Wednesday, 23 May 2012

NYTimes: Moises Saman's Egypt's Choice


Presidential election fever has been gripping Egypt for months, and it'll perhaps come to a conclusion in the coming few days...or in another few weeks, if a runoff is the case.

Along with many millions of Egyptians, I couldn't believe my eyes when watching the first ever presidential debate in the Middle East took place earlier this month. Yes, it was flawed...yes, the two frontrunners went overboard in hyperbole and off topic attacks one each other... but nowhere else in the Arab world, has such a spectacle ever been seen before.

Yes, Egypt's political transition has been farcical, messy, bizarre, chaotic, violent, unpredictable, and serious, ....however after centuries of Pharaonic kingdoms, various foreign occupations, colonialism,  royalty and dictatorships, Egyptians were now experiencing the teething pains of democracy. I raise my hands in wonder when I read articles by educated journalists and pundits who claim that after 30 years of Mubarak's regime, Egypt is experiencing democracy. It's not 30 years...but over 2500 years!

In recognition of this critical milestone in Egypt's (and in the world's) history, I feature Moises Saman's Egypt's Choice as published in The New York Times.