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Monday, May. 04, 2009 at 12:14 PM
Omaraladin@aol.com (224) 388 1353
Today, Egypt is at dangerous crossroads. As Mubarak enters his 28th year in power and his ninth decade, Egypt’s future is more uncertain than ever
the_last_pharaoh.jpg, image/jpeg, 500x500
Chicago, IL /5/3/09 / American/Egyptian civic organizations called upon President Obama today to reconsider receiving President Mubarak of Egypt at the White House. Mubarak is expected to visit the United States this month.
Today, Egypt is at dangerous crossroads. As Mubarak enters his 28th year in power and his ninth decade, Egypt’s future is more uncertain than ever. Many Egyptians argue that Mubarak’s regime is on the verge of collapse.
Egyptian unemployment hovers above 20-30 percent. Transparency International ranks Mubarak’s government in the bottom tier for high levels of corruption. The inflation rate continues to increase reaching 14-18 percent, while 40 out of 80 million live under the poverty line. Food riots erupted in April 2008 due to the rise in food prices.
About three million Egyptians live in obscene luxury while 44 percent subsists on less than per day. Less than 10 percent own nearly 80 percent of the country’s wealth. Egypt also has one of the highest rates of child labor, infant mortality, female illiteracy, and abuses of human rights. Egyptian state media is rife with anti-Americanism.
Mubarak and his party cannot shirk accountability as they have been in sole control. Mubarak’s party, the NDP, holds 92% of the Egyptian Parliament seats, and cabinet members are handpicked from his party.
Unlike Nasser and Sadat, Mubarak refused to appoint a vice-president and is polishing his son Gamal to be his successor, a mockery of the Egyptian republic and democracy. If Gamal takes over, Egyptians fear he would continue his father’s policy of enriching the elite, suppressing the poor, all while ignoring effective reform. Mubarak turned Egypt into a police state with a security force that numbers nearly two million elements.
The U.S. State Department’s 2008 human rights report criticised the Mubarak’s regime for lack of freedoms of press, association, and religion that all declined. Mubarak’s government continues to restrict civil liberties, particularly freedom of speech, access to the Internet, and freedom of assembly, as well as crackdown on nongovernmental organizations.
In his inaugural speech, President Obama hinted at “those leaders who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West: ..and who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent”, that very well describes the Mubarak’s regime. Former U.S. allies fell to angry mobs in Iran, the Philippines and Indonesia. America and the West face looming crises in the largest Arab country. The U.S. should recognize that it should pressure old allies into genuine reforms. –END
For more information:
Please contact Aladdin Elaasar
Media Outreach Coordinator
Tel. (224) 388 1353
Aladdin Elaasar is author of “The Last Pharaoh: Mubarak and the Uncertain Future of Egypt in the Volatile Mid East”.
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