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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Don't lose the spirit & let's move on!!

So the referendum results are out and I was disappointed. I naively thought the No supporters were winning, but I was flat out wrong! But I'm not here to whine about it. What's done is done, now let's move on!

Although the results were not in our favor, I think there's still a lot to celebrate:
  • This was Egypt's first ever democratic voting experience. It brought millions of Egyptians together to endure hours of long ORGANIZED LINES, to all share in the country's future. Can you believe it? Egyptians and lines?? The last time I tried to create a line in Egypt, I was in a McDonald's and out of nowhere, these two women came from behind me and forced their way in front of me. No one seemed to notice or get pissed off by this, aside from myself here!! So Yes, Egyptians from all walks of life were in line to vote. When the Cairo governor tried to skip the line, the people got angry and made it very clear he was being uncivilized. So I am so proud of my fellow Egyptians for such civilized behavior, let's keep this spirit!
  • It was also people's first taste of freedom and democracy. I watched television all day, checked tweets constantly and was amazed at the recurring comments of "my vote counts" or "my first democratic experience." So that in itself is a major achievement. We have never been given the right to vote for anything, and I mean in an honest vote where we know we count. I hope in future though, Egyptians abroad like myself here, will also be given the chance to participate and be included in determining the best future for our country.
  • I think this entire voting experience, along with the Yes and No campaigns that preceded have opened our eyes and given us true warnings on certain groups and organizations in Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood, who played all innocent and peaceful throughout Jan25 finally lost their disguise and made it very clear that they have their own agenda. So, let's look on the bright side, and let's understand that we should be very cautious in our dealings with the MB in future, just like we need to be wary of the NDP.
  • What happened to Dr. El Baradei was horrible, barbaric and shameful. When a presidential candidate and his family get attacked by thugs, with stones being thrown, and his car getting smashed, that tells us that NDP supporters are still out there somewhere. The media initially claimed the attackers were religiously-affiliated. But according to tweets and videos from several activists that accompanied El Baradei, that is not true. They identified the attackers as thugs that were seen previously in older elections. So, once again, if there is one good that came out of this horrible incident, it is that El Baradei is a powerful candidate and that is obviously scaring some people. So let's use this to our advantage; let's get El Baradei's name and presidential plan out there. My hope is that people across Egypt and not just on Facebook and Twitter will come to realize how El Baradei would make a great leader for Egypt in the next phase.
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  • Another lesson to learn from this experience is that it tells us we need stronger campaigns nationwide as well as more encouragement to hit the ballots. I think many Egyptians still live under the Mubarak regime mentality and don't realize that their vote really counts. We need to reach out to these people and encourage them to go out and vote. We also need to reach the masses. People across Egypt need to understand our policies & plans for the country. Just take a look at American presidential campaigns and how candidates travel everywhere and address people from various places around the USA.
 Whether we won or not, yesterday's referendum was a great achievement for Egypt. So, if you were in the No team, please get over it. I know that's not easy, but we do need to move on and learn from the experience and celebrate our wins! As the saying goes, "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger."

3 comments:

  1. I appreciate the optimism of this piece and I will side with optimism in Egypt for as long as I can. Egypt will never go back to the way it was and voting was the first step of that.

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  2. Thanks Nahed for the great article, I like the points you talked about! I am from the NO group and I am not upset anymore, there is no time to waste on this for me... I hope we can work hard in order to get lots of seats in the next parliament and to still achieve our goal of writing a new democratic constitution, that will be way better than the current one...:)

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  3. really there is no time to waste ...... forward ... forward...... revolution .... revolution .... qazzafi merda

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