Friday, May 11, 2012

#Monazarat : The Day after the Presidential Debate

These are my comments and thoughts about Egypt’s presidential candidates TV debate on air that was aired yesterday in joint broadcast on ONTV and DreamTV for 90 minutes. Just like the debate I divided them on to two parts.
Now here is the complete debate itself for those interested in watching the whole thing again.
Here is my live coverage for the debate in English.It is full of grammatical and spelling mistakes. Here are also the transcript of the debate’s rounds 1 and 2 in English by follow blogger Mostafa Hussein.

The Real winner is the People

There is something different in the air without doubt , there is something different indeed because from two years ago nobody has ever imagined that millions of Egyptians would stay up late to watch for 90 minutes a long presidential elections debate between two popular presidential candidates Abdel Moneim Abu El Fotoh and Amr Moussa for the first time in their Republic political history.
Today the first question you ask your friends and relatives on the phone is “What do you think about the debate ?” , “which candidate was better ?”. Today men in mosques discussed the debate and despite some of them were already lobbying for his favorite candidate , yet there are discussion and huge interest in knowing and choosing the next president of Egypt.
The real winner of the debate are the people , the Egyptians as well the Arabs. For the first time in history men compete and battle on air with words to win the hearts and minds of the Egyptian people , in order to get their votes starting from today abroad. As some people said yesterday tonight the Pharaoh’s complex is being laid to rest , of course this complex will not be over as simple as that but it shows how much proud we have been. Cafes in Cairo , Giza and all over the country were the airing the event as if it were a football match in the world cup and Egypt was playing.
Egyptians watching the debate in the street "Getty"
Not only millions of Egyptians followed last night’s debate but millions of Arabs watched from the ocean to the Gulf with huge admiration to that big thing taken thing in Egypt. Arabs in Saudi Arabia , Algeria , Lebanon , Morocco , Tunisia and even in Syria watched the debate just like us and even had debates on who will be better leader for Egypt , the leader of the Arab world in its own way.
Despite how I felt after watching the debate itself, the comments from the Arab world made me on the verge of crying from pride and happiness.
The comments from the Gulf especially from Saudi Arabia that showed how much the people there are looking for democracy showed us how change and media in Egypt can affect the Arab world so smoothly without using slogans like exporting the Egyptian revolution..etc.
Here are an example of tweets I found in the special hashtag “Presidential Debate” Arab tweeps launched specifically for this debate.

I want to thank the amazing group of tweeps and friends that helped me in covering the big events especially : Bassem Sabry , Mahmoud Gamal El Din , Dalia Ezzat , Rowaida Mostafa , Sultan Qassemi and Menna.

Now to the debate itself :

Abu El Fotoh and Moussa in the start "AP"
  • Both Abu El Fotoh and Moussa did not discuss or debate about their platforms as much as the whole debate was to discredit the other candidate using his past as well to show off his past whether as a FM or as a political dissident. I did not like this offensive-defensive mood.
  • Moussa was expected to be diplomatic but he was too aggressive to the level of being rude especially when he told Abu El Fotoh that he will read from his book on air and probably people will buy it after his loss in the elections !!!
  • Why did Moussa refuse to reveal his financial status as well his health status on air ?
  • I want to know the opinion of Moussa regarding apostasy in Islam, seriously he can’t Abu El Fotoh something debatable like that among scholars where as what he thinks about.
  • Moussa insulted the 77% of the voters who approved the constitutional amendments in last March 2011 including myself by calming that they were not revolutionary. Strangely those 77% of the voters represent the majority of the voters he is targeting.
  • Moussa also made a joke of himself among the revolutionary class when he wondered where Abu El Fotoh was in the Egyptian revolution accusing him of not supporting the revolution. “ Abu El Fotoh was among the very few Egyptians that occupied the staircase of the Supreme court on January 25th and was in Tahrir square supervising the field hospitals in the 18 days refusing to go with the rest of the MB members and have talks with Omar Suleiman”
  • It was unethical move from Moussa to read an excerpt from a book out of its context in to spread fear from Abu El Fotoh when he knows very well that the majority of Egyptian people do not usually read. If Moussa read the whole page of this excerpt , things would have been different completely. The part was speaking about the violence and Salafist way of thinking among the Islamist youth in the university and how his idea about the use of violence changed when he joined the Muslim brotherhood thanks to Omar El Tilmisani. For those who read the book , they knew that Moussa did not bother to read it or even read the whole paragraph or the page itselft and his team actually highlighted that part for him to read.This means as a president he will only read what his staff highlights for him without any background !!
  • Belal Fadl , the famous sarcastic writer even raised the matter on his official twitter account.

  • I do not understand why Moussa turned the question of virginity checks in to a speech about women’s rights in Egypt. It was about specific matter only.
  • Moussa depended mainly on the Islamophobia and as well all the feared expressed by the liberals on twitter and Facebook despite some of these fears can be put to rest so easily.
  • The aggressiveness of Moussa makes me wonder about the fate of his political opponents if he is elected as a president and this scares me a lot more than my fear on the civility of the state.
  • Abu El Fotoh’s talk was directed in the first part to the revolutionaries whom he does not need their support in this stage as he needs the support of regular voters in the homes which Moussa is actually targeting.
  • The platforms of Abu El Fotoh and Moussa are too similar as it was shown.
  • Abu El Fotoh needs to speak less with revolutionary slogans and focus on his economic platform.
  • Abu El Fotoh did not lie when he said that he consider Israel as strategic enemy yet he should be careful on choosing his words because today I found average people in the street speaking on how Abu El Fotoh will drag us in to wars with Israel just with simple word like that.
  • Abu El Fotoh needs to understand that he can’t please everyone “this needs a whole post” and he needs to end this debate about his past in the Muslim brotherhood and Al Gama’aa Al Islamiyaa for once and for all with clear answers because there is an Islamophobia being used by his rivals to win the middle class.
  • I am do not like how Abu El Fotoh spoke that he welcomes having relations with Iran yet he will not accept the spread of Shiism in Egypt , this is insulting to thousands of Egyptian Shiites and Arab Shiites residing in the country currently.
  • I do not understand why Abu El Fotoh denied having relation with late Hossam Tamam’s book , I know it was not a biography but more of a testimony of Abu Elfotoh about the Islamic movement in Egypt in 1970s and 1980s. This book is extremely important because it shows the development of Abu El Fotoh’s mindset and how he went from being conservative Islamist to moderate Islamist from 1970s to early 1980s. It is important reference for the Islamist movement history in Egypt
By the way Saudi economic journalist Essam El Zomal posted a twitter poll asking tweeps on which candidate won the debate and 65% of the 1969 votes chose Abu El Fotoh.
I think it is my turn to ask you the same question if you watched the debate , which one candidate came out as a winner of this , of course I know I am bad moderator because I already expressed my views in the post


  1. amazing coverage & analysis :)

  2. @Zeinobia, There is no medical condition as far as I know that requires female circumcision. The medical condition that Abou El Fotouh and his likes claim, is enlarged clitoris which is not a medical condition after all.
    Also mass killing is an act of terrorism. There is no ifs ands or buts about it.
    I still don't understand how this liar, blunt, and indecent person can become the president of Egypt. His poor performance in the Arab Doctors Union lead to a group of Arab doctors to yank him out of his position. If he can't run a union, he can't run a country like Egypt.

  3. Hazem, or whatever your real name is.

    You are a real *SS. You keep coming here spreading lies about Abou El Fotouh, assuming that the readers of this blog are idiots who don't do their homework. Your enlarged clitoris (theory) is your own. It doesn't belong to Abou El Fotouh. Keep it to yourself. We have no interest in it.

    As for Abou El Fotouh being yanked from his leading position at the Arab Doctors Union position, this is not true. You can do your research before you post this garbage. But then, you already know that, and it is not stopping you from throwing it on us.

    The moderator should look carefully at those lies and inaccuracies you are posting, and she will figure out why you are posting them.


  4. Can you guys please confirm if Abou Fotouh indeed refused to call Bin Laden a terrorist? Hard to believe.... George


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