Egypt’s Political Transition

President Mohammed Morsi’s Speech at Cairo University After Taking the Oath of Office.

President Mohammed Morsi’s Speech at Cairo University After Taking the Oath of Office
(June 30, 2012)

Source: Ikhwanweb

In the name of God, Most Merciful, Most Gracious.

O great Egyptian people, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, with my deep appreciation and timeless greetings I salute you all.

God’s peace, mercy and blessings be on you.

First, let me apologize to my children, Cairo University students, who have had their exams postponed today. I realize they are only students of the Faculties of Law and the Arts, and will take the exam in the evening. Please accept my apologies for that.

I welcome all of you, to Cairo University, which witnessed my first steps in higher education. Indeed, I had the honor of belonging to this university as a student, a lecturer and a teaching assistant, before I set off on my journey of post-graduate studies.

As we together start a new phase in Egypt’s history, we turn a dark page and start a new one illuminated with God’s blessings. Together, we are making history that connects us to glorious times past, times of Egyptian bliss and prosperity we are proud of and so are millions of Arabs and Muslims. We will endeavor not to go back to loathsome times of repression and tyranny. Egypt will not turn back.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Egyptian people have made great accomplishments through the sacrifices of the honorable martyrs, great achievements we will safeguard and never relinquish, because the people suffered so much for so long, with hundreds of innocent lives lost and thousands of citizens maimed and wounded.

The Egyptian people have imposed their will and exercised their inherent sovereignty, and for the first time in Egypt’s modern history, the people have mastered their full powers. They have elected their representatives for the People’s Assembly and the Shura Council [the two houses of the Egyptian parliament] in free and fair elections that reflected a true representation of all components of the Egyptian society. The elected parliament then selected the Constituent Assembly that will draft a new constitution for Egypt. This Assembly has already started its work; and will use, I’m certain, Egyptian experts in all fields, from across the Egyptian political and social spectra, to author a constitution expressive of national consensus, and thereby laying the foundations for a national constitutional democracy, preserving the identity of the nation and the basic components of society, while safeguarding public and private liberties.

The new constitution will be based on truth, justice, and rule of law. It will protect the independence of the judiciary, and will promote and enhance freedoms of thought, expression, association, and creativity. It will also achieve social justice, taking Egypt to the ranks of modern states in which the ruler is in fact the nation’s employee, a servant of the people.

My first task is to be an arbiter between the authorities, a patron of the Constitution and the law, after the people have placed their trust and confidence in me, in free and fair elections supervised by the great judges of Egypt and guarded by the honorable army and police, with its fair results announced by the most senior of Egyptian judiciary.

All you sons and daughters of Egypt, I pledge to God and I pledge to you, and I swear by the almighty God, to uphold the Republican system and respect the Constitution and law, and safeguard the interests of the people fully, to preserve the homeland’s independence and territorial integrity.

To fully preserve the country’s independence and territorial integrity, it is necessary to keep up the Armed Forces, police and judiciary, and to protect all the people of Egypt.

Ladies and gentlemen, I will do my best to maintain our national security and protect the borders of this country with the Armed Forces, the shield and sword of the nation, which deter all those who may be tempted to attack Egypt or threaten its national security. I pledge to God that I will preserve this institution and safeguard its members, recruits and commanders, and to enhance and elevate its status, and to boost it by all means possible to make it stronger than ever before and continue to be steadfast, with the people’s support in all it does.

I pledge to God and I pledge to you, and the whole world bears witness, that the country’s security and stability will be foremost in mind, and that it will be my responsibility, with our loyal, patriotic police forces who have dedicated themselves to protect lives, facilities and public and private property, and that the rule of law is above all else, so every Egyptian can get his or her right fully.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has honored its promise and pledge not to be a substitute for popular will. Elected institutions will return to perform their roles and the great Egyptian army will once again devote itself to its vital mission of protecting homeland security and borders, and working with other state institutions within the framework of the Constitution and the law. I salute them for their wonderful effort.

The advancement of Egypt is the responsibility of all of us together. And there is no time to waste. Egypt is in dire need of every hand to build a bright future. Nations cannot achieve a real renaissance except with the participation of all its sons and daughters, and with fruitful cooperation between the people and state institutions. On this basis, we will open new horizons in the coming period to empower society with all its components and categories, and to expand the role of civil society to participate actively in all national issues.

I pledge to all Egyptians that the state will fully bear its responsibilities towards society and towards the people of Egypt at home and abroad, will safeguard the homeland’s security, stability and safety, and will adequately care for all segments of society. I will try my utmost best to foster cooperation and love among all the spectra of Egyptian society and activate the concept of citizenship among all Egyptians.

We urgently need to remove the debris after past chaos in all fields, especially in the economic sphere; chaos that the former regime caused over the past decades. We must achieve social justice in its comprehensive sense, in order to achieve stability and security in the Egyptian society.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Egyptian nation, throughout its history, has played the role of guardian of the state. Whenever the regime strayed from the historic path of civilization, the people have been capable of correcting it. Here is the honorable Egyptian people, which came out in revolt in the iconic squares of pride and dignity, in the squares of martyrs, in Tahrir Square and all liberation squares of Egypt, this people succeeded in correcting the path of power, toppling an unjust repressive regime in a peaceful civilized manner, giving the finest examples ever seen in the whole world in popular societal oversight of the ruling regime.

In this context, I say to those who have lingering concerns about the Egyptian state changing paths: the people have chosen me to march on the path of civilization of the modern Egyptian state, and the people will not accept, and I would not want them to accept, any deviation from that path.

I pledge to God and I pledge to you to do my very best to maintain and reform the Egyptian state, making its institutions more reflective of the Egyptian people, and making its various State apparatuses work to protect and care for the interests of citizens at home and abroad, as the Egyptian citizen is the focus of its service and the backbone of the overall development.

O great Egyptian people, the former regime neglected the national security of Egypt, and dwarfed the role of this country on international and regional levels. But today we undertake building a strong Egypt and reshape its national security system in a manner consistent with the capabilities of Egypt and its real weight in the Arab, Islamic, African and international circles.

We carry a message of peace to the world, and carry with it a message of truth and justice. As always, we affirm our respect for the commitments of the Egyptian state as per international treaties and conventions. I declare here that Egypt, its people and government and the presidential institution stand firmly with the Palestinian people until they regain all their legitimate rights. We will work to complete national reconciliation efforts of the Palestinian people, so they would close ranks and reclaim their land and sovereignty.

We are not exporting the revolution. Egyptians do not export the revolution. We do not interfere in anyone’s affairs.

Meanwhile, we do not allow anyone to interfere in our affairs. While we now endeavor to build our new modern Egypt, we do not isolate ourselves from our Arab and Muslim nation; and we do not antagonize anyone anywhere in the world.

We, as Egyptians, always support people in obtaining their freedom, their self-determination, and self-governing rights. These are general principles that all the people in the world believe in.

Today, Egypt supports the Palestinian people and also the Syrian people. The shedding of the Syrian people’s blood must stop. We will do our best to stop the bloodshed in the near future. We will work with all seriousness in order to activate the joint Arab action framework and all that it requires of developing the Arab League and Arab joint defense agreement and the Arab common market.

All Arab countries need this and are keen on it. Egypt is always in the lead. If it advances, all the Arabs will. In its new era, Egypt will not accept any violation of the Arab national security; and will always be on the side of fair and comprehensive peace. Egypt will never resort to policies of aggression. But we will stand strong in the face of challenges and dangers that threaten our homeland.

Ladies and gentlemen, dear citizens everywhere: Egypt has always been destined to lead. With the vigor and vitality of its men and women, in all fields of work and production, [Egypt] will be able to realize its fate.

We will work together to encourage investment in all sectors, and restore the role of tourism for the benefit of the Egyptian economy and every citizen in Egypt. Together we will plot a brighter future for our children and grandchildren, Muslims and Christians, so Egypt would once again be strong and proud, so it would achieve the remaining objectives of its revolution, and so we together would attain freedom, justice, and human dignity.

I pledge never to betray my homeland or my people. I will meet your expectations, your demands, wishes, and your will.

I reiterate that the blood of the martyrs and the hundreds of wounded, maimed and injured are a huge responsibility that I proudly carry on my shoulders until I exact just retribution for them.

Now, let us look forward, and not look back. Let us go to work and build. Soon, we shall make it all a reality.

President-elect Mohammed Morsi’s Speech in Tahrir Square (June 29, 2012)

Source: Ikhwanweb

In the name of God, Most Merciful, Most Gracious.

O great people of Egypt, dear citizens standing here in the Revolution square, in freedom square, in Tahrir Square, in martyrs’ square, and all citizens standing in all liberty squares across the homeland, Egypt, in villages, towns and cities, in all governorates of Egypt.

O great citizens watching us at home, O free world, Arabs, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, Egyptian Muslims and Christians, all citizens wherever you are, inside Egypt and abroad.

You are all my family, my friends. We are here today to tell the whole world: these are the Egyptians; these are the revolutionaries, who made this epic, this revolution.

First, I remind you of the words that came out from my heart to you, last Sunday, when the elections committee announced your decision to entrust me with being the president of the Arab Republic of Egypt. That is certainly a great honor, an assignment I certainly cherish, and a responsibility I solemnly carry on my shoulders.

I spoke to all the Egyptian people that evening, and I mentioned almost all the governorates of Egypt and many categories of Egyptian society, but I did forget, without meaning to, some of the governorates of Egypt and some important categories of my beloved people that I greatly respect.

I pay tribute to all Egyptians, including those I forgot—the provinces of Behera, Damietta, Cairo, and Giza. These all are my family and friends, like the rest of provinces I mentioned on Sunday. I extend my greetings to all the Egyptian people without exception, and I assure my respect and my love for the people of creativity, art, culture and media, loyal to Egypt, and all citizens facing up to challenging disabilities.

Special tribute is due to tourism workers. I reiterate and emphasize that I am determined to help them advance and progress. I also stand here with you today, in this our iconic square of freedom and revolution; and we all stand together in all liberty squares of Egypt, and in particular Tahrir Square which saw the rebirth of Egypt, free and dignified Egypt of the real renaissance and the rights that will not be lost. We stand together today to celebrate all of you. I salute all the revolutionaries in all Egypt’s freedom squares. Above all, I salute the honorable martyrs who have made a great sacrifice and with their pure blood have watered the tree of liberty.

When we mention the martyrs, we also look at history to know that the tree of liberty was planted by honorable men decades ago, since the beginning of last century, and after suffering the dark decades of injustice and repression for so long, on January 25, 2011, the martyrs of this revolution achieved a major victory.

I salute all the injured of the revolution and their families and all those who generously gave their homeland all they could and sacrificed for the sake of rebuilding and advancing their country.

Let us remain steadfast, men of the revolution, boys and girls, men and women. I am one of you—that is how I was; I still am; and will always be. During the revolution, in this place, we used to say that the revolution is led by its own objectives. Well, the revolution continues to achieve its objectives. It is reshaping to reflect the free will the Egyptian people, with an elected president steering the ship home, leading this revolution, standing in front of patriotic revolutionaries, leading them on the path to full democracy, and doing all he can to achieve all the objectives of the great revolution.

I came to talk to you today, because I believe that you are the source of power and legitimacy. There is no person, party, institution, or authority over or above the will of the people. The nation is the source of all power; it grants and withdraws power.

I say to everyone now; to all the people, the ministries and the government, the army and police of Egypt, men and women, at home and abroad; I say it with full force, ‘No authority is over or above this power.’ You are the source of power. You are the owners of the will. You grant power to whomsoever you choose, and you withdraw power from whomsoever you choose.

I come to you, today, my beloved Egyptian people, and I wear no bullet-proof vest, because I am confident, as I trust God and I trust you, and I fear only God. And I will always be fully accountable to you.

I come today to Tahrir Square, after it placed this responsibility on my shoulders, to renew my pledge to you; to remind you that you alone are always, always the first station for me to call. I say to all the Egyptian people that, with God’s help, I seek their support and their assistance. Are you ready? Will you stand by me to fully regain our rights? No creature will take the rights of the people again so long as it is their will to preserve their rights.

I stand here with you, O great people of Egypt, before the usual formal proceedings, and I say to all honorable Egyptians—those who elected me and those who did no—I’m for all of you, at the same distance from all. I will never subtract form the rights of those they told me ‘No,’ nor will I subtract from the rights of those who said to me ‘Yes.’ This is democracy. And that is how we set on our journey to rebuild our homeland.

‘I pledge to God and I pledge to you—I swear by the almighty God to uphold the republican system; to respect the Constitution and law; to look after the interests of the people fully; and to safeguard the stability and territorial integrity of the homeland.’ [Oath of Office]

I pledge to God and I pledge to you, the honorable people of Egypt, to fulfill my promises. I pledge to work with you in order to bolster our unity and our strength. I stress my rejection of any attempt to blackmail the people’s power.

I confirm that I, as president of the Egyptian people, after the legal formal proceedings, which I respect, will endeavor to overcome all obstacles. I reiterate my rejection of any attempt to wrest the power of the people, because I am the decision-maker—with your will.

I will not tolerate any curbing of the powers of the President of the Republic. I have no right to give up presidential powers and functions on the basis of which you chose me. This is a contract between you and me. That is the concept of the modern state.

This does not in any way mean we do not respect the law, the constitution, or relevant state institutions. There is no contradiction between this and that.

Furthermore, I will not give up the rights of our martyrs and wounded. Fair retribution for them is my responsibility, from which I will not shirk.

I will work with you in every moment of my presidential term. I will always put the higher interests of the country above all else, determined to establish the principles of freedom and social justice, and to remove all forms of injustice, corruption, and discrimination.

I will work on rejuvenating the economy and alleviate the suffering of millions of Egyptians seeking a decent dignified life. I will connect with everyone; and my doors will remain open for all. I will always welcome you; and I will always be in touch with you.

[All the masses in Tahrir Square chanted with President Morsi: “Revolutionaries, Free, We will complete the journey.”]

We will complete the journey in a civil constitutional modern state, without disrupting production nor traffic; without violating any private or public freedoms, and without clashes or confrontation or distrust.

O citizens of Egypt everywhere, in all cities, in the east and west, the north and south: we are united as one, we are all one hand. I will not differentiate between supporters and opponents. I ask for your advice, and for God’s help, and all the people of Egypt’s support.

I will work with you to restore Egypt’s status as a leader in creativity and culture, education and industry, production and agriculture. We must be partners in national action.

I will endeavor to regain Egypt’s free will in its foreign relations. I will abolish all subordination to any outside power. Egypt is free in all its actions and discourses.

We will not commit any acts of aggression against anyone; but we are all able to prevent any aggression against us. Together we will introduce a new concept of international relations. And I warn everyone, no matter who they are, of attempting to undermine Egypt’s dignity or pride, or of even thinking of assaulting the dignity of its people or its president, whomever he may be.

I emphasize the concept of national security in perspectives pertaining to the depths of Africa, the Arab world, the Muslim world, and the rest of the world. We will not relinquish our rights; we will not relinquish the right of any Egyptian abroad. Our regime will drive our own discourse in our foreign relations.

I will always be the first supporter of the revolution, so it should continue everywhere in the farthest corners of the homeland. I want these voices to continue be heard announcing that we are always free, revolutionaries, and we’re going to continue the march, complete the journey.

We will continue to chant, expressing our love for our homeland. Because love for Egypt is our duty. We will continue to chant for freedom and dignity.O great Egyptian people, I will do my best to free all detainees, including the blind sheikh, Omar Abdel Rahman. This is their right onto me, and my duty towards them.

2012 Electoral Program of Freedom and Justice Party Candidate Mohammed Morsi
(April 28, 2012)

Source: Ikhwanweb

It is a great honor that, thanks to the great Egyptian revolution and the honorable martyrs who sacrificed their lives for freedom, we have this opportunity to offer our noble people, our great brothers and sisters in this homeland, Dr. Morsi’s electoral platform, “The Egyptian Nahda (Renaissance) Project.”

This project and program is the result of a tremendous effort and hard work that lasted well over fifteen years. It aims to re-build the Egyptian person, the Egyptian society, and the Egyptian nation, with an Islamic reference and a modern cultural identity for the enlightened, noble people of Egypt.

General Features of Nahda (Renaissance) Project

Nahda Project is based on empowering the people and placing their destinies in their own hands, rather than the hands of a corrupt clique or a ruthless unscrupulous bureaucracy.

The project aims at bringing forth Egyptian individuals who feel at peace with themselves, their family, work, environment, and society at large.

It also aims to build a society whose will is not defeated by that of a brutal state, corrupt regime, or foreign power—a society that occupies its rightful ranking among the world’s nations, a society endowed with lofty values, science and thought in these times of information and knowledge economy and age of creativity and innovation.

The project finally aims to build a state that provides people access to education, healthcare, jobs, investment, and business building opportunities; and protects their rights and dignity within and outside the country.

The project is proposed by the Muslim Brotherhood, which strived throughout eighty years to preserve the identity of this nation, build its strength, and entrench the values of moderation, balance, and tolerance in its thought.

Indeed, the Brotherhood believes in upbringing as the methodology of change and work as a means for achievement. It is no wonder that it occupies a special place in the heart of society and is closely connected with the people; aware of their concerns, suffering, and dreams; and adopts their legitimate ambitions for a dignified life in the shade of its tolerant religious beliefs and moral values.

We present this program with firm resolve to restore the positive, pristine image of Egypt whose national, Arab, and international roles were lost under despotism, repression, and corruption; whose economy failed due to the oppression and absence of justice; whose sons and daughters lost most of their freedoms upon the collapse of the rights and liberties framework in its entirety; and whose people had no hope for essential equal opportunities due to the corruption that had permeated its body.

We are determined to restore Egypt’s bright image and rightful status that every honorable Egyptian citizen, dreaming of Egypt as a pioneering nation, prides; the Egypt that was once and will sure become again the civilizational front-runner among nations.

The project favors true democracy and national belonging, with Islam as a reference; and sets out with impartible Egyptian pride.

We are fully aware that the rejuvenation of a nation cannot be achieved by any single party, sector, group, or trend no matter how powerful it is, and that the way to the desired real renaissance is our unity of ranks and determination to achieve comprehensive revitalization and to be ready and willing to bear its heavy burdens and endure its toils and privations. If political gravitations have created big or small distances between us, the pioneering Nahda (Renaissance) Project can bring us back together and unite our efforts.

Believing that he who dedicates himself to public service must clarify his visions and policies to the people, we present to you the following features of the Egyptian Nahda Project with hope that Egyptians of all segments of society will contribute to its evaluation, discussion, and formation—so that it becomes the torch that lights our path towards Modern Egypt.

—The Nahda Project Team

A Vision for Building the Egyptian Nation

The Nahda project revolves around three principle stakeholders in Egyptian society: the state, civil society, and the private sector. With the permeation of Egyptian state control and influence in the civil and private sectors, the project establishes reformation mechanisms at the strategic and executive levels, so as to achieve the desired balance between the three stakeholders and their institutions.

The project vision is divided into three levels, according to values and objectives concerning the Egyptian individual, society, and state:

The Value and Thought level describes what Egyptians want or wish for in their daily lives, in terms of values, rights, qualities, and duties, and what they expect from Egyptian society’s various institutions and principal players.

In doing so, this level relies on a vast collection of experiences, specialized and societal studies on laying down an integrated vision for the remaining levels to pursue with the aim of advancing the people civilizationally and curing society from the corruption that has afflicted it throughout the previous time periods.

The Strategy level comprises seven paths aiming to achieve the desired change through complex development plans whose roles are distributed among the stakeholders of the Egyptian nation.

The Executive level transforms these plans into specific groups of projects, reforms, and operational policies divided over three time periods, as an initial step on the road towards the Egyptian Nahda, or comprehensive rejuvenation.

The Strategic Level

With the cooperation of a number of research institutions, experts, and both Egyptian and non-Egyptian university professors, development plans were laid out for each strategic path.

Under each objective are a number of projects and executive programs, some of which have entered the implementation phase and others are still under preparation. The following is a brief review of a few aspects of the major paths:

The Strategic Paths

* Building the political system

* Transforming into a developmental economy

* Societal empowerment

* Comprehensive human resource development

* Building a safety and security system

* Achieving regional and international leadership

* Files under focus

Building the Political System

  1. From completion of the political system, all the way to the deep restructuring of the Egyptian state, transforming it from a dominant state to a state of empowered institutions with clearly marked pillars and specific powers to be respected, and not exceeded.

This process includes establishing the concept of the executive, legislative, and judicial authorities complementing one another while emphasizing each authority’s independent performance of its roles.

  1. Building a comprehensive network system for fighting corruption, with oversight, legislative and executive powers, recognizing citizens’ right to obtain government information.
  2. Approving mechanisms for public monitoring of government performance to guarantee a higher level of transparency and integrity in performance.
  3. Enabling all Egyptians to participate in national and political activities rather than limiting this activity to the economic and social elite of Egypt.
  4. Reforming laws, legislations, and regulations governing the relationship between atate institutions and mechanisms of their management to clarify the responsibilities, powers, and competences of each institution and to enhance the state’s ability to facilitate government service for citizens.
  5. Applying the principle of participation rather than domination in forming a coalition government representing all political players and stakeholders in Egyptian society to enable us to work together on building the future of Egypt without excluding any principal political party.
  6. Activating the role of youth in the political process, beginning with lowering the qualifying age for public office and considering the factors of competence, ability, and desire to work in public service as the major qualification criteria for political jobs.

Transforming Into a Developmental Economy

  1. Rapid and comprehensive transformation from an income or rentier economy to a productive or value-added economy, within the boundaries of an information and production society, through 100 national projects (each exceeding one billion dollars) guaranteeing the multiplication of gross domestic product in five years at an annual growth rate of 6.5 to 7 percent.
  2. Reforming the banking system to ensure it performs its principal role in supporting the national economy at different levels, while providing developmentally appropriate monetary tools to ensure the effective participation of the banking sector in development projects and to ensure its focus on priorities.
  3. Developing a program to support small and medium scale enterprises to provide a suitable environment for the advancement and sufficient activation of this economic segment by:
  4. Providing necessary technical support for selecting, developing, and managing these projects.
  5. Providing a training and certification program for the required management and technical cadres.
  6. Providing the financial studies and tools necessary and appropriate for these projects.
  7. Providing a legislative climate that guarantees small-scale businesses’ access to full opportunities of fair competition.
  8. Creating societies and syndicates to support this.
  9. Providing marketing opportunities and permanent exhibitions.

Societal Empowerment

  1. Strengthening and enabling the civil society and institutions to safeguard democracy and preserve Egyptians’ energy so that they never allow the return of state control over this sector. This would be achieved through acknowledgement of the judiciary as the governing reference for this sector.
  2. Restoring the role of endowments and direct and indirect contributions from citizens to ensure financial independence of civil society and to limit the role of the state in coordinating and supporting the different components of this sector. This also includes encouraging and supporting our people, who for long have been deprived of volunteering, through their time or money, in activities for public good.
  3. Quick and intensive efforts to save the Egyptian family and encourage civil society to support the family’s mission and educate family members about the present challenges and future requirements.
  4. Advancing the media system, codifying the state’s role in the media sector, and unleashing freedom of expression guided by genuine Egyptian values.

Comprehensive Human Development

  1. Supporting a life that allows for continuous learning, multi-directional production and satisfactory consumption of basic human needs, and that realizes human dignity.
  2. Structuring a comprehensive social justice system that will provide the different social classes with equal opportunities in residence, work, medical treatment, and in exercising their political rights.
  3. Adopting a clear project with a time frame to overcome illiteracy and school dropout in cooperation with the state’s civil and private sectors.
  4. Dealing with open and masked unemployment and weak competency of the workforce by launching qualitative and quantitative development programs for workers and by applying positive pressure on training, research and scientific institutions in Egypt to nurture development with the needed capacities to reduce the rate of unemployment by 5 percent every year.
  5. Restructuring the Egyptian educational system with three objectives in mind:
  6. Egyptian development map 2025.
  7. Needs and expectations of the workforce.
  8. Aspirations and concerns of youth and students.

The educational system must be completely redesigned around the student; thus shifting the educational strategy from the student’s mere competence in knowledge acquisition to a quality and flexible educational process that provides greater opportunities for Egyptians, and meets the needs of the job market. Such a strategy requires an increase in the educational budget of the state (from 3.3 percent to the regional ratio of 5.2 percent of GDP).

Building the Safety and Security System

  1. Achieving security and regulating its institutions and structuring the police apparatus to maintain domestic security, support Egyptians rights, and protect their possessions.
  2. Changing the security doctrine of principal institutions in the security sector by supporting the concept of loyalty and belonging to the Egyptian citizen and his safety and security, not to the ruling regime.
  3. Increasing the competence, abilities, and strengths of the Egyptian army to protect Egyptian interests at the regional and international levels, and to enable Egypt to restore its regional weight.

Achieving Regional and International Leadership

  1. Restoring Egypt’s leading role in the region and strengthening international treaties and agreements that will protect the interests of Egyptians internally and externally.
  2. Protecting Arab national and Gulf security and pushing Arab-Islamic cooperation to new horizons that would serve the interests of Egypt.
  3. Establishing relations with all international parties based on equal footing and common interests, and diversifying the international relations network with African, Asian, and Western ties to help achieve balance in the protection of Egyptian interests in the international arena.
  4. Establishing the foundations of equal treatment and codes for Egyptians’ rights outside Egypt and utilizing the potential of Egyptian embassies and their political relations to ease the difficulties and obstacles facing them, from protecting their rights and dignity to being safe havens for them, if needed, while away from the homeland.

Files Under Focus

  1. Supporting and empowering the Egyptian woman and paving the way for her participation in society, politics, and priorities of national development. This springs from our belief that woman is equal to man in terms of status and that she complements him in his work and tasks.
  2. We seek to empower the Egyptian woman by removing the hindrances that face her fruitful participation in all fields of life in a way that helps the woman achieve a balance between her home and society.
  3. Protection of the Egyptian woman from harassments on Egyptian streets and from all forms of discrimination when applying for public or private job positions.
  4. Give special support to women doing economic activities such as small businesses, and encourage pioneer women managing their own private enterprises.
  5. Changing the negative stance of Egyptian culture regarding women’s political participation by presenting successful role models and figures.
  6. Restoring the leading role of Azhar as a beacon of the moderate Islamic school of thought and supporting its scientific, educational, managerial, and financial independence and strengthening its ability as a world university attracting the best youth of the Islamic world and as one of Egypt’s external leading wings.
  7. Fulfilling all our fellow Copts’ rights of citizenship and realizing their full legal equality as Egyptian citizens while maintaining their right to appeal to their religious strictures on matters pertaining to personal status and their religious affairs.

This program includes other items concerning, for example, shifting the licensing procedures for church buildings and worship houses from the presidential institution to the Urban Planning Authority to protect these rights from political abuse by the state.

  1. Incorporating an integrative bundle of laws and legislations for protection of the environment as well as the environmental rights of Egyptians into all industrial, agricultural, productive, and urban planning sectors and infrastructural projects, so as to restore the required balance between human consumption and the environment’s natural ability to restore its vitality. This file also deals with a number of reform programs, from environmental impact monitoring and assessment mechanisms to incorporating material concerned with environmental awareness into the Egyptian educational curricula.
  2. Providing financial and urban incentives to encourage Egyptian families living in the slums to make their own decision to move out under no coercion from the state.

The first step begins with codifying the legal situation of slum inhabitants, i.e. their legal ownership of buildings they live in, and hence their ability to trade its sale value with an alternative one in the real estate market.

This will require incentives suitable for each area’s residents, from offering moving alternatives, through facilitating home ownership, to providing infrastructure services ahead in new residential areas.

In sum, the project relies on respecting the dignity of the Egyptian citizen and the right to own residential property.

Document for Basic Freedoms

Issued by Ahmed El-Tayyeb, Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar
(January 8, 2012)

Source: Office of Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar

After the revolutions that made freedom and equality spring up and paved a way for the ideas of comprehensive reform and development in all the sections of society, it’s logical for Egyptians, Arabs and Muslim World to start yearning for an initiative through which the scholars and intellectuals would define the relationship between the general principles of the Islamic sharia and the set of basic freedoms that are adopted by all international conventions and created by the civilization and experience of the Egyptian people.

In defining such a relationship, scholars shall establish the foundations and principles of those basic freedoms and determine the conditions that protect the development and open up the horizons of the future. These are the freedom of belief, the freedom of expression, the freedom of scientific research, and the freedom of literary and artistic creativity. All these freedoms should have their roots in serving the objectives of the shari`ah and grasping the spirit of modern constitutional legislation and the requirements of human knowledge advance.

This relationship shall turn the spiritual energies of the nation into fuel and motivate for development and progress and a means to achieving both spiritual and material advance. To this end, ongoing efforts shall be made where wise cultural rhetoric goes in harmony with enlightened religious rhetoric and both proceed in a fruitful path to the future, on which the goals agreed by all shall be clear.

Hence, the group of Al-Azhar scholars and the Egyptian intellectuals—who issued the first document under the auspices of Al-Azhar and then issued a statement in support of the Arab uprisings—have resumed their meetings and discussed the common intellectual denominators in the set of freedoms and human rights.

The conclusion they have reached is to approve a collection of principles and regulations that govern the ideas of freedom and equality, taking into consideration the requirements of the current historic moment and the need to safeguard social harmony and the public interests in the phase of democratic transition, during which the country shall build its constitutional institutions in a secure and proper manner and with help from Almighty Allah.

It is believed that this will also block the spread of some prejudiced calls, under the pretext of commanding the right and forbidding the wrong, to interfere in public and personal freedoms. Indeed, this is incompatible with both the civilization and social development of modern Egypt at a time the country needs unity and moderate approach to religion; this is the religious message and responsibility of Al-Azhar towards the society and nation.

First: Freedom of Belief

Freedom of belief and the associated right of full citizenship for all—which is based on complete equality in rights and duties—is regarded as the cornerstone in the modern social structure. This freedom is guaranteed by the authentic conclusive religious texts and the clear constitutional and legal principles. Almighty Allah says,

There shall be no compulsion in the religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong… (Al-Baqarah  2: 256)

And He also says,

So whoever wills—let him believe; and whoever wills—let him disbelieve… (Al-Kahf 18: 29)

Accordingly, any aspect of compulsion, persecution, or discrimination on the basis of religion is prohibited. Everybody in society has the right to embrace any ideas he chooses, without encroaching upon the right of society to the maintenance of divine faiths, in light of sanctity accorded to all the three Abrahamic faiths; so, everyone is free to perform his rituals, and none should hurt the other’s feelings or violate the sanctity of his rites whether by words or deeds, and without breaching the public order.

As the Arab region is the land blessed with the heavenly divine revelations, it therefore has a great commitment to protect the sacredness of all these revealed faiths, as well as respecting their rituals, and guaranteeing the rights of their believers to freedom, dignity, and brotherliness.

As a result of this, there should be acceptance of the legitimacy of plurality, maintenance of the right to difference, and the obligation that every citizen should consider the feelings of others and that equality should prevail among all citizens on the firm basis of citizenship, partnership, and equal opportunities in terms of all rights and duties.

Also based on the respect for the freedom of belief is the rejection of trends that exclude others, condemn their beliefs and label them as disbelievers amid attempts to examine the inner thoughts of those who hold those beliefs. Such rejection rests on the well-established constitutional systems and, even before that, on the clear and categorical rules set by the Islamic sharia. An example is the Prophetic hadith that says: “Would you inspect his heart?” This rule was also well expressed by the Imam Malik, and other Imams, when he (Malik) said, “If a person says something that most probably denotes disbelief, yet still there is a remote possibility it does not, it should not be taken to denote disbelief.”

The scholars of ijtihad [jurisprudence] and legislation have attached great significance to the mind in Islam and left us a golden rule that says: “If the mind and the text are apparently conflicting, the mind should be given precedence and the text reinterpreted.” This is to maintain the considered legal interests and serve the objectives of the shari`ah.

Second: Freedom of Opinion and Expression

Freedom of opinion is the mother of all freedoms, and it is most manifest in the free expression of opinion by all different means, including writing, oratory, artistic production, digital communication. Indeed, it is the manifestation of social freedoms, which go beyond individuals to include, among other activities, the formation of parties and civil society institutions, the freedom of the press and the media, whether in audio, visual, or digital form, and the freedom to access the information needed for expression of opinion. This freedom should be guaranteed by constitutional provisions so as to transcend ordinary laws, which are subject to change.

The Supreme Constitutional Court in Egypt has decided to broaden the concept of free speech to encompass constructive criticism, even if toughly worded. The court has stipulated: “It is not appropriate to restrict the freedom of expression regarding the public issues by limits not to be exceeded; rather, it should be tolerated.”

It is necessary, however, to note that the beliefs of the three divine religions and their rituals must be respected, as this is very serious for the national cohesion and security. No one has the right to incite sectarian strife and doctrinal feud in the name of free speech. This said, the right to present an independent scholarly opinion, supported by the relevant evidence and within the specialized circles, and away from incitement, shall be guaranteed.

The attendees state that the freedom of opinion and expression is the true manifestation of democracy, and they call for educating the new generations the culture of freedom, the right to difference, and to show respect for others. They also appeal to those working in the field of religious, cultural, and political rhetoric over the media to pay attention to this important dimension in their practices and to seek a wise approach that helps form a public opinion marked by tolerance, broad-mindedness, resort to dialogue, and rejection of fanaticism.

To achieve this, we have to recall the classical civilizations and traditions of the Islamic thought, whose great imams would say, “I hold that my opinion is right, yet may be wrong, and that the opinion of others is wrong, yet may be right.” Hence, there is no way to reinforce free speech but through the approach to confront an argument with another one, according to the ethics of dialogue and the civilized customs that are deeply rooted in the advanced societies.

 

Third: Freedom of Scientific Research

Serious scientific research in humanities, physics, mathematics, etc., is the driver of human progress and the means to discovering the laws of the universe so as to use them for the goodness of humankind. Such research cannot be conducted and yield its theoretical and practical fruits without the dedication of the energies of the nation and the mobilization of its capabilities for it. Numerous Koranic verses urge us to contemplate, deduce, conduct analogical reasoning, and ponder the human and universal phenomena with a view to discovering their laws. In fact, these verses paved the way for the biggest scientific renaissance the East has even known. This renaissance presented scientific achievements that brought welfare to humanity. And it was subsequently carried by the Muslim scholars to the West, sparking the age of renaissance there, as it is well known and established.

If thinking in general is an Islamic duty in all branches of knowledge and arts, as held by the scholars ofijtihad, theoretical and experimental scientific research is the instrument for the discharge of this duty. And the most important among its requirements is that research institutions and specialized scholars should enjoy full academic freedom to perform experiments and put forth hypotheses, and to test them according to accurate scientific criteria.

Such institutions also have the right to possess the creative imagination as well as the adequate expertise needed for reaching new results that contribute to human knowledge. They should not be directed in that respect except by the ethics, methods, and unchanging principles of science.

Great Muslim scholars, such as Al-Razi, Ibn Al-Haytham, Ibn Al-Nafis, were the leaders and pioneers of knowledge in the East and the West for many centuries. It is time now for the Arab and Muslim world to make a comeback to the race of power and the age of scientific knowledge. Science has come to be the source of military and economic power and the cause of progress, development, and prosperity.

Free scientific research is the basis for the development of education, the supremacy of scientific thought, and the prosperity of production centers, for which big budgets should be allocated, work teams formed, and major projects proposed. All these require the highest ceiling of human and scientific research. The West had almost put its hand on every scientific advance and secured a monopoly on the path of science. But the rise of Japan, China, India, and Southeast Asia gave vivid examples for the capability of the East to break that monopoly, entering the age of knowledge through a wide open door. The time has come for the Egyptians and the Arabs and Muslims to get into the arena of civilized and scientific competition. Indeed, they have the adequate potentials—spiritual, material, human, etc.—that qualify them for such advance in a world that shows no respect for the weak and those lagging behind.

Fourth: Freedom of Literary and Artistic Creativity

There are two types of creativity. One type is scientific creativity, which has been previously tackled. The other is literary and artistic creativity, which comprises different genres of literature, such as lyric and dramatic poetry, stories and novels, theatre, biographies, and visual plastic arts, and cinematic, television, and musical arts, in addition to other forms newly introduced to all these genres.

In general, literature and arts seek to raise awareness of reality, activate imagination, elevate aesthetic sense, educate people and expand their mental faculties, and deepen human experience with life and society. Moreover, they sometimes view society with a critical eye, envisaging a better one. All these are lofty roles that in reality serve to enrich the language and culture, stimulate imagination, and improve intellectual capabilities, while observing the sublime religious values and moral virtues.

Arabic language had been distinguished by its literary richness and eloquence. Then the noble Koran came with the climax of eloquence and inimitability, adding to the beauty of the language and manifesting its genius, and feeding the arts of poetry, prose, and wisdom. And thus, the talents and creativity of poets and writers—from different nationalities which embraced Islam and learned Arabic—were released without restrictions in all fields of arts over the ages. Furthermore, many scholars, sheikhs, and imams in Islamic heritage were narrators of poetry and stories of all kinds.

However, the basic rule that governs the limits of the freedom of creativity is the preparedness of society, on the one hand, and its ability to absorb the elements of heritage and renewal in literary and artistic creativity, on the other hand. So, freedom of creativity should be respected so long as it does not hurt religious feelings or run counter to the established moral values. The fact remains that literary and artistic creativity is one of the most important signs of the prosperity of the set of basic freedoms, and it is the most effective in reviving the awareness of society and enriching its conscience.

The more the reasonable freedom is entrenched in society, the clearer the proof of its civilization. Literature and arts are the mirror of the consciences of societies and the true expression of their variables and invariables. They paint a bright picture of their aspirations for a better future. We implore Almighty Allah to guide us to that which is good and right.

Select Communiqués and Facebook Messages of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF)

Communiqué No. 1 (February 10, 2011)

Based on the responsibility of the Armed Forces and commitment to the protection of the people and the people’s interest and safety, and out of our keenness for the safety of the nation and the citizens, and the possessions of the great Egyptian people, and out of endorsement for the people’s rightful/legitimate demands, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces held a meeting on Thursday February 10, 2011, to study the current situation and how it develops. The council has decided to continue meeting regularly to study the options and procedures and measures to keep the safety of the nation and the ambitions of the great Egyptian people.

 

Message No. 1 of 2011, SCAF Official Facebook Page (February 17, 2011)

A message to the great Egyptian people:

The great Egypt can accommodate all opinions and freedoms that lead to the nation’s prosperity and goals.

As the Armed Forces believes in the right of the Egyptian people to demonstrate peacefully, without vandalism or clashes; we urge you not to violate the law in tomorrow’s demonstrations and to preserve the real image and value of January 25 revolution.

The right to demonstrate is granted but without reference to non-Egyptian cultures, like wearing black during the demonstration.

The Armed Forces will perform its admirable role of protecting demonstrators from all backgrounds as an obligation toward what has started recently.

Message No. 52 of 2011, SCAF Official Facebook Page (May 17, 2011)

Summary of Speech by SCAF Chairman Mohammed Hussein Tantawi at Police Academy

During the celebration of the Ministry of Interior, with the graduation of a new class of the sons of the great Egyptian people from the police academy, the chief of SCAF assured the following:

Great appreciation to the January 25 revolution and the revolutionaries.

Since it started, the Armed Forces took the side of the revolution, and refused—as all SCAF members agreed—to use arms against the sons of this great people.

The importance of overcoming the past, not to forget the police, and to work hard on regaining security for Egypt.

The biggest problems that keep the January 25 [revolution] from achieving its goals are the following:

  1. Absence of security and vandalism; and the importance of cooperation between the people, the police, the army, and judiciary to crack down this phenomenon.
  2. We have economic hardships due to the absence of security and due to protests. Tourism, which provides 14 billion dollars and employs a workforce of 2 million people, has stopped. Egypt has resources that enable it to have a powerful and quick launch that fits the aspirations of this great people.

We will never allow sectarian conflict to happen, and will crack down on whomever tries to raise [such conflict] or damage the destiny of this nation.

The media has to care for Egypt. Most media people are honorable, and what we need it truthful media.

SCAF is totally sure of the awareness of this great people, and the youth of the revolution, about the dangers of this phase, and their cooperation with the army, the police, and the judiciary to regain security; to push the production wheel so that the revolution achieves its goals and launches Egypt towards a brighter future and attains its rightful place in the world. This will not happen without sincere efforts and prioritizing the country interests to all other personal ones.

Message No. 4 of 2012, SCAF Official Facebook Page (February 6, 2012)

SCAF discussed in today’s meeting the domestic situation and current incidents that reflect the deteriorated security situation that affects honorable citizens, and negatively affects the achievements of the great January 25 revolution. It concluded the following:

  1. Total assurance of implementing the previously announced plan of handing over power to an elected civilian power, in a democratic and transparent way.
  2. Our feeling that citizens are still worried about the current security situation, obliging to continue the support of the Armed Forces to police forces, to preserve the nation and guarantee a feeling of security and serenity.
  3. The Armed Forces always seek to resolve the crises and problems that face citizens. We assure that we will do all possible efforts in this regard, and the necessity of everybody’s efforts to face and prevent such crisis in order to not burden the nation’s stability.
  4. The absolute importance of ignoring rumors and fake accusations against the Armed Forces, which aim at disturbing the rock-solid relationship between the people and their Armed Forces. We continuously assure the stability of this relationship based upon our support to the demands of the Egyptian people, and that was clear in our complete alliance to the great January 25 revolution.
  5. We always assure our respect to the independence of the judiciary, and its patriotic role of supporting the values of justice and law. We hope everybody understands that, and we in turn realize that absolute justice is a goal that everybody looks up to.

SCAF urges the Egyptian people, who amazed the world with their revolution, to do all possible efforts to preserve the earnings of the revolution and prevent all conspiratorial elements that aim at weakening the state.

Summary of Amended Egyptian Constitutional Declaration by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces
(June, 18, 2012)

Source: Ahram Online

 

The following amendments went into effect immediately:

Article 30: In a situation that parliament is dissolved the president will be vowed into office in front of High Constitutional Court’s General Assembly.

Article 53: The incumbent SCAF members are responsible for deciding on all issues related to the armed forces including appointing its leaders and extending the terms in office of the aforesaid leaders.  The current head of the SCAF is to act as commander-in-chief of the armed forces and minister of defense until a new constitution is drafted.

Article 53/1: The president can only declare war after the approval of the SCAF.

Article 53/2: If the country faces internal unrest which requires the intervention of the Armed Forces, the president can issue a decision to commission the armed forces—with the approval of the SCAF—to maintain security and defend public properties. Current Egyptian law stipulates the powers of the armed forces and its authorities in cases where the military can use force, arrest or detain.

Article 56 B: The SCAF will assume the authorities set out in sub-article 1 of Article 56 as written in the March 30, 2011, Constitutional Declaration until a new parliament is elected.

Article 60 B:  If the constituent assembly encounters an obstacle that would prevent it from completing its work, the SCAF within a week  will form a new constituent assembly- to author a new constitution within three months from the day of the new assembly’s formation. The newly drafted constitution will be put forward after 15 days of the day it is completed, for approval by the people through a national referendum. The parliamentary elections will take place one month from the day the new constitution is approved by the national referendum.

Article 60 B1: If the president, the head of SCAF, the prime minister, the Supreme Council of the Judiciary, or a fifth of the constituent assembly find that the new constitution contains an article or more which conflict with the revolution’s goals and its main principles or which conflict with any principle agreed upon in all of Egypt’s former constitutions, any of the aforementioned bodies may demand that the constituent assembly revises this specific article within 15 days. Should the constituent assembly object to revising the contentious article, the article will be referred to the High Constitutional Court (HCC), which will then be obliged to give its verdict within seven days. The HCC’s decision is final and will be published in the official gazette within three days from the date of issuance.

Article 38 of the March 30, 2011, Constitutional Declaration will be replaced with: “The parliamentary elections will be conducted in accordance to the law.”

President Hosni Mubarak’s Final Address
(February 10, 2011)

Source: BBC

 

I am addressing the youth of Egypt today in Tahrir Square and across the country. I am addressing you all from the heart, a father’s dialogue with his sons and daughters. I am proud of you as the new Egyptian generation calling for a change to the better, dreaming and making the future.

First and foremost, I am telling you that the blood of your martyrs and injured will not go in vain. I assure you that I will not relent in harshly punishing those responsible. I will hold those who persecuted our youth accountable with the maximum deterrent sentences. I tell the families of those innocent victims that I suffered plenty for them, as much as they did. My heart was in pain because of what happened to them, as much as it pained their hearts.

I am telling you that heeding to your voice, your message and demands is an irretraceable commitment. I am determined to live up to my promises with all firmness and honesty and I am totally determined to implement (them), without hesitation or reconsideration. This commitment springs from a strong conviction that your intentions are honest and pure and your action. Your demands are just and legitimate demands.

The mistakes can be made in any political system and in any state. But, the most important is to recognize them and correct them as soon as possible and bring to account those who have committed them.

I am telling you that as a president I find no shame in listening to my country’s youth and interacting with them. The big shame and embarrassment, which I have not done and never will do, would be listening to foreign dictations whatever may be the source or pretext.

My sons, the youth of Egypt, brother citizens, I have unequivocally declared that I will not run for president in the next elections, satisfied with what I’ve offered my country in over sixty years during war and peace. I declared my commitment to that, as well as my equal commitment to carrying out my responsibility in protecting the constitution and the people’s interests until power and responsibility are handed over to whoever is elected in next September, following free and candid elections with guarantees of freedom and candor. This is the oath I took before God and my country and one which I will keep until we take Egypt and its people to a safe harbor.

I have set a defined vision to come out of this crisis and to carry out what the citizens and the youth have called for in a way which would respect the constitutional legitimacy and not undermine it. It will be carried out in a way that would bring stability to our society and achieve the demands of its youth, and, at the same time, propose an agreed-upon framework for a peaceful transfer of power through responsible dialogue with all factions of society and with utmost sincerity and transparency.

I presented this vision, committed to my responsibility in getting the nation out of these difficult times and continuing to achieve it first, hour by hour, anticipating the support and assistance of all those who are concerned about Egypt and its people, so that we succeed in transforming it [the vision] into to a tangible reality, according to a broad and national agreement with a large base, with the courageous military forces guaranteeing its implementation.

We have started indeed building a constructive national dialogue, including the Egyptian youths who led the calls for change, and all political forces. This dialogue has resulted in a tentative agreement of opinions and positions, putting our feet at the start of the right track to get out of the crisis and must continue to take it from the broad lines on what has been agreed upon to a clear road map and with a fixed agenda.

From now to next September, day after day, we’ll see the peaceful transition of power. This national dialogue has focused on the setting up of a constitutional committee that will look into the required amendments of the constitution and the needed legislative reforms. It (the dialogue) also met about the setting up of a follow-up committee expected to follow up the sincere implementation of the promises that I have made before the people. I have made sure that the composition of the two committees is made of Egyptian figures that are known for their independence and experience, experts in constitutional law and judges.

In addition to that, the loss of the martyrs of the sons of Egypt in sad and tragic events has hurt our hearts and shaken the homeland’s conscience. I immediately issued my instructions to complete the investigation about last week’s events (the clashes between pro- and anti-Mubarak demonstrators) and submit its results immediately to the general prosecutor for him to take the necessary legal deterrent measures.

Yesterday, I got the first report on the top priority constitutional amendments proposed by the committee of justice system and law experts and that I have set up to look into the required constitutional and legislative amendments. In response to the proposals in the committee’s report, and in compliance with the prerogatives of the president of the republic, in conformity with Article 189 of the constitution, I have submitted a request today asking for the amendment of six constitutional clauses: 76, 77, 88, 93 and 189, in addition to the annulment of clause 179.

Moreover, I am asserting my readiness to submit, at a later time, an (additional) request to change any other clauses referred to me by the constitutional committee, according to the needs and justifications it sees fit. These top-priority amendments aim to ease the conditions for presidential nominations, and the fixing of limited terms of presidency to ensure the rotation of power, and the strengthening of the regulations of elections oversight to guarantee their freedom and fairness.

It is in the judiciary’s prerogative to decide about the validity and membership of MPs and amend the conditions and measures on the amendment of the constitution. The proposal to delete Article 179 from the constitution aims to achieve the required balance between the protection of the nation from the dangers of terrorism and safeguarding the civil rights and freedoms of the citizens which opens the door to the lifting of the Emergency Law following the return of calm and stability and the presence of suitable conditions to lift the state of emergency.

Brother citizens, the priority now is to bring back trust between Egyptians, trust in our economy and our international reputation, and trust in protecting the change and movement that we have started from turning back or retreating.

Egypt is going through difficult times which it is not right for us to allow continuing, as it will continue to cause us and our economy harm and losses, day after day, which will end in circumstances which those youths who called for change and reform will become the first to be harmed by. The current moment is not to do with myself, it is not to do with Hosni Mubarak, but is to do with Egypt, its present and the future of its children.

All Egyptians are in one trench now, and it is on us to continue the national dialogue which we have started, with a team spirit, not one of division, and far from disagreement and infighting so that we can get Egypt past its current crisis, and to restore trust in our economy, and tranquility and peace to our citizens, and return the Egyptian street to its normal everyday life.

I was as young as Egypt’s youth today, when I learned the Egyptian military honor, allegiance, and sacrifice for my country. I have spent a lifetime defending its soil and sovereignty. I witnessed its wars, with its defeats and victories. I lived the days of defeat and occupation; I also lived the days of the (Suez) crossing, victory and liberation. It was the happiest day of my life when I raised the flag of Egypt over Sinai. I faced death many times as a pilot, in Addis Ababa, and numerous other times. I never succumbed to foreign pressure or dictations. I kept the peace. I worked towards the stability and security of Egypt. I worked hard for its revival and for its people.

I never sought power or fake popularity. I trust that the overwhelming majority of the people know who Hosni Mubarak is. It pains me to see how some of my countrymen are treating me today. In any case, I am completely aware of the seriousness of the current hard turn of events as I am convinced that Egypt is crossing a landmark point in its history which imposes on all of all to weigh in the higher interests of our country and to put Egypt first above any and all considerations.

I saw fit to delegate presidential jurisdictions to the vice president as defined by the constitution. I am certain that Egypt will overcome its crisis. The will of its people will not break. It will be back on its feet with the honesty and loyalty of its people, all its people. It will return the machinations and glee of those who were gleeful and machinated against it.

We, Egyptians, will prove our ability to achieve the demands of the people with civilized and mature dialogue. We will prove that we are no-one’s servants, that we do not take instructions from anyone, and that only the demands of the citizens and the pulse of the street take our decisions.

We will prove all this with the spirit and tenacity of Egyptians, through the unity and cohesion of the people, and through our commitment to Egypt’s dignity as well as its unique and immortal identity, for it is the essence and the base of our presence for more than 7,000 years.

This spirit will continue to live within us for as long as Egypt and its people are present. It will live in every one of our peasants, workers, and intellectuals. It will remain in the hearts of our old men, our youth and our children, Muslims and Christians. It will remain in the minds and conscience of all those yet unborn.

I say again that I lived for the sake of this country, preserving its responsibility and trust. Egypt will remain above all and above everyone. It will remain so until I hand over this trust and pole. This is the goal, the objective, the responsibility and the duty. It is the beginning of life, its journey, and its end. It will remain a country dear to my heart. It will not part with me and I will not part with it until my passing. Egypt will remain immortal with its dignified people with their heads held high.

May God preserve the safety of Egypt and watch over its people. May peace be upon you.

Compiled by Maha El-Kady

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