There is Only One Thing That Will Stabilize Egypt — Economics


It's hard to imagine stranger bedfellows than the coalition currently holding together the Tamarod movement in Egypt. The core of the movement is the various fractured liberal groups comprised of secularists, wealthy business elites and the pro-democracy youths that led the original overthrow of Hosni Mubarak. This coalition, the leaders of the Tamarod knew, wouldn't be strong enough to topple the Morsi regime. So prior to instigating the protests, they went out to recruit others. In doing so they sold their soul to the devil and his associates.

By skillfully partnering with the ultraconservative Salafis and the Egyptian army, usually two bitter rivals, the Tamarod movement successfully achieved its goals by ousting President Morsi. With an interim government now in power, the leaders of Tamarod must now distance themselves from the Salafis and the army and focus on the third large bloc that participated in the revolution: those who represent the "silent Egyptian."

This collection of protesters is a little-talked about but powerful majority: everyday Egyptians who had originally voted for Morsi but were now against him. While quite vocal over the past week, they represent a larger constituency of mainly silent Egyptians, who don't affiliate with a party and who voted based on their personal economic interests.

As is evident from the past week, power and popularity in Egypt can come and go as quickly as its desert sandstorms. With increasing reports of violence and the army again being blamed for protester deaths, the Tamarod movement will be tainted if it relies on and seeks further alliances with the military rulers.

Moving forward, liberals must be wary of the devil and his associates. They sold their souls to  rid Egypt of Morsi and they benefited greatly in the short term by doing so, but neither the military nor the Salafis share their values and aspirations. 

The Tamarod movement staged a revolution. The military is being blamed for a coup. Now the opposition must do everything in their power to distance themselves because the "Silent Egyptian" is watching.

Many former Morsi supporters turned on the former president because of his poor handling of the economy and failure to advance social programs. They joined the protests because they didn't feel well represented and were weary of Morsi's increasingly authoritarian approach. They are genuine in their demands for economic change. They are also Tamarod movement's best and only chance of bringing about lasting calm and change.

There is going to come a point when the the liberal factions and army disagree and clash over democratic principles and freedoms of speech. It only took a few months after the overthrow of Mubarak. It won't be much longer this time around. Liberal factions and The Al-Nusra party are hated enemies. Already the Salafis are withdrawing their support and re-allying themselves with the Brotherhood.

But the "Silent Egyptian" will give the Tamarod movement and Egypt's new leaders a chance. If whoever is elected next can end gas shortages, lower the price of bread, and start to slow inflation and currency devaluation, the '"Silent Egyptian'" will remain as such. If not, the likelihood is that he, like the Salafis, the "Silent Egyptian" will once again join in the protests this time on the side of their former party, the Muslim Brotherhood.

Restoring Egypt's economy seems like an impossible task, perhaps because Morsi bungled it so badly. The next president and leaders of the Tamarod movement must do their best to ignore political infighting, avoid involving themselves in military affairs, and work with the silent Egyptians. 

It's Egypt's best and only hope for stability.