The second anniversary of the revolution was far from peaceful in clear contrast to the main characteristic of the revolution itself. Egypt was unnecessarily bleeding and violent crowds took to the streets everywhere from the very peaceful city of Luxor in Upper Egypt to the resilient city of Port Said in the far north. Celebrating the second anniversary in such a way has cast a dark shadow on the whole political process of transformation from a totalitarian regime to an emerging multi-party democracy in Egypt.
Looking at Egypt from a distance and you will find that the country enjoys excellent merits and advantages. Ironically, the country seems not able to capitalise on these merits and advantages. There is a science called “Egyptology” that studies the ancient Egyptian civilisation. No other country in the world has such a privilege. Egypt links the three old continents through the great man-made maritime passage, the Suez Canal, which carries more than 10 per cent of total world freight trade. Ancient treasures, human and natural resources, location and a leading role in Arab history and culture should qualify Egypt to acquire and maintain an excellent position on the world political map. Egypt, because of its political system, has stopped short of achieving this. Moreover, Egypt has recently wasted a great chance to capture a moment in history when the whole world greatly celebrated the success story of the 25 January Revolution. It was a great chance for Egypt to move up the international ladder as an emerging leading force for democracy. Tahrir Square lost its shine when almost all political factions preferred reaping selfish benefits to working for the goals of the revolution.
This failure to capture the historical moment overshadowed the whole political process since the fall of Hosni Mubarak. There are moments in history that cannot be re-created and 25 January 2011 is one of them. In order to make up for such a failure, Egyptians need to work hard to make a new brand for themselves. If we have to re-market Egypt in the whole world, we should think of this country as a brand, because the name “Egypt” alone is not enough to create a brand after such a series of fatal shortfalls. In all cases, we should know that above all Egypt would not be able to create a new brand for itself without becoming an emerging democracy. (...)
The question is, can we really succeed in creating international interest in Egypt as a potential global transportation hub, trans-continental energy hub and global tourist destination? The answer is no if we suffer a very high deficit in democracy, security and political stability. Although these deficits are not the responsibility of the economy, it pays the price for them. The political leadership of the country and the wide spectrum of the political elite should bear this responsibility and create the right environment for economic growth and prosperity. Egypt should become an emerging democracy, not a failed state or a rogue state harbouring terrorism. This nation has a real chance to compete for a high-ranking place in the new world order.