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Islam and Politics ( 27 May 2014, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Egyptians, Today Is the First Day of a New Beginning



By Abdel Latif el-Menawy

27 May 2014

This is a defining moment for Egypt as this is when the country overcomes a phase that lasted for three years. This is the moment in which Egypt enters the phase of establishing the democratic state which we have all dreamt of - the phase where we all work together to build and develop the future.

All of this depends on the Egyptians’ participation in the elections as they line up to confirm the choices they made on January 25, June 30 and July 26. The Egyptians’ massive participation is what will send the world a message confirming that this is the Egyptians’ choice of rejecting terrorism and rejecting those who participated in hijacking the country under religious slogans.

Standing in queues to cast a vote on Monday and Tuesday is every Egyptian’s national duty - be it a man or woman, young or old. It’s the duty of the all the Egyptians who love Egypt and aspire a better future – it is the job of the Egyptians who surprised the world on January 25 and June 30 with their insistence and ability to achieve change and impose their will.

Dear Egyptians...

I address my article to those Egyptians and tell them this is yet another moment to bedazzle the world. It’s by queuing up to choose your future. You made history when you previously took to the streets to demand freedom and social justice. You made history again on June 30 when you rejected religious fascism and acts of hijacking Egypt. And you also made history on July 26 when you rejected terrorism and demanded the state and its institutions to stand against it. This is a new historical date as you resume the road map you willingly developed and as you take a step forward as we resume building our country, our dream and our children’s and grandchildren’s future.

This is the time to build. It’s the beginning of the future which you yourselves planned on June 30 and which you confronted all challenges and blind terrorism for. Building countries requires work. Monday marked the first day of working for Egypt. It’s the first day of the future we want for our country. You currently have two choices ahead of you: either go towards the future and towards a dignified and glorious Egypt which you will build or go backwards. Participating in the elections is what will specify Egypt’s future and it is the only act that confirms your previous actions on January 25 and June 30.

Time for Action

This is not the time for words. It’s the time for acting and restoring the country to its historical and pioneering role. Acting begins by voting to choose the president you want for Egypt. I am not telling you to vote for a specific person but I am telling you to participate in the elections, to choose Egypt, your country and your grandchildren’s future.

This is an Egyptian day par excellence. It’s a glorious day in Egypt’s history as it takes us a step forward. Other steps will follow but the journey begins from here, today, from in front of the ballot boxes.

Abdel Latif el-Menawy is an author, columnist and multimedia journalist who has covered conflicts around the world. He is the author of “Tahrir: the last 18 days of Mubarak,” a book he wrote as an eyewitness to events during the 18 days before the stepping down of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Menawy’s most recent public position was head of Egypt’s News Center. He is a member of the National Union of Journalists in the United Kingdom, and the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate.