A lot of the info is already available online. Let’s compile it and learn from it. This will be useful later.

7) Prepare for the propaganda war: The other side has already started the Propaganda war over the refrendum, using lies and fear-mongering to get people to vote their way. I am not a fan of lying or fear-mongering, but I have no problem using the truth as a weapon to hammer my agenda home. Tell people the truth: Tell them of the MB’s record in the parliament- how they wanted to ban books and music videos and the net. Tell people what Hamas- the MB of Ghaza- did t the population the moment they seized power (No music, No shisha, no concerts, no free media, intimidation and fear). Start creating banners accusing them of being agents for wanting to sell the country’s soul to the Gulfies, and start asking loudly where their seemingly endless money comes from during this economic crisis. Play on nationalism and national Unity. Joined demonstrations of muslims and christians that congregate in front of the MB Supreme Council’s office, and do a sit in there until they vow to stop using sectarian tones and ads, and when they vow, throw it in their face every time they use a religious slogan. Go After the Salafis as well. If they call you infidels, you call them Taliban. Remind people when they used to throw acid on girls for showing some legs or on their face for not wearing a Niqab. Remind people of the days when they used to target them and kill them, or when they used to crash weddings for being Haram or burn video stores and christian jewelery stores. Keep repeating everywhere you go that Egypt will never be Afghanistan, and people will start repeating that every time they see a Salafi or an MB member trying to use religion to his advantage. Start putting them on the defensive. They are weaker than you think, and the ways to neutralize them are endless.

That’s all for now, but let me remind you of one last thing before you go: You are more powerful than you know. You brought down Mubarak and his regime. You changed this country, gave it a future, and there is no way in hell you will allow those who use people’s ignorance to hijack it. They aimed to scare you yesterday, and instead they pissed you off. They pissed off the smartest, most fearless and most capable group of egyptians this nation ever gave birth to, thinking that you will see beards and yelling and you will run away screaming. They thought wrong. They miscalculated. They fucked up. And they will find that out soon enough. We gave them our hand in friendship, we gave them the benefit of the doubt and we wanted them equal partners in the building of this country’s future, while they were busy plotting against us with the NDP of all people. Well, moral clarity time: The NDP and the Islamists are two faces to the same coin, and neither can be allowed to control this country ever again. It’s time to quit being distracted, and start organizing and engaging people NOW. War has been declared on all of us, and we will be damned if we lose now. Just like the NDP, we will fight them until we can’t.

And in case you are wondering: We will win!

237 Comments on Playing Politics

  1. Kristen Jensen
    March 20, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    I agree with your post. Good thinking.

    • sherif
      March 22, 2011 at 3:59 am

      Any movement must have an organized body. Every movemnt has to be coordinated with the rest of the body to have a proper effect. The heart muscle is made of many untiring muscle fibers that contract in a coordinated way using its inherent ability to communicate and thruogh their structure and the structure of coordinated specialized modes of communication. It is also receptive of the surrounding needs and reponsive in an orderly manner. In this way the force of the heart which is the size iof a fist can do work which is equivalent to lifting a train engine. If the same muscle fibers work individually it is called fibrillation and the body dies. Get organized in an orderly manner, plan and get effective.

    • Farouk El-Baz
      March 23, 2011 at 3:57 pm

      Wonderful reasoning and timely advice. It is the spirit of the youth revolution and will go a long way to steer future work. I also liked the comment that asked “what are the objectives?” This should be a goal to set objectives with time lines. It is the only way to make sure that everyone understands the end game and the way to reach the objectives. Please read a piece that I just sent to Al-Masry Al-Youm about that. In the meantime, I believe that Egypt’s young generation has the smarts, vision and imagination to lead it to greatness. God bless you all… keep up the good work.

      • Sam
        April 2, 2011 at 6:21 pm

        I am not eqyptian. Its very heartening to non Egyptian non muslims to see that there are people in the leadership movement of the Egyptian youth which want to dump Islam and Islamic sharia. Do you think the poor illiterate people will be more prone to 1400 year old ideas such as quran with all the stuff about covering up and banning music and cutting hands. Can those riff raff cause problems to a secular society?

        • Sam
          April 2, 2011 at 6:24 pm

          I am curious as a non Egyptian, that which part of your society still believes in the 1400 years old Quran literally as the word of God? Are most educated people beyond that stage? what about the professionals? Most interesting post, I did not realize Egyptians were so modern and innovative.

    • hamdi zaki
      March 24, 2011 at 2:56 pm

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      Aire fresco sobre Egipto
      Artículo por Hamdi Zaki,
      —– Tecnología y otros pensamientos
      Blog de Antonio Manfredi, periodista::la vanguardia

      Mi sitio propio

      Publicado por am
      marzo 4, 2011
      Hamdi Zaki es un egiptólogo que conoce bien España, como consejero de Turismo. Sirve de puente a muchos españoles que visitan Egipto más allá de la visión puramente turística. A su lado se conoce el verdadero Egipto de hoy y, por lo tanto, su opinión alcanza una importancia máxima en estos momentos. Copio y pego un mensaje suyo que me ha llegado hace muy poco tiempo. Merece la pena leerlo y, por supuesto, en cuanto nos sea posible, tenemos que volver a visitar ese gran país que, en su día, nos acogió con afecto y simpatía. Viva Egipto.

      Hola, como ciudadano egipcio no perteneciente a ningún partido ni entidad política quisiera apuntar lo siguiente: Durante 4 días en febrero pasado de ausencia total de la policía, cuando el gobierno retiró la policía de todo el país , es más mandó a sacar más de 40mil prisioneros a la calle para causar un caos de violencia y robo, para justificar su lógica de seguir en el poder queriendo decirnos con esto que su época era todo más seguro , cuál fue el comportamiento del pueblo , de los revolucionarios, que pasó?:

      -los jóvenes voluntarios salvaron al museo de El Cairo , a las casas , las tiendas y a todo un país, hecho único en la historia que merece provocar a los productores de cine de interpretarlo y llevarlo a la pantalla, de hecho lo están preparando en Hollywood. -el pueblo ayudó a los turistas quienes quisieron volver a sus países se pudo sacar a un millón de turistas sin ni un muerto ni una herida ni siquiera leve, todo esto en ausencia total de la policía y con 40mil prisieoneros hambrientos echados a las calles,encima provocados a violencia por la propia policía .

      -los guías sirvieron de policía turística,

      -En ausencia total de agentes de tráfico, decenas de personas civiles del pueblo se encargaron de organizar el tráfico y con menos accidentes que lo habitual en una ciudad una de las cinco más pobladas del mundo,médicos, profesores, campesinos, obreros , estudiantes entre otros son los que se pusieron a dirigir el tráfico.

      -los revolucionarios no atacaron ni a nada ni a nadie, ni robaron sino fueron victimas de las metrallas por el anterior régimen del ex presidente,

      -Médicos voluntarios montaron hospitales callejeras en las plazas para salvar a los víctimas de los tiros por los aliados del ex dictador ,

      – los viernes ocurrió otro récord histórico a la hora de la oración del medio día los manifestantes allí rezando en plaza Tahrir, superaron por primera vez a los de la meca , más de 3 millones , triplicando el nº de los que caben en la meca, y eso sin ni un caso de violencia , eso sin sumar otros millones en las plazas de Alejandría, Al Mansura, entre otras, es más cuando fueron atacados por los soldados del ex dictador , los coptos protestaron y protegieron a los musulmanes que allí rezaban.

      – Es más se vió dos misas juntas y al mismo tiempo una cristiana y otra musulmana.

      -Los jóvenes estando días y noches en la plaza del Tahrir , los vecinos les bajaban comidas , y los que tenían algo de dinero compraban bocadillos, y al preguntar a unos jóvenes que no llevaban dinero encima dijeron que las tiendas de alimentación y bares daban bocadillos sin cobrar a los que no tenían dinero , sin mirar ni que religión ni a que partido pertenecían ,

      -Los manifestantes y la policía quienes se peleaban por la mañana , se les veía por la tarde compartiendo entre sí la comida ,unos policías, y otros del ejécito se unieron a la manifestación del pueblo,

      – Otro aspecto de cine, que nos recuerda las caricaturas en papiro con 4000 años de antiguidad donde aparecía : en uno un gato jugando ajedrez con un ratón , y en otro un lion jugando con una gacela, y un lobo protegiendo a unas cabras , quizás queriendo dirigir un mensaje de tener paz hasta con los enemigos, dichas caricaturas han tenido su notable influencia en los juegos Tom & Jerry.

      -Médicos voluntarios han tratado más de mil casos de ojos de jóvenes víctimas de las metrallas policíacas, y en estos días estamos buscando oftalmólogos esañoles o hispanos para acercarse a Egipto para junto con sus homólogos egipcios curar el resto de los casos, un llamamiento que hago como ciudadano egipcio que no tiene nada que ver con ni política ni políticos.

      -De todo lo anterior se entiende que los peores días , ya han pasado , ahora que ha vuelto la honrada policia a las calles ,ahora ha vuelto la normalidad , y si el propio pueblo pudo evitar caer ni un turista herido cuando el caos y en ausencia de la policía , ahora lógicamente la seguridad prodomina más ,ya están fuera de los cargos policíaos ex aliados del ex dictador , cuyo ex minisro del interior está en la carcel junto con otras decenas de irresponsables corruptos.

      – Estamos ante la revolución más influyente y pacífica de la historia , donde salió a las calles más de 20 millones de personas sin ni un caso de violencia , donde la joventud y la mujer son pioneros,quienes armados con fe, tecnología avanzada y voluntad pudieron derrotar al ex dictador y sus aliados , un logro que contará la historía que pudo conseguir lo que no pudo ni los más poderosos ejércitos, dicha revolucion del 25 de enero del 2011 tiene cosas en común y otras diferente que la de Nasser y compañeros del año1952 , ambas son pacíficas, ambas se preocuparon por los derechos de la masa, ambas quitaron los ex gobiernos tiranos, en cambio la actual se estalló por el pueblo que luego fue apoyada más tarde por el ejército, cuya primera chispa fue a base de comunicarse através de Facebook, y la de Nasser fue por unos fieles oficiales que luego se les unió el pueblo.


      Hamdi Zaki


    • Raafat
      March 24, 2011 at 5:28 pm

      What means we will win, it is not the objective win or loss , the objective gentlemen is our Egypt, please think that we have to build Egypt not to win or loss , if all of us will think like that the big losser will be Egypt , let us respect the majorty vote to teach them and we will work to build Egypt then the rest of the Egyptian will understand what our objective, please look ahead for Egypt future not did we won or lost Sorry Mr. We won not the vote but we won the first step of change , please think deeply and think for Egypt

  2. A.K.M.
    March 20, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    Your clear thinking is well appreciated.

  3. sherif k
    March 20, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    Excellent analysis, what can Egyptians abroad do to partake? I suppose one way is to aid in the fundraising.

    • Am
      March 21, 2011 at 4:04 pm

      don’t just aid – organize the whole thing. The idea here is not to accept any money from people or organizations that you want to influence you in any non acceptable way. (and everyone has an opinion on that) You can do things like start T-Shirts that say something like “I AM Egypt” , or something that anyone can buy, and the proceeds can go to the organization that wants to rebuild Egypt. Whatever you decide, someone has to take the lead, or more then one lead on this. The people in Egypt will need money and extremely focused organization. Grassroots fundraising.

      • intellectual guerilla
        March 23, 2011 at 12:53 am

        thank you! nice shortcuts! nice visions and perspectives! great analysis!

      • Michael Seibel
        March 23, 2011 at 7:42 am

        1.) Whatever you do, Do it in Arabic (Egyptian) also; not only in English, so that you encompass ALL Egyptians and avoid a divide.
        2.) Study the German re-unification. Though a very different case, there are a lot of interesting lessons to be learned. There also were a large number of the population who were reasonably happy with the day-to-day security that the old system offered.
        3.) Change of the kind needed in Egypt requires the willingness on the part of ALL to commit to and make real personal sacrifice, the benefit of which will only be harvested by future generations. This is an ingredient so sadly missing in many countries that are in trouble, most visibly in the USA. Watch Japan! It will not be missing there!

      • Cherine
        March 24, 2011 at 11:50 pm

        OKAY, I will work on designing these and marketing to other Egyptians here in the US and abroad… Great Idea..Ana Masr Campaign.

    • Laila
      March 21, 2011 at 11:57 pm

      One way we can partake is by mobilizing to make our voices count.. look for role model countries, success stories. How do they do it? what are the mechanisms in place.. We have whined enough about wanting to vote, now it’s time we offer a solution they simply can’t resist.

  4. Zaghloul el masry
    March 20, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    couldnt agree more with what you said, great analysis

    but we do need greater organization for this to work

  5. Moritz
    March 20, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    Excellent points.
    But I would make 4.3 more prominent, because Egypt is a First Past the Post (FTPT) System. And in regard to the next election I really think the parliamentary elections will be key. The next government will be mostly tasked with a true constitutional reform. That means the parliament will be extremely important; more than usual in a presidential system.

    Now why is a broad coalition party so important? Traditionally over the long run FPTP system tend to develop into two party systems, but in the beginning what you can see is that there is mainly two things you need to do

    1) you need a broad coalition
    2) you need to make sure that people stick to it (1 candidate per election district only from your grouping)

    Otherwise you can have a situation like this:

    Let’s assume you have

    1 candidate from a religious party (RelP)
    1 candidate from an old state party (StaP)
    3 candaites from progressive parties (ProP1, ProP2, ProP3)
    and as usual some independents (Ind1, Ind2)

    Let’s just make up some maths. Our election district is highly progressive, it distributes 50% of votes on them, the religious party gets 30%, the independents each 5 and the old state party get 10%.

    RelP – 30
    ProP1 – 25
    ProP2 – 16
    StaP – 10
    ProP3 – 9
    Ind1 – 5
    Ind2 – 5

    Gives you a total of 100%.
    Even though the progressive parties with a majority, they will lose the seat.

    While this sounds highly theoretical, it is something one can see all around the world in new democratic FPTP systems. Whoever is most disciplined will win seats even with a minority of votes.

    Therefore you need to chose one candidate locally for each electoral district within the party before the election and then put all support behind that candidate.

    • khaled Atef
      March 21, 2011 at 4:29 pm

      Very interesting approach.Can you elaborate more so we can understand more this tactic

    • marwan hammad
      March 23, 2011 at 11:37 pm

      there is no way to reach this parliament…the concentration must be made, planned properly using the right and same tools by the MB all over Egypt, They are to far ahead for this election, all is already in focus…1/3 rd or so for the MB and the rest the old guard and others. Therefore the MB are looking for the 2015 elections…they might even come up with a presidential candidate and make him lose to show that they are no danger , while they are really working silentyl and effectively…as all have seen what they have done in just one month above surface. only 4 yeaqrs lefttill all changes for whomever works harder with a concentrated effort.

    • wiley stagg
      March 20, 2011 at 11:07 pm

      If he doesn’t run for a post in Egypt the US needs a good president( independent.)

  6. Noussa
    March 20, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    For the first time in History we voted freely, I think we should unite and show to the rest of the world how we are a nation made for democracy: the “No” people should congratulate the “Yes” people; we are one united nation. We dont fight for people being agree with us, we fight for whatever the different opinions are, they are all respected.

    From tomorrow we start all over again, informing, debating, writing, etc. But for tonight, regarddless of the result, we should celebrate our first free referendum ever.

    • Lana
      March 21, 2011 at 1:52 pm

      celebrate what exactly? do we have democracy for the sake of democracy?
      how r u celebrating democracy when u just destroyed the structure of democracy. we want a constitution that grants devolution of power.
      now we don’t have that. congratulations!

      referendums are the worst forms of democracy, if this referendum did something, it divided ppl into sectarian groups. christian vs muslim voting.
      u have a man like baradei, attacked and cussed.

      this is shameful. a great revolution that ends with a bunch of amendments. and stop lecturing about democracy and acceptance, i’m well accepting, but not when i see a counterrevolution happening in front of me and ppl r too fuckin blind 2 see it.

      • Ayman
        March 21, 2011 at 4:26 pm

        If there is such a thing as “counterrevolution” and people vote for it, then that’s what the people of Egypt want. It’s because they saw what the “revolution” and its supporters did to the country. You wanted democracy, you got it, and you just found out the result.

        Of course if people voted your way, you won’t have any problem with referendums that you now call “the worst forms of democracy”.

      • Nihad Waffa
        March 22, 2011 at 5:51 pm

        I totally agree with you 🙁 This is why I’m not that much in the mood of celebrating. But still I think that now we know how eager are Egyptian people waiting to be involved in shaping their future and need an honest well organized guidance. I’m still optimistic !

  7. Msatonienne
    March 20, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    But what are the specific goals?? shouldn’t they be defined?? the revolution was to bring down the regime. now what? (Leaving aside the issue of the remnants of that regime.) Is the 1st goal to define a political platform to support, then work at bringing together the appropriate seeds of parties that you find already forming? Is it to form a party??…

  8. noshokaty
    March 20, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    I love you! You gave me hope 🙂 Let’s brainstorm when you’re back x

  9. @JustDahlia
    March 20, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    I like your analysis and strategy for getting the vote out. But your math is a bit off on your first point. If 20 m were on the streets on Jan 25, that is not 25% of the voting public. That is in fact more like 50%. the fact that only 23% voted no now is probably a reflection of both the fact that 50% were never on the streets, and perhaps, of those who did go to the streets, at least half are probably suffering revolution fatigue. what is also needed is some re- energizing of the base. They need to see the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow

  10. Sarah
    March 20, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    It is a perfect plan. But there is a tiny problem. For the 1st time since the jan25 the “youth” don’t have the lead. They aren’t a head of things.

    Mobilization now might be tricky, especially as we speak now I am sure whoever was planning the perfect month from feb.11 till now already have a plan.

    Your enemy now isn’t MB & NDP. Your enemy now is unknown, in the background watching and planning as we speak.

    The referendum regardless the result put the army in charge. Everyone agreed to take the poll. And there weren’t protests to stop it, people instead of focusing on the referendum battle got distracted with Shafiq’s pullover.

    People who supported the jan25 are now saying they regret doing it because some of the jan25 people are back to Tahrir protesting the referendum results. Whatever this group is doing it is selling the idea that they are just a bunch of kids who care-less about this country and don’t accept the democracy they are calling for.

    The lack of clear leadership and selling the whole jan25 as a completely spontaneous public movement is now working against it.

    But it is never too late.

    You have brilliant ideas here

    Good luck playing politics.

    • Yehia
      March 21, 2011 at 12:01 am

      You can’t defeat an unknown enemy, therefore I have to ask you whether you have an idea about who this enemy might be.

      • Sarah
        March 21, 2011 at 11:36 am

        Let’s map the players on the Egyptian ground now. The powers struggling to take over the throne of Egypt.

        We have the jan25 group, the MB, whatever left from the NDP and the current ruler the mighty army.

        The jan25 till now are lacking organization. I didn’t see real politics from their side till this moment. They get distracted easily with minor battles over nothing. The longer they go this way the more they are turning from a power to a tool. They will not only fade but those who put their money on them will lose big time.

        The MB, the only respected political player on the ground. They survived almost a century of oppression. The one thing that all governments of Egypt agreed on is oppressing the Muslim Brotherhood yet they lived.
        They have leaders with strong record of fighting the regime. Real heroes unlike the ones the jan25 group are trying to sell. A man who spent half his life in a jail for standing against a regime is a hero by definition. That same man speaks street language. He has a wide base of supporters for him as a person not as an ideology.

        Whatever left from the NDP, I don’t see them of any influence. If they were of any influence they would have managed to mobilize people for a counter revolution. An equal in magnitude protests but opposite in direction. They couldn’t do it and they lost. So whoever left of them, who didn’t runaway scared will have to reinvent himself and play with the new rules. A real fight over winning people with the MB and against the post jan25 defaming propaganda. They might be there, but it will take them time to get back fully functional.

        The final player, the winning card is the army. The jan25 group managed mobilizing people over different causes and got them to the streets. But they didn’t rule. Egypt didn’t follow the Tunisian catalogue, and the eastern bloc scenarios weren’t applicable here.
        Which I believe is depressing to the jan25 group and proves that their lack of organization & clear leadership is against them. And I don’t want to say their lack of reading of the Egyptian political scene.
        Anyway, the army came and said they are there for only 6 months. And the jan25 started screaming 6 months aren’t enough. And the army isn’t leaving in 6 months anymore. Regardless the results of the referendum. The goal of the referendum was to put the army as the legitimate representative of all the Egyptian people. The neutral force to regulate things between those pro the jan25 and anti jan25. Because regardless what the jan25 people say, there were lots of unorganized forces opposing the jan25 movement and now they came to surface with YES as a result of the polls.

        The jan25 group can off course try to mobilize people and get them back again to the streets but this will be taking too much risk that will eventually turn against them. Raising economic demands now, with such economy and getting people in the street for it. Will 1st lead to standing against the government that the jan25 people hired. They will probably bring down Sharaf’s government with such protests. And such pressures on the army ignores the politics inside the army itself which is for the jan25 group a black box.

        And whatever inside that black box is a player that’s unseen to the rest of other players.
        All cards on the table now are burnt, the winning cards are yet to be played.

        • Yehia Elrakaiby
          March 21, 2011 at 1:22 pm

          Beautiful analysis of the current situation, so we have 3 main powers: the jan25 movement, the MB and the army. The jan25 movement lacks organization, leadership and unfortunately failed to show ability to amass people for the referendum. The MB have popular support, appear to have achieved an important political win in the referendum but they have lost the sympathy of a large group of Egyptians. The real winner here is the army which appears to be in control.

          Now, if this is a battle for the throne of Egypt, then it is clear that the jan25 movement needs to start playing politics. You have said that there are unknown forces inside the army which are another important player.

          What do you think can the jan25 movement do in order to win this battle. Should they simply accept the referendum and prepare for the upcoming parliamentary elections as described in this article, start putting pressure on the army to get it out of the scene and how, try to win back the MB and form a unified front but to achieve what and can the MB be trusted. Also, what are the possible outcomes of what’s going on inside the army and what may be the army’s plan to claim the throne of Egypt.

          • Sarah
            March 21, 2011 at 6:29 pm

            What the jan25 group can do depends on the answer of this question, what is their goal? If their goal is a better Egypt then it is about time to understand the public choice, accept it and work for a better Egypt. If their goal is just replacing the regime with them, then I don’t think I will give ideas to get to this goal.

            The MB isn’t to be trusted or dis-trusted. They are just another player on the ground. They work according to their agenda. They supported the jan25 group as long as they served their agenda.

            The jan25 group lost the MB not the vice-versa. The MB role since the start of the jan25 can’t be denied. Which lead us back to the jan25 group need of playing politics.

            As for the forces inside the army, I have been having fears since this all started of the unknown new Nasser. A sort of a Libyan scenario, keeping the differences in mind, could happen in Egypt too.
            The black box is full of magicians that can change the whole game over night.

          • Noha
            March 22, 2011 at 2:14 pm

            lets think creatively, out of the box. One of the main principles that the revolution was built on, and its secret to success for winning the public opinion of the entire world, is its call for nonviolence, “selmeyya”. Now if we extend this principle and apply it to our vision for a “new egypt”, we could call for Egypt to be a demilitarized nation, ie disarmament of army and police. Imagine, no more rifles or tanks in our streets! If we adopt that as a serious demand, we would neutralize the army in one move! The only requirement is to BELIEVE!

            Why I do not fear the army:
            A. It is a hierarchical structure and therefore cannot be as creative as a network of individuals
            B. World public opinion could easily turn against it if it uses force against civilians (as happened in Libya)
            C. The entire army is 340,000 strong, and it is made up entirely of Egyptians, not hired militia from other countries… these people can be swayed over individually in the case of a national dialogue/crisis.

      • Nouralhoda
        March 25, 2011 at 9:55 am

        the real enemy is ignorance and poverty!

  11. Ahmed Tharwat
    March 20, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    Great insightful, not everyone who voted yes is against the revolution or vise versa… , what you are asking in summary is to form a party.

    Good luck

    “Nobody has a monody on stupidity!!

  12. Sharia habib
    March 20, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    This is the perfect way to go. I think this is the only way. It will take time,but will lead to success .Don’t forget organizing groups to help the poor and the needy, just likeMB are doing. God Bless Egypt

  13. mimo ramadan
    March 20, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    What happened to um the revo,, what was it?! excuse me..Revolution anyone?!
    What happened to weekly mass marches demanding Egypt without corrupted figures like Ahmed shafik safwat elsherif etc etc ?!
    All what you’ve said is “excuse me”bullshit you people either too naive or too self centered considering yourselves the elites of Egypt too smart and intellectuals Sure, Sure..if it makes you guys happy!
    The fact that All of you wanna bes missed is there’s nothing has changed its the same old same game and you people are just playing along
    The whole referendum Trick is not new,,its called “distraction “divide to conquer”same old same Ex Regime system of keeping the masses and the wanna be intellectuals busy…
    Now all the Revolution brothers in arms are busy accusing each others fighting with each others, The wanna Bes intellectuals are preparing for the War against the Muslim brotherhood Wow.
    In brief Mr tantawi & ahmed shafik have won,,The revolutionists &The revolution has Lost,,wake up smart wanna bes before its too late 😀

    • Yehia
      March 21, 2011 at 12:12 am

      To my knowledge, all intellectuals were against the referendum so I think that they did not fall asleep in the first place. The problem is that they are now facing ignorance and religious intolerance which are mightier enemies than Mubarak.

      • astoria
        March 22, 2011 at 1:57 pm

        I think it is a major mistake to blame everything on the ‘ignorance’ of people. This sets up a situation in which the progressive intellectuals build themselves up as the ‘smart’ ones, while the people are considered ‘stupid.’ The military, business elites and Muslim Brotherhood would never call the masses stupid. Everything they do is in the name of the ‘greater good of Egypt and its people.’ Since when did the Right speak for ‘the people’? This isn’t only a problem in Egypt, but increasingly we see this everywhere….

        Progressives forces need to refind their footing amongst the people. It’s nice to have a footing in the 2.0 universe, with Twitter, Facebook, Zizek and Youtube all making us feel like good, savvy and very clever people. BUT there is no reason EVER to blame organizational failings and lack of strategic and long-term vision on the ‘stupidity’ and ‘ignorance’ of people. Let’s try to understand the millions of reasons people voted YES. If we understand these reasons we might have a better opportunity to change people’s minds over the long-run. Let’s not dismiss people because on the surface they did something we disagree with…

        • ellen
          March 22, 2011 at 3:11 pm

          Spot on, astoria. Wisest comment on this entire board. Please, 25Jan people, read astoria’s comment over and over until you understand it in your bones. Your political goals are doomed if you continue to look down on common people less educated, less economically privileged, less adept at online tech, as yourselves. And people who voted Yes came from every social class, including your own.

        • Yehia
          March 23, 2011 at 1:15 am

          No one is blaming anyone for anything, we are all on the same boat and it is the duty of everyone to do what s/he can. It is however hard to ignore that ignorance and religious intolerance are the main problems which Egyptian society needs to face. Pretending that these problems do not exist is not wise nor useful. For example, in this last referendum some people voted as they were told by their imams or priests. Others did it simply because people of a different faith have chosen to vote the other way. Recently, a love affair between a Muslim girl and a Christian led indirectly to the destruction of a church. Political parties, movements and intellectuals also failed, at least politically, because they were unable to form and present a consistent clear simple vision that people can relate to and follow. Many of these problems are indirectly caused by the Ex regime and they are now being exploited by those in power. In order to ensure a brighter future, these problems should be dealt with and therefore they should first be recognized.

    • Bisbis
      March 21, 2011 at 2:56 am

      Fight on, Sandmonkey!! You have a lot of people who are supporting you at least in spirit— and to those people who think the revolution is failed and over- it’s not over until it’s over. Only Egyptians could declare epic defeat before actual elections.

  14. Tallulah
    March 20, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    Mahmoud, that was truthful, to the point, and awesome!

    Think of yourselves as a company with a product to sell. The product: democracy & freedom. The customers: 85 million Egyptians. Mount your PR campaign to win them over and show them what you have to sell. Banners, flyers, tv spots,… be public, be pleasant, be honest, be persistent, be focused, be caring, be VISIBLE! Do it all above board. Educate and inform, assuage the fears, encourage the uncertain, and respond to the questions that they have. You know who and what you are up against. They can only offer the people what they had, not what they CAN HAVE. You are in the right, and will win.

    Damn, wish I were Egyptian! Would so love to get involved with this. Eagerly, I will watch as Egypt grows and flourishes!

  15. Mic Rasmussen Meyer
    March 20, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    This historical post shows, that Democracy has landed in Egypt ! Keep on going for a sustainable egypt democracy. Get rid of the perverse situation, that Military controls people instead of the contrary. Condensate your country’s actual and prospective needs and by open dialogue as well as media prepare them to be the ingredients of a new, longduring since visionary constitution still to be formulated.
    At present: Don’t keep the majority of Egypt people, the Youth, outside. They deserve the power to determine Egypt’s future. As well as the rural Egypt countryside – not really poor of young peaple.

    • Yehia
      March 21, 2011 at 12:17 am

      Well said, any concrete ways about how this can be done?

  16. DementedBonxie
    March 20, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    I should think that religious leaders could be involved in the campaigning:
    By encouraging people to know what the policies on offer are, what the pros & cons are, by setting up meetings at which the different parties present their policies and questions can be asked. Everyone would be expected to be given a fair hearing. Religious leaders & groups can be advocates in this way, but not taking side or promoting one party over another. If Muslim & Christian leaders could share responsibility for a meeting that would be a powerful sign.

    Women! I saw & heard them playing a full part in the protests – impressive. I was proud. However, it seems many women don’t recognise their political rights and capacities. It seems they need to be convinced about themselves. That’s not easy, given the Tahrir Square tragedy of 8 March. But you have feisty women in Egypt. Involve them to the full as leaders in campaigning.
    As-Salam Alaykum!

  17. Yossra
    March 20, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    Dude I always disagree with u but this time I applaud u.

    One if ur best rantings ever

  18. Max Bell
    March 20, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    You can’t force change, but you can’t wait for it to happen, either. When all of this went down, a lot of Americans sat around watching the demonstrators and asking “Where are the candidates? What is your platform?” and the notion that it was about “structural changes” really confused a lot of people.

    I can’t help but feel some of the reality of this hit home with this vote, however. When we elected Obama, it was a big fucking deal — that ended on the night of his inauguration. As soon as he won, everybody went back to business as usual — with the results we now see. Not to lecture anybody — but democracy is much too precious to be left up to politicians — it only works with the complete involvement of an informed electorate that that will not happen by itself.

    Clearly you understand this and I think you’ll nail it to the wall, but I can’t help but want to emphasize the points made here.

  19. Peta_de_Aztlan
    March 20, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    Good article Sandmonkey. I remember you writing about the need for a new kind of political party before Mubarak left. Still think that a political party was a vanguard party is a good way to go. Plus, reaching out to people where they are, esp. using Internet Power.

    I am here in California ~USA. So we have our work cut out for us here, esp. fighting for the creation of new jobs for the many of us who are no unemployed. Remember those of us inside the USA are really not like the ones you see in TV commercials from here. ~Namaste, @Peta_de_Aztlan

  20. Mahinour El-Badrawi
    March 20, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    Dear sandmonkey,
    very nice post, but I have to partially disagree with the cairo-centrism point. Alexandria came top of the rejection list,with a 40percent no even though the brotherhood has its strongest grip in there. I do’t know what to make of that myself,but I think that cairiens must stop being cairo-centered by thinking they are cairo-centered! if you know what i mean… that’s on the philosophical level.
    Practically, I think cairiens need to go out and vote more, it came third in voting rateswhile the largest city in population…can u believe that?!

  21. Mariam Ayad
    March 20, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    Thanks for posting! It’s a great action plan!

  22. Nadine
    March 20, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    ???? ???? ?? ????? ???????????!!

  23. Amged Osman
    March 20, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    Excellent analysis but, I.rly can’t call it plan. Wo do need a plan and we do need to execute it ASAP! let’s try and organize our lines.

  24. Jamadagnii
    March 20, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    As my sagacious teacher used to say, “Well begun is half done!”

    With pride and integrity you must build your new Egyptian republic. In addition to the organization and outreach you have suggested I would add that you need to identify and support new leaders, people with the highest and finest character, who understand the responsibility of public service.

    The ideal modern Egypt will have reverence for the ancient civilization which valued refinement, order and stability, while creating a country where all people will feel welcome and safe — Freedom is the key, education is essential. I would also suggest protecting the rights of all people including: Women, Christians, and yes, even Jews. Imagine, what could you accomplish if you could break free of the hatred of Jews and Israel? Revolutionary progress.

    You have much work ahead and I wish you all great success. Good luck!

  25. Suzanne Catherine Ross (El-Naggar)
    March 20, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    Bravo, Sandmonkey, Bravo, Bravo, Bravo! And much love.

  26. Lawrence Shore
    March 20, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    Brilliant. You deserve a Nobel Peace Prize (a real one, not a political one) nomination. Your heart, strength, dedication and wisdom is inspiring.

    Referendum is the key word here – one small step for man and one giant step for mankind. This will take generations. May they all follow in your sure and steady steps. Yalla.

  27. Yousri
    March 20, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    An admirable effort.

  28. Nachoua
    March 20, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    Excellent read. I love your simple and logical reasoning. Thank you and keep it up.

  29. Nada
    March 20, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    “Referendum parties” made me chuckle! Anywoo, yeah the MB are conniving bastards….but I don’t think stooping to their level will get us anywhere. We shouldn’t be spreading lies and proganda, we should we spreading the truth which is enough to discourge anyone. ex:

    -Average Egyptian household depends on two sources of income….MB says women’s place is at home.
    -MB in control doesn’t exactly scream “stabilty” and “openess”, thus discourging tourism and foriegn investors. We are not Saudi or Iran we don’t have oil to sustain ourselves. Millions of jobs lost.

    ..And so on and so forth.

    • Kat-Mo
      March 21, 2011 at 7:21 pm

      Excellent, that is what I am suggesting about attack the MB’s policies, not their religion. Attack them with reality, not with fear or panic. Yo must believe that you are in control and will win this fight no matter what they do (or how pessimistic you might feel on any given day)

    • Hillflower
      March 22, 2011 at 5:56 am

      Well said Nada! The MB is Egypt’s greatest danger at the moment. They are definitely NOT ardent supporters of Democracy and once in power, Democracy will disapear to be replaced by Theocracy. Pity that all the efforts will result in dragging Egypt back to the Dark Ages!

  30. mohamed
    March 20, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    mmmm very nice , i m now reliefed but worried about the time factor before elections , will we be able to save egypt?

  31. Taher
    March 20, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    -Totally agree/support your ideas, just forget about #7 (Propaganda War), we’ll lose for “common” religious people.
    -Focus on the funding issue, we need a legislation ASAP, its not for our favor, its for their favor.
    -Working a coalition is more important than ever (forget about the old parties), the independents and movements (April6th, etc…).
    -Grassroots, Grassroots, Grassroots
    -Spokesmen, with all the respect for all people “whom try” to represent the rebels. -They need to be able to talk. So far, the revolution is loosing because of those. ——Trained, “wise” presentable/polite speakers are highly needed.

  32. h zaghloul
    March 20, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    Excellent analysis Sandmonkey! You have put the facts quite succinctly and mapped the logical way to move forward. I write from Canada where I live, but rest assured ana masreya koh.

    The time to remain a leaderless surge of masses is now over. While this sheer volume of people with a unified message coming together in key cities brought down the regime, it will not win the average Moe.

    As Sandmonkey mentioned, the time to create an organised structure is now or never.

    It is time to focus on the next steps:
    1) Parliamentary elections; and
    2) Presidency

    I would suggest point number 8) as follows:
    All talk and no action will not win the favour of the majority; you need to be socially active as well.
    -Focus on 2 or 3 main themes from the many major pains of the Egyptian people, some obvious themes: education (mahou Omia), health care (volunteer young doctor clinics), harness funding from microfinance agencies and establish many sme’s in Ashwaiyat and populous villages, across the different governorates.
    – implement low-cost, short-term, highly visible and impactful activities in places other than key cities. Some activites can take 2 to 3 months to implement from start to finish. And, toot your own horn as loudly as possible.

    And, you need to then, collect 30 or 40k signatures and start a political party with clear branding and messaging such as, “from you to you” “minkom we lakom” and stick to an agenda (there, I said it) that is appealing to the majority (but Keep it simple and appealing) and then hammer the message home to as many people who will listen.

  33. @anragab
    March 20, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    Wondering if Amn Al Ekhwan has already read this, You may laugh about but you should think that it could really exists. Infact they are a country model and that’s why I believe it’s a real war.

  34. Maged Isac
    March 20, 2011 at 11:57 pm

    You truly hit the point organizing and get out from facebook and twitter to the streets and start playing politics , as much happy as I was seeing ppl standing long queues to vote ,as much as I was depressed as a lot of ppl didn’t know what they are voting about ,

    some just got the advice of a friend on what to say ,
    others from religion ppl ,
    others still didn’t make a decision and were asking the ppl standing on the line with them ,

    even some didn’t vote at all as they weren’t able to decide .

    these all are lost votes that if you spent the effort and went to the streets instead of only lecturing in AUC ,and saway cultural wheel to ppl who can read and have Internet you would have won them easily

  35. Rooster
    March 21, 2011 at 12:02 am

    cant agree more. love the article. we will win

  36. Shehab Fawzy
    March 21, 2011 at 12:07 am

    love your post (thumps up)
    but the 1200 egp minimum wage example isn’t applicable at least now.

  37. ismail anwar
    March 21, 2011 at 12:11 am

    i liked what you said in general, but here’s the thing: i think that you are simplifying the army’s persona. the army is much more complex than that. they aren’t very tired in running the country as you might think. and as you said, this is a hearts and minds war now. so why not engage the army in it? i’m not saying go out and fight them, but im saying keep talking to them. present them an image of sagacity and foresight, and they might want to include you in the game. playing both sides of the political fence (the ppl in the street and those with the bigger stick) will help you propel your endgame to the front. keeping the army out of the game, and they will run (or referee, depends on who you look at it) with the tactics that they know best: the heavy handed ones.
    you presented a nice starting game, but i would like to know your middle and long term planes on the political landscape; or at least how you’d like seeing things being played out.

  38. emar
    March 21, 2011 at 12:12 am

    I am American…I am with you…what you describe is how we would do it

  39. hala makhlouf
    March 21, 2011 at 12:21 am

    i agree with every single word in this article u

  40. hala makhlouf
    March 21, 2011 at 12:22 am

    this is another suggestion..We have no time for new parties that will lack infrastructure, funding and organization. All the NO forces, liberals, moderate muslims, moderate christians, Watani leltaghyeer, shabab elthawra ect, may be we HAVE TO JOIN WAFD IN MASS.

  41. brobof
    March 21, 2011 at 12:32 am

    Bravo. Spot on etc.
    Two crazy ideas:
    First the usual that I keep banging on about: a VERY broad “Liberation [Tahrir] Party” (Nail that name down before the NDP does!)
    2. Use your next gen. communication techniques! Both MB and NDP are dinosaurs. Think Mammal. Be quick, be nimble and eat their eggs for breakfast! When they buy TV time: spoof them and go viral on Youtube Radio? = Podcast. Co-opt your artists, musicians, CARTOONISTS.

    I am certain that the NDP & MB (& the Junta shh) is conspiring to form a 2 party state with the political inertia of the Democrat/ Republican USA and similar levels of Military Industrial Corruption.
    In other words: business as usual.
    Play on that fear. And propose a BETTER future.

    Oh and about the new Constitution? Pre-empt the process. Write your version now. You will need lawyers and a collection of the great and the good disenfranchised by the current stitch up!

    As to funding the Tahrir party? Qatar! I reckon AJE owes you big time after you helped them break the American market!

    Best of luck!

  42. Mandarina
    March 21, 2011 at 12:34 am

    Very well said! I will add something, if I may (and you thought you got it all covered, huh? 🙂 )
    Lately, I”ve noticed something worrying! The Revolutionaries are losing the streets, big time, because they are turning into the ones they set up to bring down… the NDP! As you insinuated, they are believed to be oblivious to the streets and its needs, the bread and butter of the simple average man which in turn does not identify nor relate to them anymore! They are slowly becoming arrogant, vain haughty, disrespectful of the other opinion, refusing any worthy criticism in any way, shape or form, ridiculing people who dare question them! After the attack on Dr. El Baradei, I was appalled and shocked by some of the tweets made by some bloggers: He didn’t have to mention there was no security…. what did he want, a security parade?… he is sulky…. and you get the picture! It looked like they are not practicing what they preached as long as it is not one of them who is attacked!
    I think they should get more down to earth and realize the road ahead is still dark and gloomy but, as you said, with the right plan, the light at the end of the tunnel is blinding… the most beautiful rainbow is awaiting!
    God bless our beloved homeland, Egypt, Om El Donya! 🙂

  43. Bamboo
    March 21, 2011 at 12:44 am

    Wow, I am appropriately impressed!
    Well thought out and carefully focused.
    Streamline your message as much as possible (the minimum wage law is huge), get all your people on the same page, and then figure out ways to get your message in front of the media everyday – via activities and events that interest the general population – like have a presence at sporting events, without promoting a specific team; promote faith and charity, but don’t show favor to one religion. Most of all, remember history demonstrates that most bad government comes from too much government. I sincerely hope that Egypt will lead the way in the Middle East. Laws that insist on transparency and unbiased oversight committees are a must. A predominately Muslim country that genuinely operates in equal treatment of all citizens would truly shock and awe the world!

  44. Johnny Weixler
    March 21, 2011 at 12:46 am

    Brilliant tactics. Did you study political science? Good luck, dear Egyptian people.

  45. KHALED E.
    March 21, 2011 at 1:07 am

    ??? ??? ??? ???? ??? ???.. ??? ?? ???? ??????? ??? ???.. ??? ??? ????? ??? ????? ??? ???.. ??? ??? ???? ??????? ?? ??????? ??? ???…. ????? ??? ??? ??? ?? ????????? ??????? ??? ??? ?????? ???? ???????????. ???? ??? ????????? ??? ????? ????????? ??? ????????? ????????? ???????? ???? ?????? ?? ?????? ???? ???.. ???? ??? ?? ?? ??? ?? ?? ???? ???????? ??? ???? ????????? ??? ???? ???. ????? ???? ????? ??? ?? ?? ??? – ??? ????? ??? ??????? – ?? ?????? ?? ?? ????.. ????? ???? ??? ?? ???????? ??? ?? ????? ??????? ????? ???? ??? ?? ????? ???.. ????? ???? ??????????? ????? ?? ?? ?? ?????? ????? ????? ???? ?? ?? ????? ??? ??? ???? ?????? ?????? ??? ??? ?????? ?? ???????????. ??????? ???? ???? ??? ?????? ??? ????? ??? ??????? ??? ????????? ????????? ????? ??? ?? ???? ???????? ???? ????? ?? ????? ????????? ??? ????????? ?????????.. ?????? ??????: ?????? ??? ????? ?????? ?????? ???? ?????? ?????? ???? ??????? ????????? ?????? ??????? ????????? ??”???” ????? ??????? ??? ?? ??????? ??? ????? ??? ?? ????? ??? ??? ????? ??? ??????? ???? ???? ??? ????? ??? ?????? ???????? ?? ??? ?????? ?? ????? ???? ??????? ?????? ??????? ???????? ????? ?? ?? ???? ??????? ?? ????????? ??? ?????? ?? ???????? ??? ?????? ???????? ???? ??????? ??? ?????? ??????? ?? ???????. ?? ??????? ?? ??????? ?? ?????????? ???? ???? ??? ????? ?????? ?????? ?????? ??????? ??? ?????? ??? ?????? ?? ??????? ?????? ????? ????? ???? ????? ??????????? ?? ????.. ??? ?? ???? ?? ?? ???? ??????? ??? ?? ???? ???? ???? ????? ????? ??? ??? ????? ??? ????? ????? ??? ?????? ????? ??????? ?? ???? ??? ????? ?????? ???????? ????? ?????? ???? ????? ???? ???????? ???? ???????? ????? ?????? ????? ??????? ?? ?????? ?? ????? ????????????? ???? ?? ?????? ?????? ??????? ????????? ??? ??? ?????? ?? ???????????. ????? ??? ?? ??? ????? ?????.. ??? ??? ??? ????.. ??? ???. ???? ???????/ ???? ???

  46. Giacomo
    March 21, 2011 at 1:11 am

    Fantastic post, but something caught my eye in the comments, is it true that your new Constitution will be written by a Parliament elected with a pure first-past-the-post system?

    IMHO this is is not good thing, a pure FPTP system _might_ (I don’t like it because it excludes minority parties) be ok for governing a country, because it cuts on the number of parties and can help with accountability of the MPs to the voters and to form a stable government (that’s assuming that the government needs some form of vote of confidence, as it should, the Westminster system and the presidential system are too dangerous for a new democracy) but it’s not good now.

    I think that the Constitution and especially the parts of it who define the basic values of the state and the rights of the citizens should reflect the will of the entire country, and as such all the components of the electorate should have a say, with a supermajority required for the ratification to force them to collaborate and compromise, so it would be preferable for it to be elected with some form of proportional representation…

  47. Friedrich
    March 21, 2011 at 1:13 am

    This is a brilliant post! I was a bit shocked when I saw on Twitter how many people expected “No” to win – obviously because they interact mostly with people who are on Twitter as well. It reminded me a lot of liberals in the US who constantly believed everybody hated Bush – and were each time surprised when he won elections. It’s tragic, from the outside, when the best people of a country don’t have any power, simply because they are too idealistic to fight in the trenches of politics.

    So I’m really heartened to read this and you’ve touched most of the things that I really hoped people would discuss before and not after the next election. I also hope you’ll be part of the process and take responsibility. The ‘No’ campaign (or lack thereof) suggests they really need you.

    There were also a couple of issues that might not have made the cut for your post, but they’ve been on my mind recently and perhaps there’s something there that can contribute to the discussion. I really apologize for length, but I’ve written this now and cutting it back to a reasonable length would be torture.

    I think Moritz makes an important point with regard to the voting system. As I understand it (Wiki/last election), you have a runoff system, i.e. 50% in the first round or runoff between the leading candidates. Despite certain differences, the implication is the same as FPTP: even if people really want you in power, the system inherently favors the NDP and, now that they can really run, the MB as well. Even if you tell people to vote for “friendly” parties to consolidate your vote, you will lose potentially crucial points because people don’t know/forget/are told lies. Very few people know how to vote tactically! UK parties are experts in shifting votes and they often lose because people just don’t get it. Given your system, I’d say your only chance to be relevant is forming a formal, single “Tahrir” party. At the very least, you’ll need to field one candidate, and one candidate only like Moritz suggests.

    You should also look very closely at the candidate factor, not only programs and money. People really vote for personalities in plurality systems, much less ideas. So you need people they will like and trust. Here (in Germany), if you have a doctor or a school teacher who’s interacted with the community for decades, you don’t need a program. You’re set. You have a real chance to hurt the NDP despite their superior resources in this area, but I suspect the MB will fare better than you. You’ll have a lot of brilliant young people, but I’m not sure it will do you good if they all run. At least in my experience, “father figures” have a strong advantage, unfair as it is.

    But still, issues. You need to own a topic and you need to make sure the debate is taking place on your territory. If I were NDP, I’d want to make this a stability election. If I were MB, I’d want this to be a values election. If I were you, I’d totally agree with what you’ve said. Talk about minimum wage. Talk about minimum wages some more, make sure everyone else has to talk about it. Tell people that the NDP doesn’t want it and that the MB is too caught up in ideological questions to busy itself with mundane things like bread. You need to learn from people like Lula and maybe they’ll even offer help? People want security first, bread second, values afterwards and civil rights are on the next page, if at all. I’m really a bit worried people will try to run on a Gay Rights platform or something…

    And the tough one… I think you may need to have a second look at religion. It may have to be more than talking to religious figures as community leaders. In the United States, you can be a criminal, but you cannot be an atheist if you run for office and I again assume that applies in your context as well. Probably not a great percentage of the revolution is actually atheist, but if you talk about religion only in terms of fear and the defense of secularism, it will be very easy to depict you as anti-religious. Wherever you genuinely can (nothing worse than faking it), I would try to talk about things like social justice, anti-corruption, mutual respect etc. in terms of personal and social values, rooted in religion. Being a Christian and imagining I ran in Alabama, I’d say things like “see, my opponent wants to talk about scheduled school prayers. I think there are many problems with that, but I believe we can all agree on this: as long as many of our kids don’t get a proper school lunch because they just don’t have the money, we should come together as a community and make sure nobody goes hungry. To me, that’s an important Christian thing to do right now”. If you could manage to have religion visible in the conversation, but in terms of making the country better instead of coming up with new and harsher restrictions, much would be won. With respect to who you can get into the tent (young moderate MB) and in terms of not just letting the crazies own values without a fight. You don’t have to out-Muslim the MB (not that you could), but if candidates don’t meet the minimum threshold of being a decent god-fearing guy (or gal) in voters’ eyes, people might not listen to anything else they say. It’s not about surrendering before in-your-face religion, but about actively opening a social space in which people can be religious and progressive by demonstrating to them that they don’t have to choose and that they’re free to decide whom to support on the basis of real issues. As I said – if you can genuinely do that.

    (In case someone actually read all that – thanks and you’re crazy!)

    So, again apologies for taking up this much space and thanks for convincing me you’ll give the fat cats of either flavor a run for their money in Free Egyt. Hope you have more success then we have in our “established” democracies, anyway! ;D

  48. BunnyNC
    March 21, 2011 at 1:21 am

    Brilliant! If you were to consider running for office yourself, I might have to move to Egypt just so I could vote for you! 😀

  49. Amr Abdel Azim
    March 21, 2011 at 1:24 am

    Simply disagree with you although its a great detailed and logic thinking. I disagree with the reasoning but suffice to say that in any revolution the few intellectual gang and those with the ability to sacrifice lead the rest. So 20mil is not large, its huge. But you are right we lost them. We lost them either because we left the streets and gave them a psychological comfort that everything is ok now or we lost them because the Egyptian people, me included, have less propensity to sacrifice libyan style e.g we are complaining about security while our western neighbors are taking the bullets. We also ignored early on the elephant in the room, the army. We gave them a break and time to organize and come up with these devilish solutions that only promote their economic benefits and esteem in the society. Whatever the reason we lost our momentum. I mean our street presence that enabled us to topple the dictator and had the whole world watching in awe.
    But I especially disagree with you concerning the solution. You are saying the right things but simple got it wrong for one reason. Time. you have no time to do any of that. What you are suggesting need years of preparation and marketing for our ideas. The NDP and MB are rich, organized and have deep infiltration in the Egyptian weave. Any new party is no match for them at this moment. So do you suggest in the face of possible parliamentary and presidential elections within months?
    I would argue that building back the momentum and going back to Tahrir is the next logic step otherwise Egyptians will have to settle with that pseudochange and prepare for another revolution in um.. say 30 years. Sorry brother, just expressing what I truly think.

  50. Hanan
    March 21, 2011 at 1:28 am

    great analysis
    also the revolutionaries need to orm a bloc still, and not let the divisions divide them just yet….
    grassroot work starts tomorrow
    and again this twitter centrism is bad for the messages of the activists, facebook is much more widely used in Egypt, the audience there more divers, even this english language note needs to be translated into arabic
    Reach out more for the millions

  51. yehia abdelnour
    March 21, 2011 at 1:38 am

    I follow your blog for more then 3 years now and with all my due respect the math is wrong . There is only 45 millions ELIGIBLE voters . So, if at the peak, the number of protesters was 20 millions as you assume in your higher estimate , and they all have voted NO then the % of yes should have been closer to 50%. But i dont think it was 20 millions but closer to your lower estimate i.e 10 millions. As The turnout was 18 millions and if we assume for a minute that all the protesters have voted NO , the result should have been 10/18 Millions I.E 55% in favor of NO. The fact only 40% of those 10 millions have voted NO . The question therefore is why ???? Is 60% of the protesters were MB ???? is part of the protesters were MB and the other part more inclined to a supposedly more stable map”??? …..who knows???? …..but we need to answer that question to get a better feel of the forces in action as it will lay the foundation of alle future elections…..
    PS What conclusion can we draw on the other 8 miilions ( people that voted but never took it to the street ) ???

    • Ibrahim
      March 21, 2011 at 2:18 am

      it’s also more complicated as many of the revolutionists perhaps 10-15% were under voting age 18. 15-18..those guys have not been tainted by dirty politics and MB propaganda (even working class)..when they reach voting age I think they will be on our side..I hope, but we have to work on it.

      Thanks, you gave me some hope but I’m afraid I am still not optimistic but willing to fight to the end no matter what it takes

  52. yehia abdelnour
    March 21, 2011 at 1:42 am

    Apart from the “math problem” i pretty much agree withe the rst of your analysis….specially that cairo is not egypt…..and facebook neither (!)….so the question is what is the best way to reach to the rest of Egypt ?????

  53. ellen
    March 21, 2011 at 1:45 am

    Bravo, monkey, you are a national treasure. Beautifully written and very, very smart.

    Among your many wise exhortations, I want to point out the important advice to seek allies among imams and priests. It is the mistake of modern-day intellectuals the world over to assume that all religious leaders (and their flocks) are rigidly conservative and against modernity or leftist values. The loudest among them surely are, but many, many religious leaders, like segments of any human community, are well left of center in political terms. Core religious teachings of social justice, compassion, empathy for the suffering of less fortunate citizens: many religious people care most about these aspects of religious faith, and recoil from the ugly, rigid authoritarianism and cultural restrictions that motivate so many conservatives. Yet the left-leaning religious leaders (and voters) are all too often ignored, and oddly disenfranchised, by both conservative religious leaders and secular leaders on the left who are too often openly suspicious and contemptuous of people who take their religious faith and practice seriously. Revolutionary youth, you must get past this blind spot and sincerely invite left-leaning religious people to join you. You ignore and lose a large, untapped segment of society and voters if not.

  54. Amir B
    March 21, 2011 at 1:48 am

    8- Push hard for the right of Egyptian abroad to vote.. That will give the liberal vote a nice push

  55. Amr hassan
    March 21, 2011 at 1:51 am

    first of all,great job on the post,u did cover alot issues and aspects of the current situation….but there is a point i’d like to share,that even among us NO-sayers there are some radical people whether they were extremist copts or left-wing activists who are acting in there own interest or personal agendas, these people too must be revealed to the public as the gold diggers they are.

  56. Mansour
    March 21, 2011 at 1:56 am

    Very enjoyable. I live in the US and I can tell you, if you do this you will have a better organized campaign than Obama (and God willing more successful)

  57. SciencePyramid
    March 21, 2011 at 1:59 am

    Great post, I realize lots of different suggestions in comments but your message of focus is vital! I have only one suggestion, about your comment of campaign finance, show me a secure website enabled with Paypal and the fundraising will roll in! And I look forward to your future posts about how Egyptians abroad can help in this new stage.

  58. Nahed Eltantawy
    March 21, 2011 at 2:15 am

    I completely agree. I was disappointed too but then realized that we need to wake up and learn from this. I think we definitely need to think of ways to encourage more people to vote. We also need to create presidential campaigns similar to American presidential campaigns. The main way I formed a true opinion on President Obama was by watching his various talks as well as debates with McCain. We also need to get rid of thugs! The El Baradei experience is shameful and shows that many voters could still be intimidated or coerced into voting.

  59. Aziza
    March 21, 2011 at 2:26 am


    Let me be frank. Reading your post was the first time I felt that someone on planet Jan 25 really “gets it.”

    I saw through the duplicitous game the Ikhwan were playing not just to the domestic audience in Egypt but also to the international audience almost from day one. But I have to pay them due respect. Their performance was nothing short of breathtaking. And honestly, in reading the commentary of the NY Times, Guardian or listening to “experts” on CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera the Islamist propaganda campaign gets high marks…. You might think they were talking about Thomas Jefferson.

    And to be even more honest, I also knew from the very beginning that the “youth movement” represented an idealism that, unfortunately, would not resonate with the country as a whole. I had heated debates with friends here in America and back in Egypt. Unfortunately, their optimism did not carry the day.

    And this is the message that I want to convey to you, Sandmonkey. Because of family roots, I have had to spend time outside of Zamalek and Maadi. I visited family in rural villages where nearly every year I notice that people are more religious, more conservative and sometimes more fanatic than the year before.

    And I’m saying this because your struggle will be long and difficult. Be prepared. It is not a simple matter of propaganda vs counter-propaganda. It will not take mere months. You will be lucky if it takes a few years.

    Outside of the cafes of Zamalek, you have deeply entrenched religious fundamentalist forces that have been organizing for decades. Many of the falalheen have no idea what “separation of powers” means. You need to educate (bit by bit) and have patience. There will be setbacks but never ever give up!

    You probably won’t reverse the trend by September elections. But you will have planted a tree that will grow and bear fruit as long as you treat it kindly and give it water. I hope one day to come back and try one of those authentically Egyptian mangos that you plant!

    Good Luck and May the Force be With You! You have earned my respect.

    • TK
      March 21, 2011 at 7:59 am

      Thats really a growing problem. people like you, with all due respect, thinking that religious people are fanatics. I’m someone who lives in America as well, and I do visit family that live I’m rural areas as well and I’m sorry but I have to disagree with that absolute statement of yours. not just that, I’m finding more Arabs and even Americans are turning to Islam and here in California there’s one of THE biggest Islamic organizations in north America. I agree some tactics of the MB is borderline sleazy, but that’s the way on politics everywhere. And we shouldn’t deem an entire group radicals when they have college professors and scientists as well.

      • Aziza
        March 21, 2011 at 1:14 pm

        I agree some tactics of the MB is borderline sleazy, but that’s the way on politics everywhere. And we shouldn’t deem an entire group radicals when they have college professors and scientists as well.

        Dr. Ayman El Zawahiri is a trained physician. Does that make him “moderate” as opposed to “radical?” You are confusing what these terms mean.

        • Aziza
          March 21, 2011 at 1:33 pm

          Just to be more presise…

          I am defining “religious radicalism” as an *ideology* where adherents believe that they have a dictate from God to impose a religious belief system on broader society. That does not necessarily equate with lack of scientific training.

          Although illiterate people might be more likely to ascribe to this ideology, it is definitely not deterministic. Some “illiterate” people have fairly moderate religious views and some with Ivory Tower education are more radical.

          Those are different concepts. In that sense, we agree.

      • ANN BAKER
        March 21, 2011 at 5:07 pm

        That isn’t the point TK, the point is that due to their religious beliefs there will be a limit to the amount of changes they will approve. For example the rights of Women in Egypt, the freedom of other religions, etc. Of course people should have the right to chose their religion but sorry it does not belong in politics.

      • Valerie
        March 22, 2011 at 3:36 am

        The MB goes well beyond borderline sleazy, if you take their writings seriously. with all due respect, this document was written by fanatics who claim to be part of the Muslim Brotherhood. Perhaps you can tell us when the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt repudiated it.

        • Tk
          March 23, 2011 at 4:02 am

          Let me educate you a little bit on the history of MB in Egypt so you can understand why are they intently seeking a role in the country. Former President Sadat used the law to arrest anyone who opposed him in anyway. At that time, it was mostly people involved in politics and MB who suffered from this law. When Mubarak became president, the MB were almost exclusively targeted by this law. A division from state police called ‘Amn Al Dawla’ ( state security investigative services) was created for the sole purpose of hunting down MB members, arresting them, detaining them and torturing them for no reason whatsoever. When people stormed that division just recently, almost everybody who was prisoned inside was MB.

          Everybody who is talking about the dangers of MB shouldn’t really, because they were the only ones who screamed dictator for 30 years, they’re the ones who were jailed and tortured while those who screamed freedom of speech were basking in wealth and luxuries. I have watched an interview for sandmonkey saying ” I never thought this day would come because everybody, and I included were afraid”. And that’s right when everybody were afraid, MB were the only ones who were fighting and staying on course.

          If you watch videos of people being released from state security prisons, they would tell you they were there because they were praying in mosques, and teaching kids Qur’an. Everybody else knew that was going on but dared not to speak but they were the ones standing their ground.

          One last thing, there are more strict organizations or what you can call extremists than MB, there are ‘salafiyen’ and ‘ gihad’. But because MB are more known and more involved they always take the blame for everything.

          • Ali mosharrafa
            March 23, 2011 at 9:32 am

            If you write in Arabic it would of much greater benefit

          • Gedo
            March 23, 2011 at 1:58 pm


            Your point’s understood, but I don’t think its very relevant. The MB fought hard against the former regime, and for that they should be applauded and thanked, not elected. Unless they can prove that they have a proper platform that is fitting for the revolution, they should not be rewarded for their past, but elected for our future. In the same sense, in my opinion, the following statement you made is not valid.

            “Everybody who is talking about the dangers of MB shouldn’t really, because they were the only ones who screamed dictator for 30 years…”

            That is not a good reason to stop me from worrying about the MB. My enemies enemy is not always my friend. You live in the US. You benefit from freedom of religion, freedom of press, freedom of speech, and strong anti-discrimination laws. You even mention that more Arabs and Americans are turning to Islam in the US. Now, try to turn it around in Egypt. Before I can decide whether or not the MB is dangerous, and whether or not I would want them in parliament, I would want some of the following questions answered:

            Will the MB push for a secular government, or at least one that gives equal rights and freedoms to all citizens? How about the right to run for public office? How about the right to run for president?

            Will they allow everyone to build places of worship, whether Muslim, Christian, Jew, Baha’i, or anything else? Will they remove religion from the national ID or at least allow people to make a choice other than Muslim, Christian, Jew?

            Will they allow equally for conversions in and out of Islam, in the same way that Western governments don’t meddle in the religious choice of individuals? Will they fight all those who incite hatred?

            Will the MB fight for women’s rights? Will they fight against harassment and abuse? Will they allow women to dress however they please and fight the current culture which does not allow for female empowerment?

            If they are elected democratically, will they leave democratically? Will they brainwash people into believing the pious and religiously correct thing to do is to elect them? And possibly that electing anyone else is the work of infidels?

            Will they develop a strong economic platform based on social justice that promotes tourism, globalization and modernization?

            I don’t know the answers to those questions. But before I decide whose dangerous and whose not, those are some of the questions I would like to see answered. Their past is their past. Their future is what I care about.

          • TK
            March 23, 2011 at 8:04 pm

            You probably misunderstood my point, it was never endorsing MB to be elected for parliament, it was merely to explain their hunger for power.

            As for the U.S strong anti discrimination laws, well that actually isn’t the best way to describe it as that wasn’t evident until the late 1960s and with the introduction of affirmative action law, so the U.S constitution didn’t start out with all this freedoms, it took time to perfect – but since it was written in 1781 so I’d give it some slack -, and that’s the point I want to make as far as Egypt is concerned, yes we can benefit from 200+ of other countries experiences but for the people themselves to perfect democracy, or even come near perfecting it, that will take a while and it’s alright to make mistakes in the beginning.

            Now, to answer some of your questions. I don’t see Egypt becoming a completely secular country just for the fact that almost 88% of population are Muslims and as mentioned in an earlier post, even though some don’t pray, they are very religious and they wouldn’t approve such a thing. I also don’t see a non muslim ever becoming the president but top government official, I really don’t see why not.

            The rest of your questions, I can’t answer, but I am with you with regard to all these concerns, I believe the religion shouldn’t be on the I.D or even on a job application, nor does age or gender for that matter.. As for women’s rights, that’s also something that comes by practice, and even though they don’t have their full rights yet, I don’t see them having no rights even under the old regime.

            Again, I remind you the overwhelming portion of the population is Muslims, and you present some tricky questions, as these subjects are really sensitive and it’s not just a matter of who is office, or who is in parliament . People, and especially poor and less educated Egyptians ( the majority of Egyptians ) are sensitive when it comes conversion between religions, which they shouldn’t because it’s not them who will standing before God, but again I say that’s because they weren’t educated enough. That sort of matter is not up to government really, no matter how religious or secular it is.

            Now, my position was and still is, the overwhelming referendum results ( I would’ve voted yes btw ) is due to not targeting the average Egyptian which I’m pretty sure is going to happen very soon but hopefully in time for the parliament elections.

          • Zirrar
            March 25, 2011 at 9:12 am


            You are dreaming if you really thought that egypt will get a secular system like in the west. That had nothing to do with the MB.

          • Zirrar
            March 25, 2011 at 9:38 am


            You are dreaming if you really thought that egypt will get a secular system like in the west. That had nothing to do with the MB.
            If the people like sandmonkey stood up (in the beginning of 25Jan) for a true and pure secular system….. the people of egypt would not joined the revolution. I think he and all the people of 25Jan know this. The slogan was democracy. That means that the people of egypt should choose which government they want. Only under this slogan there was a chance for the revolution. Everybody who wants now a pure western secular system in egypt will get the same result like in the last referendum. Thats totaly clear, but maybe not for a fantast. Everybody outside egypt should know, that a renouncement of religion in the egyptian society could be a reason of civil war. Only an secular repression like atatürk or like stalin or like Ben Ali could enforce a pure secular system for a short time. I dont think that the egyptian people fought against Mubarak to get Atatürk, Stalin, ben Ali…etc

          • Gedo
            March 28, 2011 at 9:42 am


            Thanks for the clarification. I agree. I’m sure the MB are hungry for power given a history of repression. It’ll take a while to navigate the newly shaped political landscape in order to make any informed decisions and build trust with some of the various groups.


            I think you misunderstood me. I was just putting out questions I would like answered before I personally would be willing to elect the MB or deem them ‘not dangerous’. I agree though, Egypt is still very far away from becoming secular, but I don’t agree with the notion that its because we are a religious people. I think its because we are still not politically mature when it comes to democracy and governance (not for any fault of our own!).

            You make the following statement:

            “Everybody outside Egypt should know, that a renouncement of religion in the Egyptian society could be a reason of civil war”

            Is this in reference to secularism, or some other renouncement? Because secularism has nothing to do with renouncing religion. It has to do with the separation of religion from the state, NOT the people. Religious people can support (and often do) secular governments. The two are unrelated. I’m sure you already know this, thats why I’m trying to understand the above statement.

            I think its worth educating people regarding this point so that everyone understands that requesting a secular state is not equivalent to renouncing religion.

          • tcherkass
            March 24, 2011 at 3:01 pm

            Just the facts: MB had made an agreement with Nasser which is how he came to power after M.Naguib; after his acendency to power Nasser went back on his word to the MB and had them arrested and thrown into prisons. Sadat actually released a great number of them and did not arrest a great number of Islamic extremist groups who eventually killed him. Mubarak arrested a huge number of MB and had them imprisoned & tortured relentlessly along with other political prisoners and I think we all realize what these prisons were like. These facts, and as you say, the MB were the noisiest opponents of the old regime, but they didn’t achieve what was achieved via Tahrir. The MB and Salafists, would like a religious state, misrepresenting the article 2 of the constitution which wasn’t even up for a vote. People need to comprehend that Egypt is an Islamic country geographically, that is to say that if you look up Egypt in an Atlas or whatever, you should find the following facts : Land area, population, language, arable land, major industries, main religion. This goes for any country in the world and will never change.
            As to the proposal that anyone running for president or parliament should have only one nationality or their parents and grandparents should be Egyptian and their spouses should be Egyptian in order to prevent treachery, well wake up people…those who robbed, raped, betrayed, tortured, imprisoned Egypt for 60 years were all Egyptian and Moslem..people like Hosny Mubarak, Safwat el Sharif, Anas el Fiky, Kamal el Shazly, Soliman, Atef Ebeid, Habib el Adly, etc etc etc. now take into account that the most powerful nation on earth has a president whose father is Kenyan and Moslem, France whose president is Hungarian origin married to an Italian, England whose Queen is of German origin is married to a Greek prince and the King of Spain is married also to a Greek princess, John Kerry’s wife is originally South African and I could go on and on and on. I think we have to really focus on the issue of democracy and equality for all., I believe that your religion shouldn’t be an issue and certainly not on your ID; I believe that the most important focus right now should be on education of the young and renforcing the fact that Islam is a very tolerant religion and the God tells us explicitly in the Qur’an that each human being has the right to believe what they want as a faith and it’s no body’s business what I believe. I know for a fact that in all the Holy Books the evils are the same, murder, robbery, rape, adultery, kidnapping, lieing etc are all sins in all the Holy Books whether Qur’an, Bible or Budhism; I believe that people should be judged for their actions not their faith and I believe for us to become what we hope to be we must all become one hand and stand together as we did in Tahrir

  60. Maya El-Azzazi
    March 21, 2011 at 3:18 am

    You are one smart monkey 😉
    wish there was at least 20 million like you.

  61. Dr. Gihad Shabib
    March 21, 2011 at 3:23 am

    We should think that yes is a win to MB. Egyptians wanted stability & the “No” parties did not demonstrate how stability can be achieved if we say No. I agree with your assessment otherwise. Very good plane for the future.

  62. yetanothermonkey
    March 21, 2011 at 3:25 am

    excellent analysis and insight. we must all turn into sandmonkeys.

    at least we know that there are 4 million willing to play the game that just started. technology is on our side, but we have also to plan two or three moves ahead to be able to force the others into a reactive rather then proactive strategy.

    we should focus on the coming parliamentary and presidential elections but know that realistically, this is just a temporal step. the goal should be more long term, it should be presidential and parliamentary elections 2015.

    we have four years to recapture the country and convince people that their economical and social problems can be only solved by acting and planning systemically and thriving to build a real democracy and in a free environment.

  63. Mark E. Smith
    March 21, 2011 at 3:40 am

    Less than two months ago, people in Tahrir Square were holding hands and chanting, “Muslim, Christian, we are all Egyptian!”

    Then Mubarak stepped down and Obama suggested that the army form an interim government and hold elections.

    The revolution said, “We won! Now we will have democracy!” and most people went home.

    The Parliament will have a sectarian majority. The President can only be from one sect. The hope of a unified Egypt is gone. Every sect will blame the other for anything that the government does, but the army, backed by billions of US dollars, will continue to rule, the same way that the Pentagon rules in the USA. If you have enough money, and they do, you can buy off anyone in Parliament or who becomes President. And if they can’t buy them off, they can use a more common military option and just kill them.

    Egyptians may not become united against for hundreds of years. Each group will be trying to gain a majority in Parliament, to get their candidate elected, to seek power within the system for themselves and to try to avoid the other groups gaining power. You have been divided, which means that you have been conquered.

    You mistook Mubarak for his regime. His regime has to remain in power because the US needs it to protect Israel. The US will spend any amount of money and use any needed military force to protect Israel. Several Egyptians who opposed the revolution told me that they were concerned with stability in the area. When I questioned them further, they admitted that by “in the area” they meant Israel, not Egypt. Egypt only has the backing of the US to the extent that it protects Israel.

    Don’t think Americans are any smarter. We’re not. Many Americans blame the Democrats or the Republicans for the loss of American jobs and have yet to understand that the :Pentagon decided to reduce mainland production to essential military products and to allow everything else to be outsourced. No matter which party is in power, the Pentagon always gets all the money it asks for and everything that it wants, because it is the real power in the US. The President and Congress have no power over the Pentagon. The Pentagon operates on behalf of business, not on behalf of the people, and it is the big business interests that fund the campaigns of candidates who will be obedient to big business and the Pentagon.

    When you talk about the Salafis, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Sufis, or the Copts, do you even remember chanting, “Muslim, Christian, we are all Egyptian”? For one brief, shining moment, there was unity–a unity strong enough to move mountains. Now there is only politics and that may be the fate of Egypt for centuries to come. I weep for your loss.

    • Kat-Mo
      March 22, 2011 at 3:47 am

      You are so full of baloney. The Pentagon did not lose 9 million jobs and you obviously have no idea how the economy works, especially in context with political transitions.

      It is that reality that anyone getting into play politics in Egypt right now has to realize. They are going to have to be the people that helps businesses, large and small, grow so that their employment opportunities grow and so does their economy.

      You need security and stability for that and that is the reason why the military becomes important in Egypt (more closely than any security the US military offers the mainland and existential “interests” around the globe)

  64. Nelle Chan
    March 21, 2011 at 3:42 am

    Your analysis is spot on, Mahmoud. You are clearly an organized thinker and on the right track.

  65. Mark E. Smith
    March 21, 2011 at 3:46 am

    Elections are when political parties work within a system to gain power within that system.

    Revolutions are when people rise up to change a system.

    Elections are counter-revolutionary.

  66. Hagar Ali
    March 21, 2011 at 3:51 am

    I would love to raise my chapeau.. You just spoke my mind.. Thanks a lot for the great analysis and the clear thinking. For me will fight with everything I have and let them win is over my dead body.. I am so optimistic and am sure that we will win isa 🙂

  67. m.s.
    March 21, 2011 at 4:17 am

    Another point tht I find important tht I wanna add to the ideas proposed in tht article is civic engagement! Some NGOs have already been workin with development and have grassroots in areas other than just cairo!also they r already organized n have some sense of fundraising! I think with using tht somewhat already existing structure and the brains of 25 jan revolutianaries ,who try to raise awareness individually online to other ppl who r online as well ,its a good way to engage in the streets and strt raising awareness and reach out and actually get to know this other group of egyptians who are offline!

  68. Mark E. Smith
    March 21, 2011 at 4:35 am

    Even if you managed to convince 100% of Egyptian voters to vote for whatever and whomever you wished, you still wouldn’t be able to remove the military junta from power.

    They can easily buy off, threaten, or if necessary kill the representatives you elect. But when your representatives betray you, all you can do is wait for the next election and try to elect different representatives you hope might not betray you. But they will. They have no choice. Read John Perkins’ book, “Confessions of an Economic Hitman.”

    When somebody comes to power or is elected, they get “the visit” and they are asked “the question.” The question, in Spanish is “Plomo o plata?” In English it is, “Lead or silver?” It means would you prefer a bullet or a bribe? Would you settle for wealth beyond your wildest dreams, or do we have to assassinate you? Anyone still in power made the choice to betray their constituents and stay alive.

    By engaging in politics instead of revolution, you are going to elect people who will have to betray you in order to stay alive. The army can’t kill everyone, but it can easily kill one person at a time. Elect somebody to represent you, and you have given the army a single target instead of many. Representative democracy is not democracy.

    I’ve often wondered why people can’t learn from the experiences of others. It often seems as if each individual person has to bloody their own personal forehead against every brick wall in existence, before humanity can make any progress at all.

  69. Aziza
    March 21, 2011 at 5:10 am

    I wrote my main commentary in an earlier post and I stand by what I said.

    However, I just managed to read your March 13 post. And here I must tell it as it is: that post reminded me of why I had often labelled you guys as the “useful idiots” of the Ikhwan, recalling the famous words of Vladimir Lenin… You know, the “I have nothing to do but shout empty slogans” crowd who demand “Drive Thru Democracy with a Diet Dr. Pepper.”

    Anyway, that was then and this is now! Your post today indicates a serious change of direction and tactics.

    One last thing. I wouldn’t think of this as a “war.” I would think of it as a long marathon that requires training, endurance and quiet inner strength (as opposed to loud screaming voices). We are past round one…..


  70. Osamah Saleh
    March 21, 2011 at 5:21 am

    This is a great post! I just want to comment on the issue of considering MB as an ‘enemy’ and trying to find ‘dirt’ on them.

    I respect your right to be against some of their policies and campaign against them, but remember that:

    1. They were the most people who were tortured, put in jail and sometimes killed for standing against Mubarak. By sheer numbers, there is no other group in Egypt that has sacrificed, under the Mubarak regime, as much as they did.

    2. The idea of pulling Hamas and Taliban is just as dirty and manipulative as your opponents. Egyptian MB is not Hamas and Salafis are not Taliban. This is just playing low and, perhaps, playing on being deceptive. I hope to see you rise above this type of dirtiness.

    Other than that, you have great analytical skills and I really respect your vision and enthusiasm.

  71. Negmo
    March 21, 2011 at 5:34 am

    YOU DIDN’T EVEN VOTE!! You weren’t even in Egypt! People are commenting that you should win a Nobel prize or run for office! Hahahaha! Please tell us what was more important than participating in the first free referendum in Egypt in modern history? What exactly were you doing in Copenhagen?If it was a speaking gig at some conference sorry but you should have cancelled. I agree with most of what you say, esp this last post about playing politics, but your voice just lost a huge amount of cred with me. Why should I give a rat’s ass about what you think if you can’t even be here to stand up and be counted when your voice is truly needed?

  72. malak ghazaly
    March 21, 2011 at 6:10 am

    Ya salam,brave I love ur analysis & ur thinking

  73. Maha Hussein
    March 21, 2011 at 6:40 am

    Hats off on your organized and insightful thoughts. I’d like to make one small comment regarding the statistics you mentioned at the beginning of your blog.
    Out of the 83-85 million Egyptians, approximately 45 million are eligible to vote. The remaining 40 or 40+ million are still under age. Out of the eligible 45 million, less than 19 million voted on Saturday. The 26 million who abstained should become a primary focus as well as getting the 8 million Egyptians abroad to vote at our embassies and consulates.

  74. Heba Yassin
    March 21, 2011 at 7:03 am

    Bravo!I Thats the spirit!!

  75. TK
    March 21, 2011 at 7:15 am

    This is sadly a rant towards religion and the MB just happens to be the scapegoat in this situation. First of all, actors and businessmen used the social media groups,tv and other ways to brainwash who everybody is calling “intellectuals” into saying no while most law makers , constitution writers were leaning towards yes for the stability it achieves in this critical time. And yet when the MB uses slogans and banners they’re pressuring people and deceiving them into saying yes. How hypocritical !. Im not gonna sit here and call MB saints but what organized group doesn’t have radicals in it ? Your talking about them as if they were all radicals and terrorists but not college professors and scientists. Yes they wanna rule and rule by Islam , is that really something that a Muslim would consider disastrous . And the fact remains that most Egyptians are Muslims and most of them do pray and don’t care much for music or clubs or shisha..etc. the ave Egyptian is poor and tries to make an everyday living and keep a low profile. Now, I’m not endorsing the MB or banning all that but good luck trying to convince the avg Egyptian with that.
    It was a good piece of writing but obviously biased.

    • Aziza
      March 21, 2011 at 1:39 pm

      . Yes they wanna rule and rule by Islam , is that really something that a Muslim would consider disastrous .

      You might want to ask someone in Tehran, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan….?

    • Aziza
      March 21, 2011 at 1:57 pm

      Yes they wanna rule and rule by Islam , is that really something that a Muslim would consider disastrous .

      Its not “my” revolution and I don’t want to be dragged into it.

      But to answer that question you might want to talk to Iranians, Saudis, Afghanis…. etc?

      If your response will be the standard: “Well, the Ikhwan are really different (more moderate) and truly believe in freedom of speech and religion…” then I will toast to the Ikhwan. For their propaganda successes have been even more remarkable than I thought….

      To just take one example out of countless others, the person they chose to lead the historic Friday prayers was Sheikh Qaradawi, also widely regarded as the “spiritual leader” of the Ikhwan. That was highly symbolic since the preacher was invited back to Egypt after three decades of exile.

      But this same Sheikh Qaradawi issued a thoroughly argued religious opinion in 2006 arguing in favor of the death penalty for apostasy. (You can google it yourself).

      In mindlessly repeating the Ikhwan propaganda, no reporter on CNN or BBC or Al Jazeera asked the party’s leadership whether to proclaim “freedom of religion” on the one hand but capital punishment (presumably stoning to death) for apostasy on the other represented any sort of “contradiction?” Not a single question? No one spent even 45 seconds on google to see if those Jeffersonian declarations were even credible…

      But as I said, this is not my fight. It is your’s and only you will determine Egypt’s future.

  76. Hanan
    March 21, 2011 at 7:23 am

    I like the way you put forth the argument- you have put down in words what I have been thinking and discussing with my friends. Playing the revolution card on the street lasted longer than it should have because it ignored the economic factor . Many daily workers, shopkeepers, tradesmen who count on the economy working have been terrified by the continuous demonstrations, strikes on the streets which in their eyes are stopped or threatened their incomes. We need to be more political than revolutionary so as not to lose the great steps we have gained. The referendum was great because it highlighted that and showed us clearly what we need to work on.
    Bravo ya sandmonkey. I like.

  77. Sami
    March 21, 2011 at 7:29 am

    and one more thing, this post should have been written in ARABIC. The vast majority of people in Egypt (even amongst the most internet savvy) do not understand English.

    Great analys monkey beh

  78. Sami
    March 21, 2011 at 7:30 am


    March 21, 2011 at 7:31 am

    Follow you from UK. Congratulations! Why aren’t you standing to lead your wonderful new democracy? Although in a way I think you already do. I am watching history unfold – how wonderful. Good luck new Egypt. Good luck new Middle East.

  80. Mohaly
    March 21, 2011 at 7:42 am

    That makes perfect sense. I am totally convinced with what you have said (may be expect calling for the celebration parties as I think we need to move on and pass this referendum issue with the squeezed time left ).

    I have more-or-less reached a close conclusion
    and yes SandMonkey, WE WILL WIN :))

  81. _wellly_
    March 21, 2011 at 7:53 am

    this is a real professional analysis and i was just talking about part #5 with some christian friends and also Muslim sufi imam and both sides were agreed and ready for that let’s us move and play with the part that taking people attention and we should mix the politics with religion as the other parties are doing else we will lose non educated or poor educated people who think that education is just religion so we can talk about religion and put them some dosages of politics in between …..perfect analysis 5 stars
    ??? ???
    ??? /?/
    ?? /?/????

    • _wellly_
      March 21, 2011 at 8:08 am

      ?? ??? ????? ?? ??? ???????? ????????? ?????? ??? ????? ?????????
      Welly Nada

      ??????? ????? ??????? ??????? ?????? ?? ??? ?????? ??? ?? ?????? ?? ?????? ?????? ?? ??????? ?? ???? ???? ???? ????? ????????? ?????????? ??????? ??? ???????? ????? ????? ?????? ?? ?????? ??????? ????? ??????? ??????? ????? ????????? ? ????? ?????? ???? ???? ???????? ????? ??? ???? ???? ?????? ???? ??? ?? ???? ?? ?????? ??????? ?????? ??????? ??? ??????????? ?? ?????? ?? ??? ?????? ????? ??? ???????

  82. M.z.elsewedy
    March 21, 2011 at 7:55 am

    Don’t agree at all with the army actions as without their support the revolution wouldn’t have made it but agree with the action plan points

  83. Moustafa Nofal
    March 21, 2011 at 8:25 am

    i was agreeing wiz u untill i reached to this sentence..
    MB has all the money they get from Saudi & Qatar????
    where do you get ur info from??? r u kidding me?? and then u started to saying thing about the dirty tricks they use… look man the only thing that i know about the MB is that they r clean handed and honest ppl and thats there main advantage… i think everyone doesnt want them to reach to power, but if we start attacking them they will only be stronger and we will be weaker thay have been defending theirselves for 90 year and their image infront ppl didnt change and never prooved that they do dirty tricks og get money from outside…. the main weapon that we have to use is normal politics and only politics without religion or money or media …. Plain politics is our main advantage and their main weakness

    • Kat-Mo
      March 21, 2011 at 9:11 am

      The MB is cleanhanded? And you can’t prove they get they’re money from the outside?

      My word, that is rather naive and certainly goes against even the MB’s own organization which is international, even here in the US.

      However, I would suggest that no accusation is made without utter proof because the comment clearly points to the perception of people. To Sandmonkey, et al, I would suggest that some things don’t require you to point to an individual or group directly. In the war of words that is about to erupt, you can make “campaign financing” part of your agenda and talk about “foreign contributions” being a source of potential manipulation of the elections/governing body and seeking to make constitutional or other law governing election finances. Especially, because you can bet that the MB and NDP types are going to be all over this as well so you can all talk about it being “bad”. The MB will talk about places like the United States and you should be talking about everywhere else or, more broadly, Egypt’s Elections for, of and by Egyptians.

      • TK
        March 21, 2011 at 10:17 am

        Are you affiliated with the MB in the united states? have you ever walked into an Islamic organization and asked where do they get their funds? what makes us look ignorant in the eyes of the world is the he said, she said.
        Some of the members of the MB are renowned college professors, scientists, and businessmen. If I may ask you and everybody else who just found a scapegoat or another bogeyman in the MB, how is it different that businessmen and actors/actresses in Egypt were using social media, tv and other means to get the people to say No, than MB using religious slogans to make people say yes?
        The fact is, we need to reach out to the avg Egyptian who could care less about politics and constitution amendments and cares only about economic reform and health reform.. etc, instead of blaming an organization we know for a fact was framed by the old regime for a lot of things they didn’t do..

        • Kat-Mo
          March 21, 2011 at 7:33 pm

          Dear TK, are you a member of the MB? You seem mighty upset by simple statements.

          Second, I believe you just made my point. Everything is about policy. Whatever the MB is or does, they have their policies and the liberals must have their’s too. They must be able to point out the differences.

          Third, electoral finance is always a problem in any democratic election. Every democratic party must accept that without regulation, limits and open books, any party or candidate can be unduly influenced or owe favors to groups that will not have Egypt’s future success at heart, but their own.

          Election funds must be transparent and available to the public to review so they know who is paying into the till and who is influencing the politicians for what reason. Whether that is the MB, the NDP, Wafd or anyone else.

          If they are not open, provide open accounting, then they cannot be trusted. In the US, we have a non-partisan group called “open secrets”. They correlate (organize) the information, post it on the web and tells everyone what is going on. The organizations who donate must also have “open books” so that they cannot act as a front group for other interests. At least, not without understanding what they are hoping for.

  84. rena sassi
    March 21, 2011 at 8:28 am

    Great piece. I always love reading your blogs. This is one is exceptionally good because it is pragmatic.

    I just wanted to add that I spoke with many average Egyptians and a lot of them were very confused about the voting. Some thought that by voting yes they were voting for a new constitution. This was a deliberate trick I believe– as it seems quite logical that if you vote yes for el t3dilat then u are getting a new constitution. Also some said they didn’t vote at all because they want a new constitution and so by not voting they are saying no to the amendments. Ok this is a bit of a jump in logic but it also flies.

    So we should also keep this in mind when dealing with the system and the public. The system will play with the language of politics, even at the level of wording voting options, and the public is not especially designed to read between the lines.

  85. Kamolious
    March 21, 2011 at 8:30 am

    Good efforts SandMonkey!Analysis is really appreciated.
    On the other hand, I want to grab your attention that some of the protesters who join the revolution from day one till the end vote for YES! Yep, its the truth. Me and a lot from whom I know did that.
    We need to frame the subject well, most of the voters, vote both ways thinking that this is the best for the nations and its only different ways to achieve it and that’s what make the difference.
    Our role is to keep thinking for the best of this nation, yet without internal fights. We need to follow one path to reach the success. We have to get united by all means to do it even we are thinking differently.

    Our best shot know (in my opinion) is to request for the presidential election prior the parliament one. It would be much easier to convince the public with the better leader than trying to win the MB and NDP in the very soon elections as it will be a real mistake.

    After we succeed to get the better leader, we will work on the constitution reform which should take its time back and forth till we agree on it.

    During such time, we shall build the right public knowledge and opinion for the parliament elections.

    This is how I see it and that’s why I said YES.
    Of course I want a new constitution, and I want a better Parliament that really represent us, Yet we need a strong Leader to achieve this.

    Think it over and let’s have more discussions


  86. Mai El Guindi
    March 21, 2011 at 8:32 am

    I agree with the need to mobilize on a political platform although I am concerned with your approach to the MB. They don’t just use slogans to gain popular support. For years they have provided social services such as health clinics and food and clothing for underprivileged Egyptians. This kind of support is what has given them credibility in the eyes of many. If I was on the receiving end of this kind of support I don’t know if I would be too interested in making a moral choice regarding the source of the funding.
    I think that the most effective response to MB and Salafi attacks is to remind people that YOU and not them, led the revolution. You had less to lose than the millions of poor Egyptians and yet you were ready to die, as some of you did, for freedom and justice for all Egyptians. Let the voices of those who died be the voices of your campaign.

    • TK
      March 21, 2011 at 10:07 am

      Finally, someone give credit where credit is due. The MB, even if some of their ways are sleazy, they reach out to the average Egyptian. And while many are playing the politics game, they are focusing their efforts on the woes of the Egyptians.
      I agree with Sandmoneky on moving past yes or no and actually address some of the problems that affect the people in Egypt, and that would earn us credibility…

  87. Mostafa Foda
    March 21, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Among many, I was in Tahrir, and I voted yes. Your real enemies are not MB or NDP. You seek advice from the wrong people, the so-called “wise-men”. No one has a monopoly on the truth. Therefore, my ADVICE is a little dose of humility, an open-mind, and a true respect to the common man: sometimes a lot wiser than you give him credit for. By the way, I am a prefessor at a leading US university and many like me share the stated opinion above. God bless.

    • marwan hammad
      March 23, 2011 at 11:30 pm

      i am sorry i do not agree with you at all, with all due respect, you live on the other side and cannot see what is happening in the countryside in Rgypt…you have no idea as to how the MB has been active for the past 50 years. People here now only listen who care for them and give them what they lack and they shall follow what you say. You shall never understand unless you go all around Egyt. Its another world, therefore the only way to reach and avoid what is coming is to play their same game with the same tools ,,,with being there the whole time with the proper awareness program using whatnthey understand also…the learned people ( moderate sheikhs)

  88. christian
    March 21, 2011 at 9:36 am

    amazing essay.. Organized and full of good idea….i enjoyed reading it… Thanks

  89. christian
    March 21, 2011 at 9:42 am

    amazing analytical skills.. Organized and full of good ideas….i enjoyed reading it… i am inspired already

  90. Adham
    March 21, 2011 at 9:43 am

    truthful. realistic. self-questioning. self-challenging. this is what we need. great post.

  91. judyou
    March 21, 2011 at 10:04 am

    Really well written piece which makes a lot of sense.
    Is there any chance that you can translate it/get it translated in Arabic for those who don’t have a good command of English?
    I’ve emailed the link to many and can send it to many more if it’s written in Arabic.

    Let’s get this party started!

  92. Maha Fahmy
    March 21, 2011 at 10:04 am

    Excellent analysis, thank you for the insight.

    It’s time to wprk on awareness building (without necessarily any political agendas), this is the first step towards INFORMED CHOICES and democracy!

  93. Shaden Abdel Hak
    March 21, 2011 at 10:45 am

    I agree with every word wrote but in my opinion there must be political pressure as well to either start right away in parallel to form a new constitution or have presidential elections first .. It is a winnable war but with a lot of wasted effort if we are going to have at least 4 elections coming up .. We want to please the public but at the same time play politics as well to fight just the needed wars.. This we need to discuss

  94. Emad
    March 21, 2011 at 11:04 am

    It should be translated in Arabic, and published everywhere to reach 25jan ppl and open up their minds, more ppl need to understand all this and the time is running 🙂
    i could translate it if u allowed, just tell me.

  95. ??? ?????
    March 21, 2011 at 11:26 am

    ???? ?? ????? ??? ??????? ?????? ??? ??????. ??????? ????? ???

  96. Ali mosharrafa
    March 21, 2011 at 11:33 am

    Pls translate into Arabic to maxmise the benefit from this excellent analysis

  97. Khalid Khalil
    March 21, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Very insighful. I want in on this!

  98. Ragia El Saloussy
    March 21, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Again, what can Egyptians abroad do to aid in this? I totally agree with everything you wrote and I want the people of Jan 25 to really “win”. They still have not, because what is coming ahead is way more difficult than what has passed. Information, Organization, masses, and sound planing are the weapons to succeed.

  99. Ragia El Saloussy
    March 21, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    I actually saw the comment asking you to translate what you wrote in Arabic in order to reach more and I just plugged in your article into google translate and it came up with the following, which you can revise and edit to make sure it says exactly what you wanted to say in English:

    ???? ????? Jan25 ?
    ??? ????? ???? ????? ????????? ??? ? ???? ?? ????? ??? ??????? ?????????. ?? ??? ??? ?? ????? ??? ? ???? ? ???? ???? 4 ????? ????? ??? ??? :
    1) ??? ?????? ?? ???????? ?????? ??? ?????????? ?? ??????? ????? ????? ???? ????? ? ???? ???? 1-20 ?? ???????. ?? ?????? ????? 20 ?????? ?? ??? 85 ????? ??? ????? 25 ?? ???? ???? ?? ???? 65 ????? ??? ?? ???? ????????? ?? ??????? ? ????? ????? ??? ?????? ?? ????????? ?????? ?? ?????? ??????. 75 ? ???? ?????? ??????? ??? ???? ???? ???? ??? ?? ????? ??????? ?? ??????. ???? ???????? ??? ???? ????? ????? ???? ??? ????????. ???? ????? ????? ??? ?? ??? ???.
    2) ??????? ???? ???. ?? ???? ??? ????? ??????? ? ???? ?????? ?? ?? ???? ??? ?????? ??? ???? : ??????? ???? ???. ?????? ??????? ?? ??? ?? ????? ?? ??? ????? – ?????????. 25000000 ???? ?? ??????? ? ? 60 ????? ???? ?????? ?? ????? ????. ?????? ???? ?????? ? ?? ???? ??? ?? ??????? ?? ??????? ?? ????? ??????? ??? ????? ??? ??? ????. ?? ??? ???? ???? ?????? ????????? ???? ???? ???? ????? ?????? ???? ???????? ???????. ??? ?????? ??????? ??? ????? ? ???? ?? ????? ?????. ??? ?? ??? ?? ?????.
    ?3) ????????? ???????? ???????? ????????? ?????? ?????? ?????????? ??? ??????? ????. ???????? ? ??? ?? ????? ????? ? ???? ??? ?? ?????? ?? ??? ?????? ?? ???? ??? ???? ? ???????? ???? ???? ?? ??? ??? ??? ?????? ??????? ?? ?????? ???????. ?? ???? ?? ???? ????? ??? ?????? ???? ????? ????? ?? ???????? ? ???????? ????? ????? ??????? ?????? ? ???? ????? ????? ???????? ???????? ??????? ???? ?????. ?? ???.
    4) ??? ?? ??? ???? ?????. ??? ??? ?? ? ??? ????? ????? ????? ????? ???????. ?????? ??????? ???? ?? ????? ??? ????. ???? ?????? ? ?????? ??? ?????? ????? ?????? ??????? ??? ?????? ??? ?????? ??????. ???? ?????? ????? ???? ?????????? ????? ????????? ??????? ???????? ????? ????? ?????. ????? ??? ????? ???? ???? ???? ????? ?????? ?????? ??? ????? ? ???? ???? ???? ? ????? ??? ? ????????? ??? ? ?? ????? ????? ??????? ??????? ???????? ??????? ?????? ?? ?????????? ? ???? ???? ???? ?????? ?? ??? ????? ? ????? ??????? ?? ?????? ?? ???? ????? ?? ???? ??? ?? ???????? ??? ???? ?????. ??? ? ?? ????? ?? ?????.
    ???????? ??? ? ??? ??? ???? ?????. ???? ??? ??????? ???? ???? ??? ???????? ? ???? ?? ?? ??? ?? ????? ?????? ????? ??????. ?????? ???? ?? ??????? ??????. ????? ???? ????? ?? ???????? ???? ?????? ?? ???? ?????? ?????? ???? ?????? ??? ????? ??? ?????? ?????? ?? ????? ?? ??? ?????? ??????? ??????? ???? ?? ??? ???? ?????? ?? ??????? ?????? ??? ????? ????? ???? ??? ???? ?????
    ??? ???? ?? ??????? ?? ????? ?? ??? ????? ?? ? ???? ? ????? ???? ???????? ??? ????????? ? ?????? ?????? ???? ????? ?????? ???? ????? ????? ?? ?????? ?? ?????? ???????? ???? ?? ??? ?????? ??? ??? ?????? ??? ??? ??????? ??? ?????? ?? ?? ??? ????? ???? ???? ????? ???? ??? ???? ?? ?? ??? ??? ???? ?? ?????. ??? ????? ???? ?????? ?? ?? ???????? ??? ?? ????? ???? ?? ???? ??? ?? ???? ??? ????? ???? ?????? ??? ??? ???? ??????.. ??? ?? ?????? ??????. ????? ????? ???? ?? ????? ???? ????? ?? ????? ???? ?????? ??? ???? ?????? ??????? ???? ? ????? ???? ??? ????? ??? ?????? ????? ?? ??????? ???? ???? ??? ??? ?????? ?? ???? ?????? ?? ??? ?? ????? ? ????? ????? ??? ????? ???? ?? ??? ?????? ?? ????? ? ????? ?? ??????? ??? ????? ???? ??? ?????? ??? ???? ????. ???? ?? ????? ?? ?? ??????? ? ????? ?? ????? ????? ???? ??? ?? ??? ?????? ??? ????????? ??????? ? ??????? ???????. ???? ???? ?? ??? ?????? ???? ??? ????? ?????? ?? ????? ?? ??? ?? ?????? ??????? ???? ? ???? ?????? ??? ? ????? ?? ????? ?? ????. ????? ?? ??????? ??? ? ???? ??????? ??? ? ???? ????? ??? ??? ?????? ? ??????? ? / ?? ??? ???????? ? ????????? ? ????????? ? ?? ??????? ??? ?? ?? ??? ??????? ??? ??? ??? ?????
    ??? ??? ?? ??? ?? ??? ?????? ??????? ???
    ??? ? ???? ???? ????? ???? ? ???? ????? ?????. ??? ?? ????? ??? ???? ?????? ?? ????? ?????? ? ???? ????? ??????? ?? ??? ??????. ???? ???? ?????? ?? ????? ???? ?????? ????? ??? ??????? ???????? ?????????. ?? ???? ???? ???? ???? ???? ? ??? ??? ???? ? ???? ????? ?? ?????? ??? ?? ????? ?? ?????? ? ???? ? ????? ? ??? ????? ????? ??? ????. ??? ??? ?? ? ???? ? ???? ????????? ????? ????? ? ???? ?? ????? ??? ??? ?????? ??? ??? ???? ???.
    1) ?? ???? ???? ?????? ??? ????? ????????? ???? ? ????? ???? ???? ?? : ??? ??? ? ????? ? ???? ??? ????. ?????? ???? ? ???? ?? ?????? ????? ? ?????? ?? ????? ??? ???? ?? ????? ?? ?? ??????? ???? ? ???????? ???? ?? ????? ??? ????? ??? ??????? ??? (?? ?? ???.. ?????) ?????? ??????? ?? ??? ???????. ????? ???? ??????? ??????? ? ??????. ???? ???? ?? ????? ?? ???? ???????. ???? ???? ?? ?? ????? ????? ?? ?? ????? ???????. ????? ????? ??? ????? ?????. ???????? ? 20 ? ? ???????? ? ???? ?? ?????? ??? ? ?????? ???? ??? ??? ?????. ????? ???? ?? ???? ???? ?? ??????? ????? ??????? ???????? ????????? ????????? ???? ???????. ???? ???? ???? ??? ????? ??????? ?????? ???? ? ???? ?????? ???? ?? ???? ? ?????? ???? ?? ???? ?? ???? ??? ????. ??? ???? ?? ????? ?????? ??? ????? ?????????. ???? ?????? ?????? ????? ????? ???? ?????? ??????. ??? ???????? ??????? ????????? ??? ??? ??? ??????. ?? ???? ??? ??? ?? ??? ????? ????. ???? ?? ???? ??? ?? ???? ?????? ???? ???? ?? ??? ??? ?????????? ? ??? ????? ??? ????? ??? ?? ???. ?? ??? ??? ?? ????? ? ???? ??? ???? ?????? ???????.
    2) ???? ?? ???? ??? ????? ???????? ? ???? ?? ????? ?? ????? ?????? : ??? ? ????? ???? ??????? ????????. ??? ? ????? ???? ?????? ???? ????? ?????? ?????? ?? ??? ? ?? ?????? “???????”. ??? ? ????? ???? ?????? ????????? ?????? ? ??? ??????? ?????? ???? ?? ???? ? ???? ????? ????? ????? ??????? ?????? ??????? ??????? ?? ????? ?? ??? ????? ??? ?????? ?????? ?? ????? ??????. ??? ? ???? ???? ???? ??????? ???????? ? ????? ???? ???? ?? ??? ?? ??????? ???? ??? ????? ??. ?? ????? ???? ??? ????? ????? ???? ?? ??????? ??? ?????. ????? ?? ??? ?? ???? ????? ?????? 50? 100? 10000? ??? ????? ?? ???? ????? ?? ????? 85 ????? ???? ? ???? ?? ???? ????? ????? ???. ??? ??????? ? ????? ??????? ?? ?? ?? ??????? ??? ?????. ?? ???? ???? ??????? ? ???? ???? ??? ?? ???????. ????? ? ???!
    3) ????? ?????? ???? ???? ??????? ????? ??? ????? : ???? ? ????. ??? ????? ????? ???????? ???? ?? ?????? ??? ???? ??? ?? ????? ????? ??? ?? ???? ?? ?? ??? ??? ? ???? ? ????. ???? ?????? ???????? ??? ????? ??? ??? ???? ?????? ?????? ??? ??????? ???? ?? ?????? ?? ???????? ??? ???? ? ????? ???? ??????? ?????? ???? ???? ?????? ? ???? ? ???? ???? ?? ??? ????. ??? ??? “25 ?????” ?????? ??? ??????? ? ??? ???? ?? ?????? ???? ??????? ? ???????? ???? ??? ?? ????????. ??? ? ????? ?? ?????? ??? ???????? ??? ????. ??? ??? ???? ?????? ????? ???? ??????. ?? ??? ??? 40 ? ???? ?????? ??? 2 ????? ????? ? ??? ???? ??? ?????? ??? ??? ??????? ?? ???? ?? ???? ?? ??????? 1200 ????? ????? ?? ????? ? ????? ?? ??? ??????? ???????? ????????? ??? ???? ?? ????? ??? ???? ???? ?????? ?????? ? ????? ?? ???????? ???? ????? ? ??? ??? ??? ??????? ?????? ???? ??? ????. ??? ??? ?????? ??????? ???? ??? ???? ?????? ?????? ? ?? ????? ? ???? ??? ???? ????? ?????? ? ???? ??? ??? ??? ????? ?????? ?? ?????? ?? ??? ? ????? ????? ? ????? ????????? ?????? ??? ??? ???????? ???? ???? ?? ??? ?? ???? ??????? ?????????? ?? ???????? ???????. ??? ?? ???? ?? ????. ??? ????? ? ???? ? ??? ??? ???. ???? ???? ?? ????? ?? ???? ??????? ???????? ??????? ? ????? ??? ???? ? ??? ???? ??? ?? ????? ??? ????. ?????? ?? ???? ?? ???? dissapointed ?????? ?????? ???? ???? ?????? ? ???? ?? ???? ??? ????? ?????? ?? ?? ??? ????? ?? ??? ???. ?? ????? ??? ????? ??? ??????? ???????? ?? ????? ????? ????? ??? ?????? ? ???? ??? ???? ??????? ??????? ????? ??.
    4) ????? ?? ????? ?????? ????? ??? ????? ?????? ? ????? ??? ????? : ??? ???? ?? ???? ?????? ? ???? ??? ???? ??? ?? ????? ????.
    ???? ? ????? ?? ????? ?? ???? ????? ??? ? ?????? ?? ??????? ????????. ????? ?? ???????? ???????? ???? ??? ??? ?? ??? ???? ???? ?? ???? ????? ??? ? ?????? ?? ???????. ??? ??? ???
    ????? ? ????? ?????? ?? ????? ?????? : ???? ???????? (?????? ?????? ??? ??????? ?????? ??????? ??? ???? ????????) ? ????? ?? ????? ??? ????? (?????? ??? ?? ?? ? ??? ??? 10 ??? ??????? ??? ?????) ? ???? ?????? (??????? ?????? ??????? ??? ?????? :.. ???? ????? ??????? ???? ?? ?????? ?? ???? ??????? ?? ??? ???? ?????? ????????????? ???????? ?????? ?????? ??? ????) ? ????? ??????? ??????? ???? (???? ?? ?????? ?? ??????????? ???????? ??????? ???? ????? ???. ??? ??? ????? ??? ??????? ?? ??????? ???? ?????? ???? ? ????? ?? ????? ?? ?? ??????? ??????? ?????? ?? ???? ????? ?? ???????? ?? ????? ?????? ??????? ????????? ????????? ?????? ????????) ??????? ????????? ???? (???? ????? ?????? ???). ????? ?????? ????? ? ????? ???????? ?? ?? ?????? ?????? ?? ?????? ?????? ??????? ? ??? ?????? ??????? ??? ???? ??????? ?????.
    ????? ? ????? ?????? ?? ????? ????? ?? ??? ????? ?? ???? ??? ??????? ?? ??? ????? ???? ??? ? ?????? ???? ??????? ???? ?? ???? ?? ???? ?? ?????????? ?????????? ?? ???? ???? ??? ???? ????? ????? ???????? ??????? ?????? ?? ??????? ?????????? ???? ?? ?? ???? ??????? ?? ? ????? ??? ???? ??? ????? ?? ???????. ?? ??? ?? ?????.
    ????? ???? ???? ? ??? ??????? ?? ?????. ??? ????? ??? ?????. ????? ?????? ?????????? ???? ?? ????? ???? ??? ?? ?????? ? ?????? ??????? ???????? ????? ?? ????? ???? ?????? ???? ?? ???????? ???? ? ???? ??? ????? ?????? ??? ??????? ?????????. ??? ???????? ?????? ???????? ???? ???? ?? ??? ????? ???? ????? ????? ???????? ??? ?????? ?? ???? ??? ????? ?????? ??? ?????????. ??????? ?????? ???????? ?? ??????. ????? ?????????? ?????????? ???? ??? ????? ????? ???????? ?????? ??. ?? ???? ????? ????? ??????? ?????????? ?? ?????? ? ????? ???? ??????? ???????? ????? ? ??????? ????. ????? ???? ??? ??? ???? ????? ?? ???? ?? ???????? ??? ???? ?? ??????? ??????? ??? ????? ?? ????? ?? ???? ??? ????? ??? ???? ????? ???? ???? ????? ?? ??????.
    5) ???? ?????? ??? ???? ????? ???? : ??? ????? ??? ???? ?? ???? ?????? ??? ???? ????? ?? ??? ?????? ????? ?? ?????? ? ???? ?? ????? ?? ?????? ?? ??? ??????? ?? ?????. ???? ? ???? ?? ??? ???? ?? ??? ????? ????? ??? ??? ???? ?? ??? ??? ?? ???? ????? ??? ???? ????? ? ehh.. ????? ??? ?? ???. ??? ??? ??????? ? ????? ?????? ??? ?? ?? ? ????? ????? ????? ????????? ???????. ????? ?? ??????? ? ??????? ????? ?? ?????? ? ????? ??? ???????? ?? ???? ????? ???????. ????? ???? ???? ?? ??????? ??????? ??????????? ??????? (????? ????? ????? : ??????? ?? 16 ????? ????? ?? ??? ???? ????!) ? ??????? ??? ????? ?????????? ? ??? ?? ??????? ??? ???? ?????? ??????? ???? ?? ?? ????? ??????. ??? ??? ???? ?????? ?????? 1 ?? ?? 5 ? ???? ???? ??? ?????? ???? ???? ????? ?? ???????. ?????? ?????? 2
    6) ???? ???? : ??? ????? ??? ????? ????? ?????? ?? ???? ??????? ????? ?????? ?????????? ???? ???? ?? ?? ????? ? ??? ?? ??????? ??????? ?????? ????? ?? ????????. ??? ????? ?????? ??? ????? ?? ???? ?????? ???????? ?? ???????? ?????? ?????? ?? ???? ???????? ???? ???? ????? ????? ??? ?????? ????. ??? ????? ?????? ??? ????? ?? ???? ?? ??? ???? ???????? ?????. ??? ?? ???? ??? ????? ????? ??????? ??????? ???????? ?? ??????. ????? ?????? ?? ????????? ?? ?????? ??? ???? ????????. ????? ????? ???? ?????? ????. ?????? ??? ????? ?? ??? ????.
    7) ???????? ????? ???????? : ??? ??? ?????? ????? ?????? ??? ?????? ??? refrendum ? ???? ???????? ???????? ?????? ????? ???? ????? ??? ??????? ?? ??????. ??? ??? ?? ???? ????? ?? ????? ????? ? ???? ??? ??? ?? ????? ?? ??????? ??????? ????? ???????? ???? ???? ???????. ???? ????? ??????? : ?? ??? ?? ????? ???????? ?? ???????? ???? ???? ?????? ??? ????? ?????? ??????? ????????? ?????. ???? ????? ?? ??? ???? ?????? ??????? ???????? ?? ??? ? ?? ?? ?????? ?? ?????? ???? ?????? ??? ?????? (?? ?????? ? ?? ?????? ? ?? ????? ? ?? ????? ??????? ????? ? ???????? ??????). ????? ?? ????? ?????? ?????? ???????? ???? ???? ?? ???? ???? ?????? ??? Gulfies ? ?????? ?? ??? ???? ??? ??? ?? ???? ??? ????? ??????? ???? ?? ???? ??? ?????? ??????????. ????? ??? ??????? ??????? ???????. ??????? ??????? ?? ???????? ?????????? ???? ????? ???? ???? ?????? ???????? ?????? ? ??????? ?????? ?? ???? ??? ??????? ?????? ?? ??????? ?????? ?????????? ? ?????? ????? ? ?????? ?? ?????? ?? ??? ???????? ????? ????. ?????? ???????? ????. ??? ???? ?????? ?? ?????? ? ??????? ??????. ????? ????? ????? ?????? ???? ???? ??? ??????? ???? ??? ????? ?? ??? ?????? ???? ???????? ??????. ????? ?????? ??? ?????? ????? ????? ????????? ?????? ? ?? ????? ?????? ????? ??????? ?????? ????? ?? ??? ????? ??????? ?????? ????????? ????????. ?????? ?? ?? ???? ???? ??? ?? ??? ?? ???? ????????? ? ?????? ????? ????? ??? ?? ?? ??? ???? ??????? ?? ??? ???????? ????? ??????? ????? ???????. ??? ????? ?? ???? ?????. ?? ???? ??? ??? ????? ? ???? ??????? ?? ??? ???.
    ??? ?? ??? ???? ? ???? ?????? ?? ?? ???? ??? ???? ????? ??? ??? ?? ???? : ??? ???? ?? ??????. ???? ??? ??????? ????? ??????. ??? ?????? ??? ????? ? ??? ??? ?? ???????? ? ???? ???? ????? ?? ?????? ??? ???? ????? ????? ???????? ??? ????? ??????. ??? ???? ??? ????? ??? ??? ??? ? ????? ?? ??? ????? ????? ???. ????? ????? ??? ???? ? ???????? ?????? ????? ?????? ??? ???? ???????? ???? ??? ????? ?? ?? ??? ??? ??? ????? ???????? ???? ??? ??? ????? ??????? ???? ???? ??? ????. ???? ???. ??????. ????? ????? ????????. ??????? ?? ?? ???? ?????. ???? ????? ??? ?????? ???? ?? ??????? ? ???? ????????? ?? ???? ?????? ??? ????? ??? ??? ???????? ?? ???? ?????? ??? ????? ? ????? ????? ??????? ??????? ???? ?? ????? ?????? ????? ?????. ???? ? ??? ?????? ???????? : ????? ?????? ?????????? ??????????? ????? ????? ????? ? ????? ?? ???? ?? ??????? ??? ??? ????? ??? ???? ?? ?? ??? ???. ??? ????? ?????? ????? ? ?????? ?? ????? ?????? ????? ????. ??? ????? ????? ??? ?? ???? ??? ? ???? ??? ??????? ??? ????? ????. ????? ??? ????? ?????? ? ???? ??????? ??? ???? ?? ??????.
    ??? ??? ??? ?????? : ??????!

  100. Ragia El Saloussy
    March 21, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Oh, it did not work. Well, you got the point, if you wish to translate it and post it in Arabic.

  101. Tori Aarseth
    March 21, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Excellent analysis. To add one point, I think formulating good policy proposals is going to be just as important to win people over. Most people in the revolution were not political activists, they revolted because the country has been sorely mismanaged in virtually every aspect. More or less all public services are despicable state. Personally I think people are tired of hearing that “rebuilding the country” is going to take a looooong time. I know I would be.

    So my advice to the revolutionaries would be to stop talking in lofty terms like “the spirit of the revolution” or “dealing with this or that issue” etc. In many cases people agree on the goals, but not on how to get there. So start talking to experts in the fields of education, health care, housing, transportation etc. These are things that people care about. Start formulating concrete proposals as to how to improve public services. Best case scenario: people take you more seriously and you have a greater chance at winning a seat at the table. Second best: you manage to create an informed public debate, and even though the “wrong” politicians win elections, they might be forced to implement good policies. Worst case: you will have educated yourself and taken a clear stance, and will have a better case come next round of elections.

    Sure its going to take a long time to organize new parties and improve the state of public services. But if you don’t start its never going to happen. Start today.

  102. A
    March 21, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    You’re writing an open letter to Egyptians of Jan25, whose native language is Arabic. Why are you ‘advising’ them in English? This has been tweeted and or read 600 times most probably by a majority who are not Egyptian and not Jan25 people. To truly benefit this country you need to start writing in Arabic for an Egyptian audience.

    • Kat-Mo
      March 21, 2011 at 12:57 pm

      I second this motion. You need to write in both English and Arabic actually. You need people to spread your word everywhere. Can you do a split post? Write in Arabic then hide the English version beneath the fold that can be opened, read and disseminated. You would be surprised who in English speaking virtual world is friend’s with whom in the Arabic world.

  103. Ahmed
    March 21, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    To the author of the article, I have to say you summed it all up. Great, now how can we start working together to achieve all that? We need to unite, you can contact me here and we can start working together on many of the things you just mentioned above. We need to start working as soon as possible.

  104. Kat-Mo
    March 21, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Well, sir, I did try to warn you. Although kudos that you were immediately on to the second stage for planning.

    So, congratulations, you are learning the first hard part about democratic politics. This is a war of ideas (don’t let the “it’s not a war” people get you side tracked). The opposition, both major parties, as you point out have had years and years to formulate and establish their “plan” for Egypt and disseminate it. The NDP through state run media and the MB through their social organization and control of the mosque. That is a very powerful tool.

    I want to add my advice, but I will do so in short form here, taking my own advice. The longer version will be found on my blog.

    To start with, you must learn to take one step at a time. Leaping all over the place will get you tired and nowhere fast. You have a lot of ideas. Which ones should come first? In the words of one of my favorite mentors, “Start small, think big”.

    1) Your ideas must be distilled down to five bullet points or less
    a) People have short attention spans with many distractions such as work, home and the other noise of other political parties.
    b) Typical media saturation comes in two minute sound bites or one paragraph (if you are lucky), you need to fit your ideas to that
    c) Your core supporters who get the word out need to be able to believe in and riff off these ideas quickly and easily for reasons a) and b) but also to insure that the central message remains strong, simple and as uncorrupted as possible.
    d) You don’t like “slogans”, slogans are how elections are run; just because you oppose the MB doesn’t mean that you can dispose of their political savvy.
    e) So, what are your ideas? What do you stand for? Write them down and make the bullet points, that will start the conversation – Start Small, Think Big
    2) Identify your core
    a) You want to get as many people as possible, but it is your core that will do most of the foot work, fund raising and consistent voting
    b) While you must get to the street, you must get your core together first
    c) No core, no elections
    d) Start Small, Think Big
    3) Use the tools you are familiar with first
    a) don’t get ahead of yourself, you need to get to the street and spread the word, but your core is right here on the internet, on twitter, on facebook, besides what are you going to the street with if you don’t have a core, a party or a list of ideas?
    b) Your five ideas must become the things you post about, tweet about, etc, communicate it the way you know best first then you can point people back towards those words for further illumination
    c) Arrange meetings, email ideas, use cooperative tools like Cloud to get your core involved to shape ideas
    e) Find the “specialized” people in your core who can do things like write press releases, write pamphlets, does PR work in their everyday life and have connections to media, etc; disseminate work accordingly – Start Small, Think Big
    4) Now grow your party
    a) Party name must be short, to the point, represent your core and your ideas in three words or less (Free Republic of Egypt is a good start or Future of Egypt, it should look pretty when written in Arabi and sound poetic in your language and english; need a memorable and representative icon; pictures speak a thousand words and sometimes that’s all that people remember – pictures)
    b) You do not need the MB or the socialists to join your party, neither will they likely, in any mass, join you. They have their own parties and agenda; focus on getting the constituents you can first
    d) Your core are the young, educated, upwardly mobile managers, businessmen and entrepreneurs. They are the future of Egypt and they are here NOW (In fact, an excellent slogan “The Future of Egypt is NOW!”). They are what every young Egyptian in the fields or in the streets wants to be. Own it baby and use it to reach out
    f) I like your idea and the realization that Cairo is not all of Egypt, but you must, in the beginning “start small”, where are your potential constituents? Mostly in the big cities/urban and suburban areas (Cairo, Alexandria, etc), concentrate on getting your core there (especially as you are going to be very hard pressed, at least in the beginning, of getting any support in those rural conservative areas and you need to conserve your funds and energy for the places you can get; see American political strategy).
    g) You need to win parliament seats in specific districts first, not the national contest for presidency; you don’t get parliament seats, you probably won’t get to contest the presidency or get any word in for the constitution
    Start Small, Think Big
    5) Fundraising
    a) Your core has money, has energy, has connections with money; they are in business and know business people; this is where your funds come from,
    b) therefore, your party must be the party of economic growth, friendly to small businesses and big, to the aspirations of every Egyptian who dreams of building small businesses to insure the economic security of their family for the long term and to those who dream big. A rising tide raises all boats (there must be some similar Egyptian truism that equates to that).
    c) Get your core together, arrange meetings with the people you know for the first potential funds.
    d) Funds aren’t everything, connections get you more support and possibly more money so think about who you are soliciting and what you want from them
    e) Don’t cut your nose off to spite your face; some “donors” may donate to other parties, but that does not mean that they will not donate to your party (especially business men who might be interested in hedging their bets or looking non-partisan or good to any part of their consumers/constituents)
    f) People like Wael Ghonim have connections with money (I don’t mean just outside money either); he doesn’t want to join politics, but he would be a good facilitator, use it – Start Small, Think Big

    Last, (I know, more than five bullet points), what is your role? Are you just the guy on the outside filtering ideas around to others or are you on the inside helping to push and pull a party and ideas together? If you are on the outside, keep on saying what you want to say. Attack, attack, attack. Every party needs it’s partisans to keep the issues out front.

    If you are on the inside and plan to have any voice in the party publicly, please re-read your messages five times before you post and take an hour to think about your blog post. While I agree with many of your points on your opponents, inside politics requires a different tone if you want to keep your supporters and nominal allies (see above posts defending the MB).

    Attack without attacking. Talk about issues and your differences with your opponents, let them sound like the coo-coos with conspiracy theories. Don’t call names, call them out on their policies. You cannot sound frightened or angry. You must always be the people moving forward with an idea and a plan. Frightened and angry people do not lead a stable nation. It will help separate you from all of the conspiracy theory “everybody is out to get us” folks and give people that “hope” thing.

    Passion is another story. Have your issues and speak passionately about them, people will respond to that at least peripherally and that gives you an in.

    I think you would make an excellent spokesman/representative. You are the epitome of the party: young, educated, business savvy, nice looking, clean, can speak two languages (or more?) and speak well.

    Cut out the I am an atheist stuff, don’t even mention religion (except in passing if absolutely forced that a person’s faith is their own and an individual right), stay on the basic issues. Any discussion of religion, by dent of your own beliefs, you will lose the greater body politic. MB wants to talk about issues of faith, you must be the people who talk about natural rights, rights that are yours regardless of association, political or religious creed. Free speech, free association, etc, anything else is a reflection of the old and you are the “new”, the future.

    And now, I congratulate you again on getting your first free vote and learning about majority rule in democracies that doesn’t always get you what you want, but, if it remains free, will leave you space to make your ideas heard.

    I pray that you all learn how to politic fast. The MB and NDP will have the power with the socialists workers parties right behind. They will shape your constitution, but do not imagine that you are without power. You can shape the outcome from the outside if you learn to use the strengths that you have. To do so, you need to concentrate on steps 1 through 5 first.

    Please, also, you need to find the democracy project NGOs in Egypt to help you figure out how to do this stuff. They have experience and can help you take a few leaps ahead.

    Yours in liberty,

    • thewiz
      March 23, 2011 at 1:58 am

      Great post Kat-Mo. I went to your blog and it is excellent. I will spend more time there in the future.

  105. Maya M
    March 21, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    To demand minimum wage?
    Why not, then, demand also other things “the people” would want, such as a free home for everybody and beef falling from the sky?
    Need I cite what sound economists have written about minimum wage laws and other types of government interference with business? You are familiar with libertarianism after all.
    For those who are not – wages are normally determined by the market based on the productivity of labour, and so they should be, period. For details, check “Minimum wage laws” at
    Of course you can try to engage in “labour”-pleasing demagogia in order to gain popularity. However, this means a pact with the devil. And it is very difficult in such a pact to get the upper hand.

  106. Mohamed Hishan
    March 21, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Very very well written ! I admire the way u can organize ideas b4 stating them. I might have something in mind that i do not agree with u completely abt the MB..n it would b gr8 if u can elaborate; thinking that the MB might or will surely get a vast majority in the upcoming elections just because they r organized n they have the necessary finances and trying to think of diff ways to fight this, is a theory dead b4 it’s born ! U surely adressed the wrong topic ! It is not by anymeans abt money and organisation…just to let u know if u didnt get a chance to mix opinions from diff ppl from diff places other than Cairo ofcourse, u will find their thoughts, beliefs, and hopes are not so diff from those of MB. Ppl outside of Cairo r so diff mentally, and YES they build most of their decisions in life upon Religion…isn’t that exactly wht the MB do ? If u think that trying to convince Imams or even normal ppl (those outside of cairo, the vast majority of’em) that they’re better off not being ruled by MB, thn excuse me, u’re not fighting a battle u or any1 capable of, coz simply u can’t challenge human nature, and obviously, the majority of Egyptians set Religion as a base of life. This is their nature..

  107. Karim
    March 21, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Appreciate the Mohamed Aly quote: “They thought wrong. They miscalculated. They fucked up.”

    Good luck translating this piece to Arabic though, and consolidating different parties.

    Do you see any potential for NDP and MB turning on eachother now, maybe depleting their respective power/funding/image a little?

  108. no more genocide
    March 21, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Truer words have never been written. Good luck Egypt.

  109. gabr
    March 21, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    what ????????
    is it a war ?
    this way in thinking is no for the seek of Egypt
    it gust for the seek of some people who think that there are gust one way to make Egypt better
    and this way is gust the way that in them minds
    this is not for egypt
    this is for your seek

  110. Maysa Ayoub
    March 21, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Excellent . Will have to re-read it to comment properly but on the whole it is an excellent analysis. I like point 6 in particular

  111. Aziza
    March 21, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    An earlier poster wrote:

    Yes they wanna rule and rule by Islam , is that really something that a Muslim would consider disastrous .

    Its not “my” revolution and I don’t want to be dragged into it.

    But to answer that question you might want to talk to Iranians, Saudis, Afghanis…. etc?

    If your response will be the standard: “Well, the Ikhwan are really different (more moderate) and truly believe in freedom of speech and religion…” then I will toast to the Ikhwan. For their propaganda successes have been even more remarkable than I thought….

    To just take one example out of countless others, the person they chose to lead the historic Friday prayers was Sheikh Qaradawi, also widely regarded as the “spiritual leader” of the Ikhwan. That was highly symbolic since the preacher was invited back to Egypt after three decades of exile.

    But this same Sheikh Qaradawi issued a thoroughly argued religious opinion (with supporting scripture quotations ) in 2006 arguing in favor of the death penalty for apostasy. (You can google it yourself).

    In mindlessly repeating the Ikhwan propaganda, no reporter on CNN or BBC or Al Jazeera asked the party’s leadership whether to proclaim “freedom of religion” on the one hand but capital punishment (presumably stoning to death) for apostasy on the other represented any sort of “contradiction?” Not a single question? No one spent even 45 seconds on google to see if those Jeffersonian declarations were even credible…

    But as I said, this is not my fight. It is your’s and only you will dete

  112. Nouralhoda
    March 21, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    Thank you. I agree with you on everrything, except when you refere to “Islamists”. I ‘ve been hearing this around lately and son’t know what to make of it. If what you mean is readical Muslims, or fanatics or extremists, then why not just say that? To me it sounds like waht has now become an acceptable term to discriminate against Muslims without sounding too offensive!

  113. Khaled
    March 21, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Who r u?

  114. Am
    March 21, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Protesting works for some things, but not all things. Organize, find a common ground to gain a broad sprectrum of people. Common ground means that you do not agree on everything, but some very important issues.

    Vocals and visuals repeated. They have to be appealing to the eye and ear.

    Organize. talk to people – get out there on one to one if you have to.

  115. Marwan Hammad
    March 21, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    I seem to agree with you in a lot of points and I am trying my best to be able, with my following words, to give you a bit of advice. I don`t want to miss a point, as I have many points in my mind. I foresaw this revolution being one of the extreme few that foresaw it, of which I anticipate within 5-8 years the real French Revolution which shall inevitably happen if three main steps are not immediately enforced. Let us leave this for a while, because it may be too advanced. I prefer to draw your attention to the present points and then later if you want to hear my suggestions for the 5-8 year period I`ll leave it till the end because I might lose you on the way.
    It is obvious that the revolution, as you say, done by you beautiful people has been overridden. The coming parliament has already been distributed 1-third to the muslim brotherhood, gama3 islamiiya, and salafiyeen, etc.. the other 2-thirds NDP, other NDP members under false names, and all other forces like the mokhabarat, amn kawmy, etc.. each making their different parties, including drug lords and all people who have paid in the past millions to enter this parliament, will clearly not let it go so easily. You people should concentrate on the second election, so thank god you have four years to work upon. But this needs UNITY, ORGANIZATION, PLANNING. Who are youÉ Who is in chargeÉ Don`t answer me, all of you out there have to unify and using the 10-12 million coptic vote that exists. You need money and you need physical power because the MB are using that. I agree with you, you have to go out unto their territory you have to establish offices everywhere. Politics is a dirty game if you want to play only clean then I suggest you go to a cafe and have a shisha instead and forget about it. You are playing against very dangerous people that have been training themselves over 50 years now and know the game by heart. You saw their tactics in these elections and how they took advantage of the illiteracy that is found in this country. Either with wrong information, fear, or allegiance. The revolution only stepped forward for a while because of the good planning of the MB in getting the whole people out in Egypt to strike at the right time, if this was not behind you you would have been at home from day one, unfortunately. But I thank you with whatever you have done because had you not done that, and Gamal Mubarak and Ahmed Ezz took over the power, my warning of the 5-8 years of the FFrench Revolution would have been put forward 3-4 years instead of the 5-8. All of us would have had no chance, the people would have swarmed into all the houses, which they shall in 5-8 years, if we do not take steps to avoid that. So we have two problems, the immediate, which is within 4 years, against the MB and 8 years against a French Revolution. Become one solid unit, organize, plan, make sure you have the money and most of all the physical power. You will not be able to get sheikhs on your side, you might have to hire them. You have to play dirty, you have to use all their weapons. Unless you dig deep into the countryside with the offices I`m speaking about, the task shall be very difficult. The MB`s plan is not to take over with this parliament but with the next one after four years. In the meantime, anyone has the right now to enter parliament this is democracy that you have created, never forget that. Unless a person is convicted by court. That is the only way you can prevent the foul people from entering. So please concentrate in the four-year period as your goal because it is the last chance. There are many points I might have missed because after reading what you wrote, of which I agree up to 90%, if you have time and wish to go into my facebook to read my wall and maybe correct me on certain things, it is Marwan Hammad Original. My daughter said that you will not enter, and I might have lost you maybe at the very beginning. But if I still have caught your attention till now that will be fine with me. That I managed maybe to give you an idea or two. You are a new generation, and you are the future. May I give you an idea to start also with.. Get yourselves together and distribute yourself among all the ministries, let`s say 3-4 people insisting to attend all ministerial meetings as observers and once a month to have an open discussion with the different ministers in charge. With your ideas, comments, here you might learn and you might teach at the same time. The way to get in is to go to the Prime Minister, who seems to be a good fellow, and might be genuine by allowing you to do that. When you tell them sir we are the future, we want to learn and we want to understand, and maybe we have some good ideas. Remember, only as observers during the meetings. And this once a month is the discussion, so they don`t say you are hindering them.
    If I have had your attention till now, I thank you, and I wish you all the best on your way. Remember again, politics is the dirtiest game. MONEY and PROTECTION will get you what you want in the enemy`s territory.
    By the way, Islam is a religion to be respected like any other religion. But it should never enter into politics and it should always be moderate. It should be laws that govern and not religion, of which the MB are striving for. How to get out of this, is difficult. Give you an example: the law allows alcoholic drinks, Islam does not. The constitution and all constitutions will be built on Islam, how will you deal with that contradiction

    • ellen
      March 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm

      Not sure what you mean by ‘French Revolution’ here. You seem to be using this term as a code for a bad event of some kind, but unclear what you intend. Please define. Because the tone and sense in what you have written suggests a misunderstanding of what the real French Revolution was in history. Please explain.
      On a positive note, want to note that your suggestion in this quote is wise and excellent, and I hope Sandmonkey and his allies take it to heart:
      ‘Get yourselves together and distribute yourself among all the ministries, let`s say 3-4 people insisting to attend all ministerial meetings as observers and once a month to have an open discussion with the different ministers in charge. With your ideas, comments, here you might learn and you might teach at the same time. The way to get in is to go to the Prime Minister, who seems to be a good fellow, and might be genuine by allowing you to do that. When you tell them sir we are the future, we want to learn and we want to understand, and maybe we have some good ideas. Remember, only as observers during the meetings. And this once a month is the discussion, so they don`t say you are hindering them.’

      • marwan hammad
        March 21, 2011 at 8:52 pm

        Ellen, The population increse is horrendous , at least 5-6 per family, if this is not curtailed to max2-3 per famil and 3-4th only priso…China now is 1 and the prison. The Sheikhs have to be spoken to , and to work wuith the goverment for the friday prayers to mentiom that God did not say give birth to children and ruin your house . Secondly, there are 7-10 million street children who are future time bombs, they MUST be removed from the streets and put to work…any work…e.g they in Egypt they love the tilte of ” mohandes” give it to them…mohandes of garbage collector…instead of Zabal…call him of cleanliness, also mohandes plumber, mohamdes car electrician etc…crash courses . but they have to be taken off the streets. Thirdly. slowly the removal of all the shanty areas all around the major cities where the old regime hide their thugs there…they are quite a lot more than u can imagine…what are u going to do with these thugs? They get 2-7 years prison sentences and then back again on the streets with even more revenge in them !!! In parallel Egypt has to go back to farming and growing their food…which was slowly destroyed to make way for importing and thus commissions are made. Anyhow …Egypts shall be soon economically better than ever before BUT if the 3 main things I mentioned above are not immediately started, there4 within 5-8 years u shall have 60 million hungry homeless people
        out there that shall have the same explosion as the aftermath of the 25th revolution of the thugs , as this was a civilized revolution with a lot of bad going on from the thugs entering houses, stealing etc and taking over
        land etc, THIS REVOLUTION WAS THE DRESS REHEARSAL OF WHAT COULD HAPPEN IF… We were given the last chance, this shall then happen imagine even while Egypt is at its best…strange isn’t, but what do u expect from a silent but deadly cancer slowly creeping in LAST NUT NOT LEAST Unfortunately the new laws of this jungle word is money and FULL TOUGH PHYSICALL COVERAGE beside every movement into enemy territory. I hope that I have come through in some way as it is so clear to me. U know I saw the coming of the French revolution style around 18 years ago. People laughed at my ideas then and when i predicted this revoluyion 2 years ago with the exact scenario…they again laughed at me…i made a lot of bets and won of course…but no one paid !!!!
        Good luck , if u wannt to read how insistent i am on the same points, go to facebook , and on my wall read…excuse the spelling mistakes, etc, as i am not that good on these things and get too tired to recheck my mistakes. faceboo is ” marwan hammad original ” if it helps

  116. ANN BAKER
    March 21, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Congratulations, but whatever you do, keep religion out of politics. In a Democracy, which is what you are fighting for, religion is a personal matter. Most followers of Islam are moderates, but they follow their beliefs quietly and with dignity. Look around you though and see what happens if you mix politics with religion. Look at the history of Europe and see the problems we have had in the past and learn from it.
    At the same time don’t vote Amr Moussa for President, find somebody that all Egyptians respect, doesn’t have to be political, in fact it’s better if he isn’t, but a man that keeps his word.

  117. A Ragab
    March 21, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    An earlier poster said:

    Yes they wanna rule and rule by Islam , is that really something that a Muslim would consider disastrous .

    Its not “my” revolution and I don’t want to be dragged into it.

    But to answer that question you might want to talk to Iranians, Saudis, Afghanis…. etc?

    If your response will be the standard: “Well, the Ikhwan are really different (more moderate) and truly promote freedom of speech and religion…” then I will toast to the Ikhwan. For their propaganda successes have been even more remarkable than I thought….

    To just take one example out of countless others, the person they chose to lead the historic Friday prayers was Sheikh Qaradawi, also widely regarded as the “spiritual leader” of the Ikhwan. That was highly symbolic since the preacher was invited back to Egypt after three decades of exile.

    But this same Sheikh Qaradawi issued a thoroughly argued religious opinion in 2006 (with supporting scripture quotations and the works) arguing in favor of the death penalty for apostasy. (You can google it yourself).

    In mindlessly repeating the Ikhwan propaganda, no reporter on CNN or BBC or Al Jazeera asked the party’s leadership whether to proclaim “freedom of religion” on the one hand but advocate capital punishment (presumably stoning to death) for apostasy on the other represented any sort of “contradiction?” Not a single question? No one spent even 45 seconds on google to see if those Jeffersonian declarations were even credible…

    But as I said, this is not my fight. It is your’s and only you will determine Egypt’s future.

  118. ?/???? ???? ???? ????
    March 21, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    ?? ??????? ??????? ???? ?? ???? ????? ???? ????? ? ??? ??? ????? ?????? ?????. ? ???? ?? ??? ?? ???? ? ???? ?????? ??? ?????? ??? ????? ??? ??? ??? ???????!!! ? ?????? ??????? ??????? ?????? ?? ???? ????? ???? ???? ????? ???? ? ??????? ??? ?????? ?? ?????? ?? ??? ????? ?? ???????. Good luck&regards

  119. ?/???? ???? ???? ????
    March 21, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    ?? ??????? ??????? ???? ?? ???? ????? ???? ????? ? ??? ??? ????? ?????? ?????. ? ???? ?? ??? ?? ???? ? ???? ?????? ??? ?????? ??? ????? ??? ??? ??? ???????!!! ? ?????? ??????? ??????? ?????? ?? ???? ????? ???? ???? ????? ???? ? ??????? ??? ?????? ?? ?????? ?? ??? ????? ?? ???????. Good luck&regards

  120. Ahmed Said Moustafa
    March 21, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    Yess i agree! if we don’t stop talking about organizing and forming new party(s)/Coallition and start doing it egypt will be rulled by the Ikhwan & salifist!!!

    we need to organise otherwise the egypt will be in a worse off state than under mubarak. we’ll be under sharia law, we’ll be stoned, lashed & that’s for the muslims. i shiver to think what would happen to my christian friends & all the women in my family.

    these fanatics & the thieving NDP must not take over the country! i love Egypt too much to see that happen! so freak’n organize already!

  121. Khaled
    March 21, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    I would like to stress on your point, most Egyptians don’t care about political reforms, they want economic reforms, they won’t go back home and feed their children “democracy”and “freedom” want people to get to your their demands for minimum wage, support their strikes for a better pay, stop calling them a “counter revolution”
    People don’t believe that it’s not the time for asking for a minimum wage especially when they have recently found out about Mubarak’s claimed wealth and all the Egyptian businessmen who took all their money..

  122. Khaled El Chiati
    March 21, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    Dear Sandmonkey, hopefully thats not your name. I agree with you completely but in what framework do you propose to start mobilizing? are you proposing a new political party that combines all the like minded people? because without such a party that can fulfill peoples needs and aspirations they will choose the lesser of all evils.
    a new party must be created that will attract all youths, all educated, all middle class people everybody that demands a democracy and better Egypt with a bright future. All differences must be set aside for now. leftists, liberals, conservatives, progressives , everyone must must umite and form a coalition that stands in the face of the (known) opposition

  123. Heba
    March 21, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    I agree with most of your posting and I like that it is action based. I don’t agree at all though with the part of attacking the MB or demostrating against them. I actually find that part inconsistent with the reasonableness and positive action that is evident in the rest of the advice. The MB and Salafis and all the other shades are maybe 20% of Egypt and many more than that are not but with very strong Muslim identity. Why should I alienate all those people and also give credence to the argument that I am anti-faith by attacking them so widely. Thinking politics means the MB is a big polical force in the society I may one day have to strike deals with them. I am not going to demostrate against them as if they were government. They are my opponents I win against them by becoming popular and getting more support. You never get support by attacking people. Think what Aswani’s attack did to Shafik. He is now a presidential nominee.

  124. no name
    March 21, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    Your post has some interesting points but your statistics are all wrong man. You say 85 million people. Did you for forget that 30 million of them are under the voting age?

  125. Tarek Foda
    March 21, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    Great ideas, very well organized.
    We need grass root movement & we
    Need the help & support of 25th Jan coalitions, Dr. El Baradei …

  126. zizette
    March 21, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    Very well said! Thank u.

    I think that groups of people should get together and plan a taw3eya campaign and deal with it as a summer camp! Each group heads to a certain erea and remain there for 1 or 2 weeks and while informing the people they should collect all types of needed info on that area; social problems, health, what is missing what can be solved immediately what has to wait…etc. That will help in the future to remain involved and in control! And why not use students from social studies, psychology, economics.. Etc to use this camp also as case studies for their majors.

    It is amazing to think that we can draw the future!

    I wish I could be more involved but unfortunately I don’t live in Egypt! Anyhow keep up the good work


  127. Wahib
    March 21, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    “”””Tell people what Hamas- the MB of Ghaza- did t the population the moment they seized power (No music, No shisha, no concerts, no free media, intimidation and fear)………..Remind people when they used to throw acid on girls for showing some legs or on their face for not wearing a Niqab. Remind people of the days when they used to target them and kill them, or when they used to crash weddings for being Haram or burn video stores and christian jewelery stores.””””””

    This kind of strategy is totally shit. Do you like it, if your enemy say that your goal is to establish a porn industrie in Egypt like in the West.

    Maybe with the specialization of Anal sex in Ismaliya and festish in Port Said?

    Do you really want to establish that level of warfare in the political debate?

    You have pointed out that egyptians are religious people, but i think you even did not understand it How can you say this and in the same time you propagate that the only way should be the anti islamic propganda style of Gerd Wilders. Even the liberals in netherland dont like the aggressive style of Gerd Wilders. What do you think will happen in egypt ? With that propaganda warfare they will smash you into mush only with the islamic adab.

  128. Marianne Gaarde
    March 21, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    OT – it was an honour meeting you tonight.

  129. Mina
    March 21, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    I am a Canadian Egyptian and I dream of the day that I can go back and live in Egypt. I want to know how I can help in the next phase. This is the most important part of the revolution. This is when the rubber hits the road.

  130. Ahmad
    March 21, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    It truly is fascinating how the pettiness and ignorance of humanity persists in an open form and with some of the influential and loudest voices on the internet.

    85 Million? Generalizing are we? Did you just try to dispel the generalizations, like that Cairo “is” Egypt? My 2 month niece couldn’t make it out to vote, her fingers were too small and they feared she’d catch some sickness like retardation that you cast upon the rest of Egypt nor did my 85 year-old grandmother who’s on permanent bed rest. Really? I guess you can blame them on not really being aware of what’s going on; one’s an infant and the other has Alzheimer’s. The Military pushing to hand off governance? Tell me O Wise one, how does a military or anyone for that matter, ‘push’ for people to vote a certain way?? Forgive me if you began to write in complete sentences rather than fragments and come off as an intelligent person; I couldn’t keep reading.

    I am SICK and TIRED of hearing everyone that holds and similitude of influence in the West or even in Masr complain about the referendum. They got their chance to vote, let them screw their country. The media, especially in the west tried SO HARD to ‘push’ (see how I used the verb?) the MB is as a ‘bad guy’ that will turn Egypt into a theocracy (see: Iran). The west is *afraid* you have another “rouge state” that happens to boarder Israel and will endanger it’s interests in the region. *Afraid* Israel will have hostile neighbor and *Afraid* of possibility of a two front war. *Afraid* freedom movements will spread to other vitiate countries such as Saudi Arabia or Jordan and threaten the stability of the region and global markets. Are you really expecting Egyptians to listen to the propaganda from the same parties that stayed silent while thousands were harassed and killed, while they alone stood up for their dignity and against an illegitimate repressive government? Egyptians “broke the fear barrier”. They won’t be scared or led into believing by some child on a blog or so called “experts” that couldn’t predict the weather patterns in hell.

    And women… such a crying shame. Boo-who. They had no say. Women had virtually no say in western societies until early in the 20th century when the suffrage movements took off. Are the proposed amendments curbing the radical freedoms that “you believe” women need? Let the people speak for themselves. Stop your meddling. Most constitutions were written without the consent or consultation of the population. I can maybe sympathies with the qualm about not electing the transitional committee, but you gotta take two key points into account 1) The Military is running the show, they set the rules time frame, etc. Thankfully not you, and not the public 2) Are the suggested amendments really that bad? I mean, humor me, pretend you’re a reasonable person, let’s look at the suggested changes, do they all make sense? Are they enough to move forward towards real democratic reform? Is your whining going to invalidate the whole committee? Seriously, grow a brain!

    Hell, the holy grail of present day freedom and democracy, America, had a constitution that explicitly gave NO rights to women and counted African-American slaves as 3/5 of a human being. Suck it up little guy. It’s a good thing they didn’t have you write the constitutional amendments; oh that’s right, I forgot, you’re illiterate.

    Listen, the situation in Egypt is what the protesters wanted, or at least settled for. Simply, Hosni out and an opportunity to decide their own destinies; it’s there fault alone they stopped with a military transitional government. Let’s drop the end of the world talk, k? Last time this happened when they got rid of the British, the bickering parties couldn’t agree on a way forward and bam! 60 years of autocratic rule. Maybe you forgot or maybe you’d like to watch Egyptians suffer more, personally I don’t. If you wanna talk progress you can start with the opportunities available to you today and constructively work towards change in the months running up to the election. Change takes time; what happened in the 18 days was something truly remarkable and not to take anything away from the triumph, but was years in the making.

    Those who cry foul, are in it for their own interests, not the countries. READ: THEY ARE OPPORTUNISTS. I can’t blame them, perhaps I’d do the same thing if I was in their shoes; but then I’d be looking out for my interests and not my countries or fellow citizens. You think delaying elections are going to allow the opposition to the reforms organize and field a candidate? Democracy in the Middle East and the Arab world is in it’s infancy. Let them organize and grow with the direction the country chooses (OVERWHELMINGLY YES). Or you can drop this blogging thing, since it clearly isn’t working out, and dedicate the next few years of your life on a time-freezing device. Maybe then you can freeze time indefinitely so Arabs will can attempt to agree, organize, mobilize, and succeed. I believe deep down, that this the only plausible way, since THEY NEVER HAVE.

    Did you proof read your rant; I mean, at all? I know it’s a blog and there’s a level of informality but bro, you’ve got one of the most poplar Arab-centric blogs on the net. I guess it goes to show that you are the embodiment of that same portion of the population that voted ‘YES’. Congnrats!

    Did you really switch from third-person mid-point? WOW, watch out everybody! I smell the next literary genius. Just don’t go do anything foolish young Hemingway. At least tell me showered after you spewed all that rancid vomit on your keyboard and projected your disillusion thoughts to the world. I felt my brain cells popping with every syllable of this skewed perception and oversimplification of reality.

    Wrapping up, the Egyptian people have spoken, and what they have said is loud and clear… STFU!


    • Kat-Mo
      March 22, 2011 at 4:41 am

      Actually, one point here….the US constitution was written in 1787, the Egyptian constitution will be written in 2011. I believe that humanity, reason and conscious have come a long way from then though I would point out that at least the founding fathers entertained the idea that the constitution would have to be flexible enough to allow for changes in philosophy, morality and politics (yes, you can read their letters on the subject and the Federal papers on what their concerns were about forming a constitutional, central government). They avoided explicit laws AGAINST any rights that were not common law or basic rights of any human. That is why the constitution explicitly does not say that women do not have rights and it gave an end date for promulgating slavery (That we fought a war to end, let that be the lesson).

      The issue of women’s rights did not exist as a movement in the general society at the time, though there were many “salons” that discussed it and gave birth to the women’s rights movements in the 19th century and on that has given you strong, vibrant women in Egypt who are demanding their rights today.

      Let me repeat, though, that you are living in the 21st century where women already do own property, do have jobs and do participate in politics. In Egypt no less. Why would anyone support the promulgation of laws that repeal those advances?

      Our founders did not have 200 years of political and social progress to rely on, but they certainly knew that LAWS do not give you RIGHTS. We are given NATURAL RIGHTS by our CREATOR. RIGHTS that cannot be taken away. LAWS most often encroach on those RIGHTS. Therefore, LAWS should be limited because once they are LAWS they are hard to get repealed.

      That is why the upcoming elections to parliament are important. It isn’t just that the MB or fellow travelers will be able to turn Egypt into Saudi Arabia tomorrow (or even wants to), but because the constitution will become the law of the land and by procedure become the law from which all other laws flow; that those LAWS can either GUARANTEE NATURAL RIGHTS or ENCROACH on those RIGHTS, laws that are difficult to remove, or over turn once they are in place.

      To accept that the new constitution will be written on the morals of the faithful Muslims with all of their self imposed restrictions with limited regard for the securing of NATURAL RIGHTS that ensure the future opportunities of EVERY CITIZEN of the nation is to accept that Egypt is not ready for FREEDOM.

      That is the concern of those liberals such as Mahmoud. They stood in the streets and risked arrest, torture and death for that FREEDOM and, as every person who has ever had to fight for that FREEDOM they are unwilling to give it up. FREEDOM then becomes MORE PRECIOUS THAN BREAD.

      That is why they will NOT sit down and shut up.

      That is the lesson of FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY. It is a fight every day to keep it because too many people are willing to simply sit down and take what is handed to them instead of protecting their RIGHTS.

      Do you know what that gets you? Thirty years of President Mubarek. Decades of dictatorship and a police state. All because people did exactly what you suggest and simply shut up.

      Whether that tyranny is dressed in a uniform and declaring he is protecting the STATE (not the people) or comes dressed in robes offering the “soft” tyranny of bread, stringent morality and prayer in exchange for your ETERNAL SOUL, it is still tyranny.

      May the All Mighty who is merciful, protect you from such an existence ever again. HE has given to you a voice and a people who are willing, even against your stubborn complacency, to fight for that FREEDOM. You may not love them today, but your children and grandchildren and all those who come after will remember them as the Fathers and Mothers of Free Egypt.

      In the United States, we have a saying: Semper Tyrannis

      Thus, Always To Tyrants!

      Yours in Liberty,

  131. Medhat
    March 21, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    Its not war and no one is enemy here. It is just a very will organized way to use democracy and its rules to be effective and leading in the reforming NEW EGYPT. It is realy a will said plan and set of mind ideas to make the intelectual to be the leading force for our country to 21 century hoping to make a great noticable change for a better brighter country which I think and hope is the aim for all parties and every egyptian either oon the YES or NO side but from diferent prespective

  132. Ahmed S
    March 21, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    Nice effort and analysis, I agree with him that the real issue that is ignored is the minimum wage, that’s what the revolutionists have forgotten indeed. However he says that the 23% who refused the amendments are the the real revolutionists, but this is not true because a big percentage of revolution-supporters voted Yes for many reasons, therefore depending on the results of the referendum for identifying who’s with the revolution and who’s against it is utterly simplistic and untrue. Finally I think the writer has ignored the role of foreign powers in all what’s happening.

  133. eliwa
    March 21, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    for immediate reaction:
    1-join demonstrations of maspiro to fight corruption of media……drag it to tahrir next Friday turn it to a public case…u ll bug military…in tahreer we must recharge again
    2-try to contact basem yussef his show is increasingly popular these days if we won him in our side he can deliver our ideas in a very short and powerful way(political comedy)…and we ll spread it beyond the internet by mobile phones

    • Kat-Mo
      March 22, 2011 at 4:45 am

      May I suggest that instead of demonstrating against “corruption in the media”, you take a page from Al Jazeera, etc. Find some wealthy backers and like minded journalists and editors and start your own “media” ventures.

      Go rogue. Screw the existing system.

  134. Hatisou
    March 22, 2011 at 12:01 am

    Good stuff sandmonkey, but I still am struggling to find the party to support let alone a coalition for the 25th of January front. Where are those people. If they are getting organised as we speak, they need to show themselves NOW..we have six freakin months….one of the signs that make me optimistic is the islamists revelery in they YES victory. It reminds me when egypt wins a game of football where we get all pumped up then lose the tournamnet. We want to be Italy in 1982 and Denamrk in Euro 1992. Sorry for the football simplicity :-))

  135. magdi abdelhadi
    March 22, 2011 at 12:45 am

    Can you tell me please if you are writing this to the Egyptian people ? I thought the Egyptians spoke Arabic, or Egyptian.

    Time to talk to the people in their language. Otherwise , it is all water in the sand Mr Monkey of the Sands.

    The Zamalek-population or the semi-autonomous republic of Maadi is not Egypt. But you know that already, don’t you !!

  136. JadedIdealist
    March 22, 2011 at 12:55 am

    Excellent Post!
    1.Seems to me an important thing to change is First Past the Post! – for AV or something. a) Might help get voters onside?? b) Protects against sliding into a 2 “hardly better than each other but what am I going to do” party system. c) allows small parties to grow from nowhere.
    2. Websites allowing small contributions from ordinary netizens (I’d say paypal but…you know)?

  137. Mike N
    March 22, 2011 at 3:02 am

    Great speech and great ideas… just hate to state the obvious the revolution part is actually easy compared to the after part.
    The Egyptian guy in town thought everything was going to be great bcs unlike Iran all the educated people didn’t flee ((yet)) everything would be ‘good’ all the smart people there would make sure the Constitution and everything “worked”… lol…
    ALL PEOPLE CARE ABOUT is FOOD and enough MONEY to live….. so all the thoughts about “FREEDOM” go out the window… 1 2 3……

    A country that never had freedom and democracy for thousands of years is suddenly going to make it work? The Polish Revolution was in comparison miles ahead and they’re democracy is still a work in progress….


    Remember the best model of “revolution” and “independence” the American Revolution? Well the founders didn’t trust the “people” or the “mob”…. why do you think the Senate wasn’t elected until the 1920’s? The mob is fickle, the mob is ignorant, the mob is naiive….



  138. Aly
    March 22, 2011 at 4:44 am

    The assumption that 20 million equate to 25% of the population is incorrect. Surely you do not count those who are too young and those who are too old. The eligible voters, after you substract the young and old, is likely to be be somehwere between 25 and 30 million, giving a figure closer to ~33 to ~40% turnout.

  139. Abdo Hamed
    March 22, 2011 at 5:47 am

    I want to eat your ass

  140. meso
    March 22, 2011 at 6:40 am

    well done. only thing I want to add, or take it to the point is:

    UNITE. what I see now in discussions is a strong rejection of each others ideas; no that group doesnt speak in my name, no that one cannot represent me, no how come you are speaking in the name of all of us?

    what the hell!!! its not the time to get lost in details of programms and personal sensibilities as if we lived in a great democratic country where this can be done and nth big is at stake!!! lets make sure that the 20% of the egyptians who voted now will NOT crumble into little 0.2% for this or that in the relevant elections!!!

    and yes, thanks for saying it so clearly and offering some thoughts on how to do it: lets get closer to the masses…

  141. Dalia
    March 22, 2011 at 6:46 am

    Amazing analysis and way of thinking!

  142. bahaa ismail
    March 22, 2011 at 7:17 am

    Forming party is the answer>>lets do it people . we really need to get off twitter a little bet and start the hard work

  143. Hala
    March 22, 2011 at 7:59 am

    I totally agree with all your analysis , I was personally expecting a yes as a result but I was shocked from the margin .. 22 percent .. Any way democracy is not easy it needs huge efforts , hard work at grass roots as you rightly mentioned .. I really enjoyed your article .. Thanks

  144. Chester
    March 22, 2011 at 9:53 am


    You nailed it. Grassroots is the way to go!

    From wikipedia:

    Grassroots movements organize and lobby through procedures including:

    * hosting house meetings or parties
    * having larger meetings—AGMs
    * putting up posters
    * talking with pedestrians on the street (often involving informational clipboards)
    * gathering signatures for petitions
    * mobilizing letter-writing, phone-calling, and emailing campaigns
    * setting up information tables
    * raising money from many small donors for political advertising or campaigns
    * organizing large demonstrations
    * asking individuals to submit opinions to media outlets and government officials
    * holding get out the vote activities, which include the practices of reminding people to vote and transporting them to polling places.
    * using online social networks to organize virtual communities

    When the US elected President Obama there was a massive grassroots movement.
    This was led and orchestrated by a smart team of individuals on Obamas campaign team and people at local level. It can be done in Egypt. By the sound of it you are the man to orchestrate it, the challenge will be to fine your leader…he/she is out there. Perhaps it is you. Never give up! Keep fighting. Without you and your comrades Egypt may very well go back in time.
    Good luck.

  145. Mike N
    March 22, 2011 at 9:55 am

    From TK’s statement inferring that even people in America are turning to Islam ( as in for THE ANSWERS) implying that America will become Islamic at some point….
    And people like him ARE THE PROBLEM….

  146. Aida Awad
    March 22, 2011 at 10:26 am

    OK I agree with what you say. I am 64 years old but would like to help in any way I can, be it organizational, financial (as much as possible) or in just even clerical work or over the telephone. I feel that my beloved Egypt is being stolen from me and I want it back.

  147. ??? ??? ?????
    March 22, 2011 at 11:39 am

    ?? ?????? ?? ????? ???? ?????? ????? ???????? ???????? ???? ????? ????? ????? ?? ?????? ????????? ?????????? ??? ?????? ????? ???? ??? ????? ???? ????????????? ??????? ???? ????? ??? ??????? ???????? ?? ????? ???????? ????? ?? ?????? ??????? ??? ?????? ?????? ????? ??? ????? ??? ???????

  148. Abdo Ali
    March 22, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    well …
    i don’t know why you assume that the “jan 25 ” people are those who said “No” for the referendum on the reforms, i know tens of people “two of them were injured in the demonstrations” and were participating with their injuries the days after , however , they look to the reforms as an important step on the way of the revolution and one of the benefits was getting rid of the army which started already to torture the activists after less than 2 weeks of Mubarak’s stepping down , so you can imagine what would happen if they stayed longer.
    if it happened that the MB or even more extremists see that “yes” is in their favor , so it doesn’t mean that “yes” is the wrong answer , we still can say yes , and protect our revolution from being kidnapped by the extremists (noting that you excluded the MB from the jan25 people while you and i and every one know that they were an important element during the revolution).any way what i’m saying is that it is not fair to assume that those who said “NO” are only the people of 25 , and that those who said YES none of them was of the people of the revolution.

    i Totally agree that now is time to go offline and start a grass root politics , because this is the ONLY guarantee that we will make people aware of thier rights , and will make sure that they are gonna make the right decision every time they vote in the next few months. knowing that caring about people needs is your gate to make them listen to you.

    i have a suggestion and i think we should dedicate more time and effort from now and on to ask for the dissolving of the NDP , or at least to prevent its leaders (from the 4th row and upper) from practicing any political activities in the next 2 years , this would make an end to a big part of our worries .

    i have more things to say but i guess i will just agree with most of what you said here , keep the good work 🙂

  149. Loubna Olama
    March 22, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Excellent article and stream of thought! I’ve seen this coming 2 days BEFORE the referendum and like you, I expected a Yes vote… But my analysis of the situation was different. Only 41% of eligible voters participated. And since 99% of everyone we know (urban dwellers) went to the polls, then my guess was that the remaining 50%+ were mostly rural voters, who undoubtedly would’ve voted Yes. Therefore our 23% No is inaccurate; it’s more in the league of 10 to 12% max! My contention is this: 1. Activists and intelligentsia were fervently debating on TV, facebook and twitter and did not work at grass root levels, unlike the Yes who mobilized votes. I relayed this view on March 19th! We tend to forget that the average Egyptian might be facebook-less and definitely twitter-less, so who exactly were they addressing? 2. They antagonized Egyptian masses with calls for secularism and incessant reference to removing Article 2! Double taboos! Who told you that Egyptians want a remake of Ataturk’s Turkey? Average, low to middle-echelon Egyptians are very religious even if they don’t pray (not to be confused with pious) and if you touch Islam in any way they’ll tear you to pieces! So, naturally this was the campaign thread that was adopted: Islam is targeted and fought by those secular, irreligious folks who want to rewrite the Constitution and remove Islam… The referendum was reduced to Vote Yes for Islam! 3. The final days leading to the referendum turned into a personal vendetta against the MB (the NDP took a backseat for now) who fought back siding with the Salafis, again under the “Yes for Islam” umbrella… So in summation, the attitude needs to be changed if we want to achieve anything, always stressing that the main target is: equality and better living conditions which encompass everything from freedom, to democracy to an equitable income structure, etc. Regarding your proposed plan: I think it is PERFECT: strategic, clear, to the point and it can work, if… if there’s unity of purpose and focus. It might be a good idea to approach Amr Khaled, Moez Masoud and Mustafa Hosni and work with them towards a better Egypt; they are intelligent, decent and enlightened patriots and have wide reach and acceptance. Time to take a deep breath, align, mobilize and WORK!

  150. Shady
    March 22, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    perfect 🙂

  151. monalfouad
    March 22, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    excellent explanation .

  152. Sherif Samy
    March 22, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    You really want to win next time?
    Plan a propaganda? for Egyptians?
    LET’s TALK in ARABIC for God’s sake!

  153. Con
    March 22, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    Finally someone said it, said it all, and in one handy location. Politics, people, we need to get our pragmatic heads on and get out of the shrill “it’s not fair, I was there” mentality. Thanks Sandmonkey, I nominate you for national hero and patriot award 🙂

  154. noha
    March 22, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    I commend you for a very well written and well thought through article. I agree with almost all the points you have made. Having said that, this revolution still remains a movement without a leader. I understand and respect the fact that no one wants to be in the spotlight and steel the thunder, but until people who are looking for direction rally behind a known leader we will continue to divide and lose. I especially appreciate your point about merging the like minded political groups under one umbrella that unites the vote.

  155. Beginner's Luck
    March 22, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    gamed awi sand monkey.. nice work..

    there is another point to add here.. and i hate to sounds like the last coward on the hayday of the revolution.

    politics is sometimes about knowing your weight. and politics is not necessary about GROWTH and WINNING. If our weight is 30%, then let’s accept it. If you wish to get a few more %s with wisely spend energy, I agree.
    If are asking us to try to beet the Islamists fe 3okr darhom, then I’m out of here .

    A healthy 30% with a strong leadership and coherent followers is much better than a worn out 40% shooting in all directions.

    • Kat-Mo
      March 23, 2011 at 7:45 am

      Excellent point. You all need a definitive map of the electoral districts in Egypt. The Arabist put up a general map but it was only broken down into governorates. It was a good start and basically told you where your likely support will be from.

      It is, of course, the urban areas that are less conservative (and let us begin to talk in the language of conservative v. liberal instead of religious/pious v. non-religious; that is a weapon that the MB can latch on to and use to beat you about the head night and day). Rural areas, as I pointed out previously, are more conservative. Mainly because they are detached by long distances, are more closely family oriented and agriculturally oriented. Rural areas are also more likely to have more older populations as the young tend to move to the cities for education and employment opportunities.

      You have to be aware of where your potential constituents are and where you can win some seats in the parliament. Your goal is not to win all the seats, but to win enough that you become a viable partner with other less conservative parties to govern, propose and pass laws. Or, on occasion, to be the road block against laws that you feel are detrimental. Someone holding at least twenty to thirty percent of the parliament, when laws require a 2/3rds majority to pass, can force a law down or force compromise.

      You have to learn this part of politics along with all of the other aspects of petitioning, forming ideas and organizing.

      So, where is your support and from what areas? This will help you determine where you will most likely be able to organize, obtain donations and possibly win seats.

      Get an electoral district map that indicates where each allocated parliament seat derives then overlay it on the Arabists’ “red v. blue” map (I’ve been looking for one for days). That will give you your first start.

  156. Mosa2ala
    March 22, 2011 at 11:53 pm


    We’re trying to create demand for an Egyptian C-SPAN-like channel. Please join us on Facebook ( ) and help us gather support. Sorry for the spam-like message and kudos for a truly refreshing and constructive post-referendum post.


  157. Tarek
    March 23, 2011 at 12:23 am

    Dude you should totally make a video and put it on the web. We should seriously start taking these ideas on a massive scale. 220 views won’t cut it. We need this to go viral, and the best way to do so is to package it in a fun way.

    If you don’t know how to do it, get in touch with people who already do it on youtube. There are a lot of rising talents. Email me if you need help.

  158. thewiz
    March 23, 2011 at 2:43 am

    Having to vote “Yes” or “No” on the entirety was a dirty trick. Amendments should be voted on individually and pass or fail on their own merit. this was a way to ram through things through knew the people wouldn’t normally vote for.

    As for your post, it was very good. Many of the comments here are also good. Go easy on criticizing the MB. It can get ugly too easily. Instead, as others have said, say they have a right to their beliefs as other people have a right to theirs. Ask them if they would like a law that forces them to live by other beliefs.

    And work hard for the woman’s vote. I am sure few want to live under the MB’s version of Sharia law. And women are great organizers. The have large social networks.

    Kat-Mo had a great list on how to organize. But I would say “Think small, win big” All politics local. Work for the little guy, work for each neighborhood, win in each precinct, each district.

    People want security more than anything. They are scared of the unknown. Change is never easy. Thus they vote for the status quo.

    Study Ron Reagan. He was always the ultimate optimist. Give people hope and confidence in their future. Express his full faith in the people. Never waver in the belief that a great Egypt is just around the corner. Any setback is just a small bump in the road, a learning experience to apply.

    Much of your problem will be how the NDP and the military have integrated themselves into society. Many of the large businesses are run by the same people. It will be hard to fight this machine. They have money, power, and a long history. You need to reach out to as many of them as you can and show how a free, democratic country will allow them to be even more prosperous. As Egypt prospers, so will the businesses, especially tourism related businesses. Get accountants or MBAs to run the numbers. These people will be rich beyond their beliefs. As you win some over, it will be easier to get more to join you

    Also, work with the emerging businesses. They are looking at the future more than anyone and will invest in a better future.

    Just trying to help…you know your country way better than I.

    Best of Luck and never give up or give in.

  159. Egyptian Citizen
    March 23, 2011 at 10:11 am

    ya masryeen, no one won, and no one lost, its either we all won, or we all lost, fo2o ba2a men wahem e7na kesebna we homa kesbo bas e7na 7aneksab ba3deen, wer all in the same boat, wake up!

  160. Rhanda
    March 23, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Dear Sandmonkey (or should I call you Egypt’s David Plouffe!)

    I very much admire your political acumen. Would you kindly contact me by email? I’d like to know what I can do as an Egyptian American who lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I would like to raise awareness, funds, etc. I guess this means that the Jan 25 youth would have to organize somehow in order to collect donations. I urge you to spur them on and make them take action quickly. Please keep us updated on what we can do abroad.

    With much admiration,

    P.S. You REALLY should become a political advisor. You’re good.

  161. Dalia youssef
    March 23, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Very well said. Agree withyou100%. Only wished if you could write in Arabic in the future to let all Egyptians read it. Very interested to hear from you again. Thanx for the valuable points

  162. Lucy Till-Awny (CairoLucy)
    March 23, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Further to your excellent post (and Ramy’s post re parliamentary elections), and the importance of a coalition of new, progressive parties in forthcoming elections, could a benefactor provide a single centre for all such groups, where each organisation could have its own office but the whole building shares conference/training rooms, media centre, statistic/data collection, common facilities such as photocopiers, water coolers and kettles, etc – a la Hisham Mubarak Centre for Human Rights, but for nascent political organizations. A unified physical space would make miscommunication and opacity less likely, as well as keeping costs down.

  163. Inas
    March 23, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    You gave us hope again pls start acting

  164. Jude
    March 23, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    It becomes so sad that in seeking for democracy we still end up stereotyping one another. All over again we are labeling and pointing fingers. Not only do we decide to attack those that are different or those who hold different views, but we start forming plans against them… many of which are innocent of such claims. It is a time that we close gaps and build bridges not a time to break them. It is a time to understand one another and embrace our differences. It is a time to educate ourselves so we can educate others. It is a time to guide ourselves so we don’t misguide others. Enough with the labeling, enough with the attacks, it is time for peace and harmony.
    Praise be to Allah.
    The Salafis are the followers of the way of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and his Companions, because they are the ones who came before us (the Salaf) and who advanced ahead of us, so their followers are the Salafi.
    But some of those who followed the path of Salafiyyah in modern times started to regard as misguided everyone who differed from them, even if that person was correct, and some of them adopted a partisan approach like that of other parties which claimed to belong to the religion of Islam. This is something that is to be denounced and cannot be approved of, and it should be said to these people: Look at the way of the righteous early generation (al-salaf al-saalih), what did they used to do? Look at their way and how open hearted they were in the case of differences in which ijtihaad is justified (and differences of opinion are allowed). They even used to differ concerning major issues, matters of belief and practical issues.
    Salafiyyah in the sense of being a particular party with its distinguishing characteristics and in which the members regard everyone else as misguided, these people have nothing to do with Salafiyyah at all. As for the Salafiyyah which means following the path of the Salaf in belief, word and deed, in calling for unity and harmony and mutual compassion and love, as the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The likeness of the believers in their mutual love, mercy and compassion is that of a single body; when one part of it is suffering the rest of the body joins it in fever and staying awake” — this is the true Salafiyyah. End quote.
    Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him).

  165. sherien
    March 24, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    It seems the MB and the NDP (backed by the Army) are complementing one another’s efforts. MB mobilized to pass the referendum to the benefit of the Army and NDP (and themselves of course). Pushing stability as the cause, the MB managed to address the people and the Army’s interests. I propose that the Jan25 movement should, in addition to reaching out to and engaging the entire populus, campaign and engage the Army as well (you know the old saying – keep your friends close and your enemies closer). The Army has a substaintial interest in the economy given their investment holdings. In the short-term, yes, the revolution has had negative consequences burdening everyone in Egypt including the Army (for the reasons you have stated already) and might be a source of tension against the revolution. Presenting to the Army the long-term benefits of supporting the Jan25 movement (as opposed to a religious party like MB) and making clear the objectives might also substantiate and bolster your base. Just a thought.

  166. hyscience
    March 25, 2011 at 1:36 am


  167. hyscience
    March 25, 2011 at 1:36 am


  168. Rancher
    March 25, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    Sandmonkey, can you direct those of us in the West who would like to help financially to a site or organization that we can donate to?

  169. rena sassi
    March 26, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    I agree that the people need to be approached and informed on the religious front as well. I nominate that Moez Masoud be the spokesperson to and for the muslim shabab. He is a respected Muslim and values universal principles like freedom and democracy. He is also reasonable and already well known in Egypt and elsewhere. I urge those of you in parties to try to get him be a part of your campaign. Here’s his email address–

  170. Tarek
    March 27, 2011 at 8:48 am

    A great mass of Egyptians joined together for one common goal (Brining down Mubarak’s Regime). Now we need to unite again to prevent a very possible NDP or MB regime. With a broad and general goal like this, we can assure to get as many people on our side as possible. Yet this needs organization! SANDMONKEY has a large following, and his leadership can help unite us. If you read this sandmonkey, then I urge you to start an organization. You need to exploit every member’s talents and resources. Whether they work in the media, schools, mosques, or churches, we need to find a way to use them to reach out to the egyptian people. Start organizing meetings, initiating members and assigning roles. If an organization like this exits, then just tell me where to sign up!!

  171. Gedo
    March 27, 2011 at 11:48 am


    Thanks for the clarification. I agree. I’m sure the MB are hungry for power given a history of repression. It’ll take a while to navigate the newly shaped political landscape in order to make any informed decisions and build trust with some of the various groups.


    I think you misunderstood me. I was just putting out questions I would like answered before I personally would be willing to elect the MB or deem them ‘not dangerous’. I agree though, Egypt is still very far away from becoming secular, but I don’t agree with the notion that its because we are a religious people. I think its because we are still not politically mature when it comes to democracy and governance (not for any fault of our own!).

    You make the following statement:

    “Everybody outside Egypt should know, that a renouncement of religion in the Egyptian society could be a reason of civil war”

    Is this in reference to secularism, or some other renouncement? Because secularism has nothing to do with renouncing religion. It has to do with the separation of religion from the state, NOT the people. Religious people can support (and often do) secular governments. The two are unrelated. I’m sure you already know this, thats why I’m trying to understand the above statement.

    I think its worth educating people regarding this point so that everyone understands that requesting a secular state is not equivalent to renouncing religion.

  172. Tounsi fil ghorba
    March 27, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    Assalamoe aleykoum my Egyptian brothers and sisters,

    I fully agree with the article written by Sandmonkey. I would like to add some remarks however. Playing politics now while you do not have a lot of time left (next elections are very important) means you have to ask two things:

    – What is your main goal you want Egypt now (politically) to go/or not!
    Of course, it is very important to consider the things that are important for ALL Egyptians and not only for the well-educated ones. To me it seems it is an economy where the poor profit as well instead of a small club of rich people.
    And next to economy, stability and more political freedom: 1 economy, 2 stability, 3 more political freedom. Focus on this more important the way how u TRANSLATE this to the masses (IN THEIR LANGUAGE! SHORT, COHESIVE AND TO THE POINT!). If want to talk about economy higher people within your organisation should know what they talk about! What is wrong with the current model? etc.

    – Who are your biggest rivals?
    It seems to me that the MB is a biggg player now. While considering where Egypt should go to (your objectives) it is easy to confront average Egyptians with MB’s ideas and what effect it will have on the economy for example.
    If the MB says the woman HAS to be at home you can directly ask/translate that to an average egyptian that it will effect his (already unstable) income while taking his individual choice away to decide for himself.

    – Alliances!
    Verrrryyy important to COOPERATE with other groups to combat the MB. Although you have big differences it is all about PRIORITIES now! Don’t forget! Work together to, meet with other parties to achieve the same strategy against a big group as the MB for example.

    – Connect with media groups/journalists
    This is very important to get your ideals/objectives on a wider scale represented.It might even be that a journalist already writes stuff that you agree with. Make your organisation known to them, meet them, stay in touch with them etc. Use your network.


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