Egyptian Chronicles: The National dialogue’s biggest challenge

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The National dialogue’s biggest challenge

Several TV channels were transferring on air tonight the first session of the “National dialogue” and many Egyptians followed it , some understood what is going on and some did not. It is not the first time to hear this term of “National dialogue” in Egypt whether before the revolution or during it. Simply it is a dialogue between the different political groups and powers in a country that suffers from some kind of turmoil , this is what I know and saw in other countries.
Before the revolution the official opposition parties used to have from time to time as part from the fake political life the Mubarak regime used to support. During the revolution Omar Soliman had this national dialogue and he invited some political groups and parties , some agreed to go and some refused. Nevertheless the national dialogue of Soliman was a fiasco , it was just doomed like his political career.
Now after February 11,2011 during the second Shafik’s cabinet Yahia El-Gamal was delegated to have this file “The National dialogue” but he failed to start that dialogue then. Now he is a member in the Dr. Essam Sharaf’s cabinet in the same position and with the same responsibilities including the National dialogue.This is in nutshell the history of the National dialogue
Tonight was the first sessions of the dialogue , many intellectuals and prominent personalities from different political powers and groups were there. Among those who attended without any arrangement and any title : Amr Moussa, Naguib Sawiris, Hisham El-Bastawisi , Tahany El-Gabali , Sakina Fouad, Galal Amin, Abdel Galil Mustafa, Abdel Ghafar Shukar, Amr Hamawzy, Akram Lami, Hany Aziz, George Isaac, Hassan Nafae, Essam El-Airan , Essam Sultan, Moaz Massoud and Hossam Badrawy.
You can after the break a clip from the dialogue from Egyptian TV

These are the people I caught either speaking or sitting in the session. This is the first public and political appearance for the former NDPian reformist leader Hossam Badrawy.
I did not watch the whole thing but from the time I followed I think those who really spoke perfectly were : Sakina Fouad , Abdel Galil Mustafa , Galal Amin, Hisham El-Bastawisi and Moaz Massoud. Some are saying that Hamawzy and Nafae spoke well but unfortunately I did not get them fully. 
Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei was invited but he could not come because he had other commitments , still he will attend other sessions according to what I understood.
Now here are remarks in points , some times I feel it is much easier for me to write in points.
  1. What do we really want from that national dialogue ? It seems to me that the delegates in tonight’s session were kind of lost. The national dialogue’s goals are so vague and board.
  2. Everybody in the session agreed that they are not representatives of Egyptian populations then how this will be a truly national dialogue !!?
  3. This is a national dialogue and yet it seems to me and to others that it is more of selective dialogue by having certain names.
  4. If there is a true national dialogue , then where the farmers and labor are ?? Where the Nubians , the people of Sinai and the people of Matrouh are !? You are speaking about national dialogue not Cairo dialogue !!?
  5. Some were speaking that the national dialogue includes a chapter about a conciliation with the former regime !!!? Is this why Hossam Badrawy was attending the session !!? What conciliation are they speaking about ? First of all we are not in a civil war , second of all how can we trust those men and women who destroyed not only our political life but rather our whole life for the past 30 years !!? For God sake these NDPians are still working in darkness to destroy our revolution.
This was the first session and there will be other sessions.
I wish all the success to this dialogue , many Egyptians tonight watched it in admiration , it is something that they have not seen before


  1. Naguib Sawiris seemed the most pissed which I like :)
    He didn't seem to think there was a point to this dialogue if the Army doesn't take it seriously because the political parties were in agreement of issues before which weren't even considered by the Army.
    I agree the reconcilation thing is ridiculous, the NDP should be dissovled yesterday!!

  2. as i agree with your discription of the national dialogue, i was surprized by your wish that the sessions succeed. i would like to see a discription of how the troubles with these sessions actually function, much as the yes/no referendom: as the public is interested, it functions to fill the vacuum with more vacuous detail.


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