The Swedish Institute of Alexandria and the Masr El Metnawara (Enlightened Egypt) foundation got together to organise a forum with political parties and NGOs in Egypt.
The first of its kind in the country, the dialogue event comes at a time when both the public and the political parties need to revive their communication lines.
I expected Egyptians to swell in numbers at the front door of this event to take the chance to challenge the increasing number of political parties in this new era. Unfortunately, turnout was small and although numbers began to grow towards the end of the evening, it was not enough to fill the fairly empty halls.
The well-organised event kicked off by tackling issues such as the Sinai and women's rights, while the afternoon analysed both short-term and long-term solutions for the Egyptian economy, and the role of the youth in guarding the public, to name a few.
The day ended with a concert. There were three halls, where the political parties held separate discussions with the audience on particular issues, simultaneously. After the talks were over both political parties and the NGOs congregated to debate against each other on where the democratic transition in Egypt is heading as well as on social justice and the deteriorating quality of life.
As I weaved in and out between various members of political parties, one main factor they all had in common was their enthusiasm. Nour Party received hard-hitting questions on their controversial stance on hoping to push Egypt back into an Islamic Golden Age, while Al Wasat Party led one of the most interactive sessions, tackling the issues of Egypt’s economy hand-in-hand with the audience.