Egypt: a new beginning?

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Quick heads up about tomorrow’s Newshour … Lyse Doucet (who’s now on Twitter — here) will be looking at the excitement in Egypt, as Nobel Peace Prize winner, and former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohammed El Baradei, prepares to return to the country of his birth. 60,000 people have joined a Facebook campaign urging him to stand as president, and some very prominent Egyptians — including the author of the international bestseller, the Yacoubian Building, Alaa al-Aswani — are backing him too … though Dr El Baradei himself says he’ll only run if there’s a fair playing field. Could this mark a new beginning for Egypt — after almost 30 years of President Mubarak? And is El Baradei — who has little direct political experience — really the right man for the top job?

21 Responses to “Egypt: a new beginning?”

  1. 1 Ibrahim in UK
    February 19, 2010 at 12:49

    Egypt is a dictatorship
    … where emergency rule has been in place for over 30 years…
    … where public gatherings are illegal … (people have already been arrested for organising a reception and distributing leaflets)
    … where opposition parties are banned …
    … where pro-democracy activists are beaten, jailed, tortured and killed…
    but which is pro-US so receives billions of dollars in US taxpayers money and US political support

    It seems unlikely that the dictator will volunteer his generous US salary and allow someone else to take his place, which he is most likely reserving for his son. The US didn’t like El Baradei for his “unsupportive” stance as head of IAEA, so they won’t be in a hurry to end support for the Egyptian dictatorship or encourage democracy.

    In the absence of some form of prolonged mass protest (Iran-style) or revolution, I don’t see how anything will change.

    • February 21, 2010 at 10:23

      The dictatorship in Egypt is the real undoing of the arab world not the Israeli occupation.The totalitarian regime of Hosni Mubarak has emasculated the Egyptian citizen. Egyptians who should be leaders in the Artab and islamic world now suffer from Totalitarian follow syndrome.They have been stripped of political initiative,assertiveness freedom and right to discuss the affairs of their country and leaders (dictators).The only thing they have bliss in is football.
      I hope that El Baradei would not be arrested or worse still found dead under questionable under questionable circustances.

  2. 3 Roberto
    February 19, 2010 at 13:26

    RE: “” Dr El Baradei himself says he’ll only run if there’s a fair playing field. “”

    —— Dr Baradei is selling himself short if he believes this. Level playing fields in politics are seldom guaranteed and can be overcome.

    This could be the solution to the intractable dilemma facing Egypt, the lack of a credible successor to Mubarak. Dr Baradei would be plugging a huge hole in international security and could be an inspiration for the future of Egypt regardless of the results.

    I hope the Egyptian people create a groundswell of support for this idea. The only downside I see is his personal safety since his candidacy would also make him a target for Islamist radicals or some of the current military state who will feel threatened by anyone outside of their junta.

    Let’s hear it for Baradei.

  3. 4 Nigel
    February 19, 2010 at 14:05

    Hosni Mubarak is unbeatable. Stabilized by his internal manipulating of the electoral process and behaviour bordering on criminal to stay in power and enabled by his strong acceptance in the West and by Israel who purpose he suits. Al Baradia would have to overcome all of those obstacles and unless his quiet and calm demeanor masks a tough fighter with good international support in the US and Irael he is already dead politically.

  4. 5 Subhash C Mehta
    February 19, 2010 at 14:09

    He may appear to be the most deserving to stand as the next president of Egypt, because of his very impressive background; but, I very much doubt his ability to match or counter the cunning and crooked ways and means of politics and unscrupulous manipulations of his opponents (I mean the old/seasoned horses in the ‘race’).
    Good Luck Lyse; I’m sure you will enjoy and report the excitement in a manner that we too may be able to share it.

  5. February 19, 2010 at 14:34

    I sincerely hope he will run, and also select a slate of competent people to form his Cabinet. As I see it, he has no moral alternative but to Run. Egypt’s social, global and economic strengths and its potential has been wasted away. In recent times the life of so many many Egyptians has been a life of misery and hopeless suffering, about which the international political “friends” of Egypt does not give a hoot. The time for change has come, and the opportunity for change is on the doorstep. Please Egyptians, think of greatness and seize the moment.

  6. 7 patti in cape coral
    February 19, 2010 at 14:50

    I don’t know a lot about this issue, but I will be tuning in to learn more.

  7. 8 audre
    February 19, 2010 at 15:28

    The Liberal Party in Canada brought back the well-known professor and he has turned out to have feet of clay… no better then any other politician.

    What about Barack Obama and great expectations? Come on people… do you really expect miracles of anyone?

  8. 9 @guykaks
    February 19, 2010 at 16:30

    Lets hold our horses first.It might be a new begining but the chances are slim, if any.

  9. 10 JanB
    February 19, 2010 at 16:43

    Does it matter? Mubarak’s party will cheat and the votes they haven’t tampered with will largely go to the Islamists.

    Egypt is lost: it will likely remain a dictatorship for many years to come, be it under the guise of the Mubarak dynasty or under the yoke of Islam.

    February 19, 2010 at 16:51

    Egypt has no nuclear ambition for which he is a guru.

    Why can’t he retire peacifully or is this another retirement package?

  11. 12 JanB
    February 19, 2010 at 17:09

    I also expect some kind of Obama-dissappointment in the remote chance El-Baradei gets elected. Egyptians want him to make Egypt great, but as soon as he really starts to improve things by granting equal rights to people other than Heterosexual Sunni men, making the education system do more educating than indoctrinating, instead of the other way around (the way Mubarak and the Muslim Brotherhood like it), and improving ties with Israel, Egyptians will be on the barricades calling him a traitor,

  12. 13 Tom D Ford
    February 19, 2010 at 18:07

    As far as I know he is a straight dealer, an honest and upright human being, and that type does not do well in politics. I’d hate to see him corrupted.

    But ideally, I would like to see such men, and women too, go into politics and help clean politics up for the good of all, including The People.

  13. 14 Cabe UK
    February 19, 2010 at 18:30

    Half dibs ont he Nobel Peace Prize eh?…. well Like a chocolate teapot in the sun – – he looks too ‘nice’ (..peaceful/ ..clever etc) to be thrown into the hot-Pot of the middle-east ?

  14. February 20, 2010 at 12:21

    When someone has been in power for so long then there will always be someone else ready to oppose and make him or herself available for selection by popular mandate ideally on an annual basis.

  15. February 20, 2010 at 14:55

    Egypt will never have a new beginning as long as it continues to be a so-called client state of the United States and remain addicted to our foreign aid.Egypt will do whatever Washington says,right or wrong!

  16. 17 Jaime Saldarriaga
    February 20, 2010 at 16:42

    I think El Baradei is right . He should play only if there is a fair playing field.

  17. 18 Andrew (World Citizen)
    February 20, 2010 at 16:47

    New Beginnings does not mean Good New Beginning. I have lived in Egypt and i have followed El Baradei’s carrer very closely. El Baradei could not run Egypt, he is weak, he is a carrer politician and has no experience. Egypt needs a YOUNG military man can command the respect of the Military, Egypts Neighbors and seek out reforms while staying tough of Islamists in country.

  18. February 20, 2010 at 23:40

    Israel will not allow Dr El Baradei to get even a toehold in Egypt, much less become President. I do not know how the Israelis got power over Mubarak and succeeded in making him their puppet,For example, Mubarak did not ever complain over the Israelis use of white phosphorus, the most terrible and inhuman anti personnel in the world, which is banned by the United Nations, against innocent unarmed Palestinians, including children, burning them to death inside a United Nations compound where they sought refuge. The Israelis will not allow an educated, experienced and strong minded man who stood up to George W. Bush and Condoleeza Rice to become the leader of Egypt. And the Egyptian masses and the Arabic nations of the Middle East — not Jordan, not Saudi Arabia, not Libya, not any of the Gulf States and the others who are too disorganized and infiltrated to do anything about this situation. Too bad for the suffering Egyptian people, but Dr el Baradi should face reality and forget about it. He should return to academia, pecome a professor, go to a University somewhere in a seaside city in southern Europe and live the balance of his life in comfort.

  19. 20 Crystal Ball
    February 22, 2010 at 15:51

    I believe that the majority of Egyptians wish for a change in the leadership and running of their country. Mr El Baradei seems to be a genuine guy who cares about his people. However, I find it hard to believe that he has the time or the 100% support he would need to learn the devious tricks all politicians use to hold onto power and govern. His record as head of the I.A.E.A. is one of mixed feelings. There were many who thought he was too easily fooled and it would seem to a point this was true.
    Dealing with the complexities of the Egyptian peoples and their mixed religious beliefs will need firm control and decisive actions otherwise we could see similarities to the ethnic mix breakdown witnessed in Iraq.

  20. 21 Hugh McDavid
    February 22, 2010 at 18:34

    When will the historians in this world stop leaving the impression that Egyptians were white, brown or pale skinned?. Anyone who has seen the documentary Rameses, on the Canadian channel, CTV, last evening, will not believe that Rameses was a BLACK man. All Egyptian Pharoahs were black. In fact, Anta Diop, in his book Civilization or Barbarism, described the World as it was in the beginning. Man emerged out of Africa 150,000 years ago.. And it’s no denying that. It’s an historic fact that all the peoples of Africa were Black. Another known fact is Arabs were the first to enslave Black people and literally took over the continent. Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Sudan and even Egypt are under Arabic control.. White people who emerged 120,000 years after the Blacks in Africa, helped divide the continent into 54 regions in places such as Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania (formerly called Tanganika) and South Afica. Having denied Black people their history and stolen their resouces. gold, diamonds, oil, etc., etc., the time has come to stop displaying Black people as imbeciles. Showing Egyptian Pharoahs as pale skin is a misnomer. Rameses was a Black man and so too was King Tut. It is time these so called historians get theiir act together and tell it like it was and still is.. HMcD. Edmonton, Canada

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