Celebrated Egyptian Playwright and commentator, peace activists and democrat Ali Salem calls upon western commentators arguing whether what happened in Egypt was coup to understand realities on the ground. Here is a translation of his column.
Gentlemen, thinkers and politicians of Western civilization, we have learned the thought of how to be practical from you, and it seems, the time has come to re-remind you . The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Rationally speaking, to prove how sound an idea is, or how correct is a theory, isn’t the components or philosophical structure of the wording of the theory, but the practical results, or the practical outcome of the theory/the idea. In theory, the questions raised and the argument about the rational of the idea. might be necessary or even logical in the forums of academe, but it seems, that such questions and arguments are designed to escape from reality due to an intellectual deficit in facing the facts and dealing with them as presented by real situation ion the ground.
Western forums keep asking : Is what happened in Egypt a coup or revolution? Indeed, there is no point in our modern contemporary civilization has the right to give us a definite answer, especially when such form revive the dance on pinheads. It might be a coup and may be also revolution; it may be a revolutionary coup or a revolution that needed a protection of a coup. While we still waiting for some innovative linguist to coin a new phrase or definition, what is important is the end result or the outcome of the action for which we argue for a label:, no matter the nature of the event and what we might call it, what is important is the consequences of the occurrence.
I too, like western thinkers and intellectual hate military coups. All my life I was against military coup, but, wily all my experience and observation I shout : What happened in Egypt over a fortnight ago was NOT a military coup. Until three weeks ago the idea of a coup, or even intervening in politics didn’t cross the minds of Egyptian military for a second. They did not sit down and plan a coup , on the contrary they were taken by surprise, like you gentlemen of the pragmatic thinking of western civilization. The Egyptian military were surprised by facing a REVOLUTION. The military were faced with a dilemma of having to deal with this popular revolution in cool, pragmatic and subtle disciplined way to avoid/divert a possible bloody clash between millions of masses and the “ruling power” in Egypt. It was a real possibility of a confrontation turning the streets into rivers of blood. As the ” Ruling Power” brought this revolt upon itself. This revolution was, by any measures, overwhelming. Of course you know thinking gentlemen of the west know what the ruling power was doing to us [Egyptians] and the oldest country in the world, you only learnt what was happening from reports. It is absolute, neutral knowledge . But would what you learnt, the neutral knowledge be enough to make you FEEL what you call ” democratically elected ruling power” did to us in Egypt? Would it make you feel the pain the victim feels ? . There is a known Egyptian saying that is unlikely to have an equivalent in you your civilization. ” counting the lashes is different from taking them”. A saying encapsulated wisdom of generations of egyptian peasants who used to be flogged by oppressive landowners, or corrupt officials or invaders. During the flogging, he’d be surrounded by villagers watching the spectacle shouting the count with each lash as the whop cracks on the poor man’s back. :. One .. Least two .. three Twenty .. Twenty-one to make sure the , often, sadist law-enforces down’t exceed the punishment. The villagers’ empathy is also painful. but it can’t be the same pain and humiliation felt by the flogged peasant, while they count the lashes.
Was falling Morsi regime was flogging us Egyptians with every decree, decision, folly and its stupid way of governance; while you, gentleman in the west, as I expect, were observing, following those lashes and record them in human-rights records, with a cool mind-set as diplomats, historians and human rights watchers do. I beg you, don’t trouble your minds searching for the answer to the questions which you ( not us Egyptians) raised of whether what happened was a revolution or a coup d’etat, but rejoice for us Rejoice with us and for the people proved to have a better practical understanding of history, and use the revolution a as medium to declare they remain alive. Instead of useless argument whether it was a coup or a revolution please help us to reach the place we deserve in our journey to the future . Do you think that countries who helped us Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, would have poured their billions into Egyptian economy if it was a military coup against the people of Egypt and not a move to aid the people’s own revolution?
They rushed to help us, Egyptian, to protect and aid the majority of people’. Because they are aware of how the Egyptians rid themselves and the region of a regime that presented a threat to the entire Middle East region. Because they know that one Afghanistan is enough for our world.