An announcement received on the same day as the event entitled: “Roundtable Discussion on Democracy Building in Egypt – Challenges and Sustenance,” pledges to:
“...The international community supporting democratic developments and increased respect for human rights need to work closely with the countries in the region to identify strategies and focus areas to best foster the democratic reforms complying with the current situation...”
It acknowledges that:
“The current call for democratic reform by the people of the Middle East and North Africa demands new approaches and opportunities for the people and those who support this development.”
Organized by the Swedish Institute in Alexandria, the invitation is only open to a “handful of foreign participants including Turkey, Czech Republic and Sweden as well as the international IDEA. But only 10 – 12 Egyptians!
Something seems to be afoot here! The notion of democracy means many things to many peoples, but as practiced in the West, it is generally applied to mean one of “self interest, as can be exampled by the free trade agreements of the developed countries, the landgrab for Africa to boost their own food security, undermining the food security of the continent itself, the developed countries reactions and “coping mechanisms” in sacrificing the needs of its citizens over the needs of investors and the international elite during the global economic crisis, and the lack of will from the G20 to address the current food price crisis around the world.
As such, the fact that the Swedish Institute have only invited 10 – 12 Egyptians to what concerns 80 million Egyptians, and their failure or simple lack of oversight to recognize that the January 25th Revolution was and is a people’s revolution seeking a people’s democracy, might lead one to believe without much hesitation that it is Western “self interest” that is governing the notion of “... identif[ing] strategies and focus areas to best foster the democratic reforms complying with the current situation...”
The question that then begs to be asked are “Who are those 10 – 12 Egyptians?” and “ Are they representative of the variety of views looking to change Egypt for the better.” If the swarm of foreign diplomats that have descended upon Egypt to tell Egyptians what a democracy is and what a revolution is, and to ensure agreements made under the former president Hosni Mubarak is a demonstration of this, then those who fought with their hearts, minds and voices for this change had better watch out, because unlike the Egyptian Armed Forces who have taken time out of their overstretched tasks to sit and meet with the Youth Movements of the January 25th Revolution, and representatives from opposition parties; the foreign interests that have been represented so far have only met with those who are counter to the revolution, and only possess the mind-set that has undermined the Egyptian people for over 30 years, which is as long as it is foreign, it is right. The wealth of talent, and intelligence, understanding and compassion of what is workable and what is not is being side stepped once again for “experts” in what has become dysfunctional and unrepresentative of the peoples of the developed countries at all levels of society. These “experts” cannot guide the Egyptian people to what is new when they lack what is new, and sustainable for their own environments. This can be paralleled to the “magic pill” syndrome of Western allopathic medicine, which looks for pre=packaged solutions that attack a holistic biological system instead of healing and supporting a holistic system.
Sometimes, the best help one can give, is to let people help themselves, for it is this process that heals a people, as a whole. By doing it for them one undermines their abilities, and capabilities – abilities that have been shutdown over the past 30 years. Maybe this is what certain Western powers are frightened of, and this is what the people have to be aware of to remain true to their dreams. As many Ethiopians look on what the youth of Egypt have achieved, there is no better understanding than the following by an Ethiopian, Teodros Kiros”
“In the people’s revolution, everyone is a leader and a follower. Sovereignty is concrete. It is expressed as lived power. The people learn for the first time they will learn leading and following, managing and obeying, directing and being directed.”