the Troubadour Online — Egypt story

Broken promises: Egyptian woman believes Mubarak falls short as leader

By Stephanie Tobin and Mandy Poole

Egyptian demonstratorsEgyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s refusal to step down from his position has caused protests throughout Egypt and sent shockwaves through the Middle East.

Mubarak’s 30-year reign has been riddled with controversy concerning preferential treatment of specific groups of people in Egypt.

Naglaa Eldessouky is an Egyptian citizen working on her post-doctorate in Environmental Policy at the Grenfell campus of Memorial University in Corner Brook.  Eldessouky believes that the corruption within the current cabinet of ministers has served the business people more than the everyday person in areas such as unemployment, education and healthcare services.

“The people don’t believe what he’s saying just right now,” said Eldessouky. “We had the promises and the promises and the promises all over these 30 years before.”

Egyptian Vice-President Omar Suleiman is the first vice-president the country has seen in the 30 years Mubarak has held presidential power. Suleiman was previously Mubarak’s Intelligence Chief and confidant.

Eldessouky does not believe the newly appointed vice-president has done much to help with the current situation in Egypt.

“Why also the vice president didn’t interfere and stop all of this kill innocent people, if you’re serious and if you are searching for the real democracy,” said Eldessouky.

Reports are not clear about how many people have died in these protests. However, a United Nations official estimated that it is possible 300 people have been killed in confrontations between police, anti-Mubarak protestors and Mubarak supporters.

“Both sides are stubborn,” said Eldessouky when asked about the conflict between Egyptians. “It’s time now and if we lose the chance it won’t come again, you know.

“The situation is very vague,” Eldessouky continued. “You don’t know who will win and who will lose and who will insist and who will leave but I’m quite sure that the people just right now want something tangible, want a real democracy, want to end up all this corruption; all this unemployment; all this corrupted system. After 30 years we have to have a new page, you know?”

CNN reported that the crisis in Egypt forced the closure of banks, train stations, schools, and caused local markets to quickly run out of staple foods.

Eldessouky believes Mubarak was a key component in maintaining balance with Egypt’s international relations. However, she does believe international relations would suffer should he resign.

As of Feb. 7, the Egyptian government met for its first formal meeting since the uprising began. They announced a 15 per cent salary increase for government employees to take effect in April of this year.

“It is terrible the situation and my heart is really broken,” Eldessouky said of the violence taking place during demonstrations. “A lot of innocent people was killed and this is the worst part of the story.”

There does not seem to be an end in sight for the conflict over in Egypt. The conflict is not only in Cairo and Alexandria, but also in the smaller regions throughout Egypt’s 29 governates.

“Really I would like to see a democracy in my country soon,” said Eldessouky. “This is what I hope, democracy, peace, a real democracy. I want to get an end for all this situation because I really care a lot about the innocent people killed over there and I don’t need more wounds, no more blood.”

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