THE NEW ARAB DEBATES:
This House believes democracy has had a disappointing start in Egypt
President Mursi has completed 100 days in office as Egypt’s first democratically elected leader. Has he started to make a difference? Will a more just and equal society begin to emerge? How much free speech does the system allow? Democracy has had a poor start in Egypt, according to an audience at the New Arab Debates – a free speech forum, founded in the wake of last year’s political turmoil.
No Democracy is born mature. It takes time to mature. Democracy must be born within the nation – by the people – as it was born here in Egypt. For democracy to grow and mature (like a child) it must also be supported by the family – THE REGION in which it lives – as well as International players at large. Countries that are supported in their transition to democracy (as were Portugal and Spain by the European Community just a few decades ago) are more successful.
I don’t believe that Egypt has been supported well by it’s region. In fact some countries in the Gulf have done their best to undermine Egypt’s efforts towards building democracy. This is also true of international players, specifically the US, that did not support the Egyptian people in their revolution until it was obvious that they had no choice and were looking very hypocritical. The American administration/pentagon/war-machine continued to support the Egyptian military during the revolution and even to this day, very much undermining efforts by the Egyptian people to build a new democracy.
Had Egypt been given regional and international support (political, expertise, incentives, etc.) towards building DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS and PROCESSES perhaps we would not be asking this question: Has democracy in Egypt had a disappointing start? Rather, let’s ask the question: Why hasn’t the region and the world done more to help Egypt’s transition to democracy? And why not? Are there nations that would rather not see Egypt succeed at democracy? And why not? And what can be done to convince them that their “national interests” are short sighted and ethically wrong?
The Egyptian people created one of the most peaceful revolutions in the history of the world. They deserve every support towards the building of their democracy – from every country in the MENA Region as well as international players – especially the US.
In my next post I will discuss how Regional and International players can support Egypt’s transition to democracy in real ways.