هذه ترجمه لمقال على جريده الشروق على الرابط التالى:
Ayman Al Sayyad
Former senior advisor to the ousted Egyptian president Mohammed Morsy
Al Sherouk Newspaper
Sunday December 30th, 2012
This letter dates back to more than three full weeks, on the eve of when I - with a number of my colleagues - made a decision to announce that there’s 'no benefit' in continuing to be on the advisory committee for the presidency. But being aware of the “sensitivity of the current situation”, I preferred not to send it for publication at the time, waiting for the 'hustle and bustle' of the referendum on the new constitution to expire, along with all the slander, hostility, and non-reasonability that came with it. Although I promised those responsible for this newspaper that I give them the letter at the time, they respected my motives to postpone its publication.
For several understandable reasons, I hesitated much before writing you this letter. It was not my intention at the outset for it to be open, but much have happened since then, and in any case, you have already heard everything in it from me before either in closed or general meetings inside the presidential palace. As things are what they are right now, and because "honesty is salvation", and transparency is the basis of democracy, and because the current developments - in any case - have unfortunately surpassed everything in this letter, then perhaps you will allow me to address it to you, and that it would be "open".
We will not go into details an open letter is definitely not the place for. What matters in the end are the results, and what we are seeing now, which probably is no secret to anyone, is more polarization and more damage to the popularity of a president we chose to stand beside and support in the face of a regime we did not want back.
As we acknowledge that we have failed, for reasons that are understandable and clear, to bridge a gap that is widening day after day between the clan of the president and their supporters on the one hand and various segments of our nation, political and religious, on the other hand, we find that there’s no point for us to continue on the advisory committee.
As we recognize, along with everyone else, the reasons for this sharp polarization striking the very core of our nation and threatening its unity, we unfortunately feel that this matter is not taken seriously in the decision-making circles and we also don't feel any sincere interest in helping us treat the culprit we see as not only striking the revolution of "all the people" in its very essence, but also striking the unity of the nation in its core. It’s a danger if we failed, regardless of the reasons, to fight, then we at least must have the courage to admit failure, which we are certain you know its reasons, especially that we have pointed it out more than once, stressing its seriousness more than once.
We advocated dialogue; we wanted it to be real and effective. But it did not work for 'systematic' reasons that were clear even if we ignored them. What counts always lies in the realities of things regardless of the names we call them.
We said that we know that there definitely are plots targeting this country and targeting its revolution. This is expected for a country of this size and this stature. But we also know from the basics of politics that the first thing we should be mindful of when facing such conspiracies or challenges is the "unity of the internal front". This is the very thing we ignored day after day, and the details here are too many and too ancient.
Because you know us, I trust that you also know that our act was not - as some like to portray it - a bias for one camp against another, but rather an original refusal for the idea that this country will be eventually divided to two camps, and the disaster here is that this division will be over identity.
There’s richness in diversity. That’s what we know. But division is the first step in the road to what we don’t like and what we don’t accept.
Our single and only aim was to bring Egypt back to the genius moment of its true unity on the eve of the eleventh of February 2011, the day I heard with my very ears Egyptian Christians chanting Muslim prayers behind Sheikh Mohammed Gibreel. Today I hear them scrambling for an exit visa with no return.
I wrote the first line in this letter the day "the president of Egypt" was speaking, not to all of his people, but rather to a group we "appreciated" as one of the many groups of this nation, a group mobilized to support him at the doorsteps of a palace we aspired to be a palace for all of "the people" and not for just one group regardless of how much appreciation we have for this group or its history.
I wrote the second line in this letter the day this "group" called – in a dispute that should have remained political – for a million man’s march to support "God's law and the legitimacy of the President". This obvious link was not something that could be tolerated by my faith as I understand it.
And I wrote the last line in this letter the day I failed, along with my colleagues, to persuade the “group” to refrain from sending its youth to where there could be a chance for bloodshed and loss of life, a loss we know full well that the demolition of the stones of Kaaba - and not the palace - is a lesser evil to God than to cause it.
I stood beside you and beside your group during moments which you know, and they know, how critical they were. And that was nothing but a refusal for an "exclusion" which you seemed to be experiencing, and in defense of the "right of the other" and in defense of democracy as I understand it and "liberalism", which only yesterday I heard those who demonize it. This was public, explicit and clear. Because positions are fixed and principles are indivisible, I stand here today as well - if only on the other side of the river - rejecting exclusion, which some fancy possible in a country with a civilization firmly rooted in the depth of history. It may even seems strange that this was a result of worrying about a "project" I am afraid that being over-zealous by some, may steer it off course.
No one disputes the legitimacy of the ballot box. That’s not what we object. But for matters to be portrayed as a vote on the law of God - after being linked to the legitimacy of the President – was not, as I’m sure you agree, something that should have been done regardless of ballot box alliances and calculations. And to portray objecting the decisions of the president, no matter what it was, as objecting the laws of God is an enormous transcendence of boundaries especially when among those who objected some of the president's decisions (in addition to his deputy who clearly stated his dissatisfaction with the constitutional declaration which introduced us to this crisis, as well as to the law called the Revolution Protection Act) were names like Tariq Al Bishry, Noha Zeiny and Abdel Moneim Abou El Fotouh … and many others. Also among those who withdrew from the Advisory Committee of the Constituent Assembly names like Ahmed Kamal Abou El Magd, Heba Raouf, Salah Ezz … God does not commend anyone. But putting things in perspective remains a duty when it looks like the "euphoria of the ballot box" has distorted for some – at the time – what was fairly and squarely ought to be said and what was wisely and reasonably out to be done.
I stand here sure that you stand with me against what I see today as features of religious fascism, the same way I stood with you month ago against what appeared to be signs of military fascism.
Equitably, everyone’s wrong, I do not exclude anyone. Though if to be fair we have to point to the inroad of some of the statements made by some of the symbols assumed on the opposition, then I know, at least by virtue of my profession, that this is the nature of the opposition anywhere in the world and that the responsibility of a ship's captain, be it a person or group, is always greater than the responsibility of its passengers. We were among those who have always said that the “real” opposition should not be seen as confined to particular political characters but in reality would be rather embodied in the wide concerned street and in youth seeing the blood of their comrades spilled in vain, which is not why they started their revolution. Those pure youth of this nation, the young men and women who were at the vanguard of this revolution, hand in hand, not occupied with political or religious affiliation or ballot boxes or past vendettas.
But I wish that you - and I know you listen well - ask some of those you trust the sincerity of their advice: Why do we each day lose a number of those who, one day, supported us, whether at the ‘Fairmont’ or elsewhere?
I have always maintained that the Brotherhood with its long history, like the Egyptian Coptic Church, is an asset of this nation; we all lose if we lost it. And now I'm afraid to say that we probably took our first steps in the road to this loss.
And I have always voiced, and stressed in our last meeting, my concern that next to the brotherhood there exist those who may drag it somewhere they can’t afford to be, not only in Egypt, but in the entire region. This however can be a long discussion.
And I have always said that what the brotherhood needs most today, after emerging from the darkness of 'prohibited' to the light of 'governance', is a sincere and fair opposition.
I am not a politician and I did not one day belong to a party or a group and I have never held a government job, big or small, in my entire life. And you know that I declined – despite the insistency – your kind offer of a ministerial position in the cabinet. And I explained, thankful and appreciative, that I’m not the right person for such post. I’m merely someone with ideals who can at times be right or wrong, but whose value remains in his independence and freedom, and the correspondence exchanged between me and your team, as well as all "archives" or recordings of interviews conducted with me, are witness to how much I tried to make the main task of this advisory committee to aid in the fulfillment of the conditions of "democratic transition", or as politics books calls it, Transitional Justice, which, as reading history and learning from the experiences of other nations going through similar circumstances teaches us, is the only way to succeed in this transitional state. Despite what seemed – at the time – that things weren't exactly going in that direction, I still decided to be involved, in an attempt to achieve two goals: first, to find a way to get Egyptians back to unity, and I admit that I have failed in that, and the second is to defend the freedom of expression and the media as indispensable tools for the progress of nations. And perhaps some of the honorable gentlemen who attended our meetings remember that I have always said to those who were annoyed by incidents of overstepping boundaries here and there that "the problems of freedom and democracy can only be resolved by more freedom and more democracy". And now that I’m distant from the decision making circles for this project, and I see in the distance what some are planning and scheming, I allow myself to advise you to take good care of the freedom of expression and the media.
I’m departing with goodwill and respect to you and to some friends in your group. But you know that I can’t be hypocritical or disingenuous. Unfortunately I started to feel that staying close to you might be seen as hypocrisy or hold the suspicion of deceiving myself and the public, and I know you wouldn't like for me to be either.
We always believed in the democracy of "open windows" not closed doors, and we think that "personalization" is a disease of Arab thought, and we are prudent for Malik’s (RIP) word: "everyone gets taken from and is given back…". I always appreciated your patience and that you were never annoyed when I repeated in front of you what I was saying outside the palace, you were even encouraging me to do so. As well I won’t forget what you have said in your first speech, citing Abu Bakr, … So we have listened, so I have done.
Then when I sense that the danger is coming, threatening the nation, even some see it threatening the group; I can only pray that I’m mistaken.