On Sunday night, 2 March, the new Prime Minister of Egypt, Ibrahim Mehlib, went on live television and requested the Egyptian nation to stop demonstrations and focus on getting the country back on track. He focused his national speech on requesting the entire country to put the three years of turmoil behind them and to rather look at completing pending construction and new developments.
This comes mere days after the Ministers of the new cabinet was appointed, seeing many familiar faces. Although some say that having experienced Ministers is a glimmer of hope that the country will become stable in a shorter time, there is a general feeling that these same familiar faces were the very same regime that caused so much hardship for the ordinary people. This is now the sixth cabinet since 2011 and their main tasks will be to prepare for the presidential elections, ensuring security and uplifting the basic service delivery to the people of the country.
The voting and finalization of the referendum in January 2014 took place without major hiccups, with 38,6% of eligible voters turning up to make their mark. The final result indicated that 98% of the nation who voted, backed the new constitution. The referendum was seen as a vote on the legitimacy of Morsi’s removal of the army, which toppled him and his now banned Islamic party out in July last year. Although isolated violence and terrorist events took place, the country of Egypt was seen less on the international news stations. That alone created a perception that things were in fact settling down in North Africa’s leading country.
Countries such as Russia, United Arab Emirates and Iran all congratulated the Egyptian leading party for achieving such a vote and they hoped that the Egyptian society would overcome the socio-economic difficulties and create a path for stability and growth.
In the meantime, ousted President Morsi is still imprisoned awaiting a set of trials including his involvement in the killing of protestors. The Islamic party is still banned and considered a terrorist group. Loyal members of Morsi’s party are still demonstrating in certain parts of Cairo. The ordinary people of the country are conducting their lives as normal, people who have jobs wake up at dawn and make their way to earn their keep. Mothers raise their children, those children attend school and sit for exams, shop keepers stock their shelves to capacity with the hope that their loyal customers will return daily for bread, milk, beans and the family’s food requirements.
Only two days ago the interim president has issued a much expected decree that governs upcoming presidential election, clearing the way for the vote that many expect the country's general, Sisi, to take part in and win.
As for Tourism, although the new cabinet realizes the importance of “healing” this industry, isolated terror attacks is forcing embassies to issue travel warnings in the Sinai area. They even went as far as to pull their citizens out of Egypt for fear of the families’ safety. The tourism industry is in need of a total calming effect on the entire country so that large groups of tourists will feel comfortable in visiting Egypt once again. We can only hope that what the Ministers are promising will indeed be realized and that all economically contributing industries receive the urgent attention they so desperately need.