This week’s blog may get me arrested and thrown into jail for criticizing the military. There are other Egyptians bloggers who have been arrested for the same reason such as Michael Nabil and Alaa Abd AlFattah. I can’t deny that I was very hesitant and worried while writing this article, but as the rest of my people have, I swore to never fear to speak my heart and say the truth the way I see it. I lived in fear and under tyranny for all my life and now I am a free man and no matter what happens to me I will never give up my well earned freedom. I am a very big soccer fan. My one and only favorite soccer team is ZAMALEK football club. I have followed this team through their matches in 6 different cities across Egypt, including Port Said. Trust me when I say that there is no way an al Masry fan or any other fan would riot after winning a match! How could your team win a match and instead of celebrating your victory you start a riot?
Egyptians love soccer like crazy, but they have never ever killed each other over a soccer game. It has never happened before in Egypt`s history.
In my opinion, the massacre that killed 73 people was planned by a hidden party and sponsored by the government. Why do I come to this conclusion?
First of all the police didn’t check the fans for weapons or contraband at the stadium entrances before the match began. In every soccer match I have attended I was checked for weapons. So why didn’t the police follow this routine procedure this time?
Secondly, some pointed out that the gate between the stands and the pitch was left open while at the same time the gates of the al Ahli fan blocks were closed. As the thugs attacked the al Ahli supporters with knives, bottles, clubs and firecrackers, the security forces stood idly by. The police didn’t react or engage with these thugs when they stormed the field and started the riot; they simply withdrew or stood by and watched.
Soccer fans aren’t different from you and me; they come from every class in any society. They are students, engineers, bankers, doctors and the uneducated. Being a sports fan is like a culture and it unites all of these different people as one.
After this tragic massacre thousands and thousands of Egyptians are protesting everywhere in Egypt calling SCAF to step down from power so we can choose our own elected president. Egypt has been, and is still, controlled by the military for almost 60 years now since the 1952 Revolution that took down King Farouk and sent him to exile.
The majority of army generals, once they retire from their service in the military, get appointed as ministers, governors and CEOs. The military budget is astronomical especially when factoring in US military aid. Add to this the fact that the military controls numerous farms, gas stations and construction businesses that generate profit. The military budget has never to my knowledge, been audited by any one outside the military institution. No one knows where the money is or where it goes.
If the military really gave up power to a civilian leader then all of these privileges and powers would disappear. I have started to believe that they are not willing to make the transition of power.
It has been a year now since the revolution and we haven’t moved forward. Nothing was achieved so far except that the parliament elections were dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists.On December 29th 2011 the military raided several pro-democracy organizations such as the National Democratic Institute, International Republican Institute and a third American non-governmental organization, Freedom House along with several international and Egyptian ones under the pretense of investigating whether the groups were registered legally and investigating the foreign funding to these organizations.
In addition, the director of one of these non-governmental organizations, Sam LaHood of the International Republican Institute, was prevented from leaving Egypt at the Cairo airport. LaHood is the son of Ray LaHood, the US secretary of transportation. According to the US state department they confirmed reports that "a handful" of US citizens from non-governmental organizations had taken refuge at the American embassy in Cairo fearing prosecution or arrest.
I strongly believe that SCAF is sending a message to the US and to the pro democracy organizations to back off and stop the constant pressure on the military to give up its power to the people. By these actions SCAF is jeopardizing its relations with the US and the cut of the $1.3 billion aid. So the question remains: what is more important to SCAF than the US and its money? Well the answer in my opinion is simple: POWER.After the Port Said massacre and the current protests everywhere in Egypt I have become convinced that SCAF is driving the people to believe that our beloved Egypt is filled with thugs and that the country will fall into total chaos if they gave up the power to an elected civilian.
As I have said before, the dictatorship mentality which drives the SCAF generals to still think that the people are easily manipulated and that the people will fall for any propaganda they hear has disappeared. I tell them from my place here that we are not naive anymore and that we will never bow to another dictatorship ever again.
I urge and even beg our beloved military to please let us choose our government and our president. Let us for once choose our future so that our children will be born free and lead the way as free men to build a new Egypt .I know that last week I promised to write about the Muslims Brotherhood too. I apologize for not writing about them but InshaAllah they will be the topic of my next blog.
Peace on all of you.