Monday, November 20,  2017

Editorial

Editorial – The Nile

The Nile is an issue that can unite us, left, right, religious, secular, socialist, farmer, labourer, poor, and rich – an issue that transcends all these differences, that reminds us once and for all that we are Egyptian.

 

For Midan Masr’s inaugural supplement, published in March 2012 we chose to take a step back and not focus on our differences, but rather focus on an issue that must unite us all, that must remind us that there are matters that rise above even our entrenched differences, that must remind us to come together as Egyptians.


This unifying issue is the Nile, and the absolute recklessness with which this wellspring of life has been treated, managed, and nurtured. Without descending into a litany of clichés about its importance to Egypt, suffice it to say that ‘so goes the Nile, so goes Egypt.’ Not only has the specific management and the treatment of the Nile resource been a travesty, but Egypt’s relationship – if one can even call it that – with the African countries in the Nile basin has been an exercise in destructive negligence. With a wealth of natural resources, a need for expertise, and most importantly a genuinely true shared set of symbiotic interests (unlike the often manufactured alignment of interests “created” by the West), the Nile basin countries should be a primary focus for Egypt and the targeted focus of an active policy to engage those countries and to develop significantly deep cooperative endeavors and active strategic relationships with each of them. We have been so seduced with being some bit player to the West, when in our own back-yard we can create a regional African powerhouse, with significant Egyptian leadership and influence, that can provide food, industry, employment, alternative energy, fossil fuels, water, and independent strength.

 

With a wealth of natural resources, a need for expertise, and most  importantly a genuinely true shared set of symbiotic interests (unlike the often manufactured alignment of interests “created” by the West), the Nile basin countries should be a primary focus for Egypt

 

The supplement includes a mix of the serious, the factual, the informative, and the humorous (did you know that a camel can drink 95 liters of water in less than three minutes!) and we hope that you find it interesting.


These prescient articles, written in March 2012 by a group of fiercely passionate and loyal young Egyptians - Jasmine Moussa, Lama Hatow, Muhammad El Demerdash, and Ramy Loutfy - touch on many of the specific issues regarding the Nile, but each article approaches its topic from a holistic and insightful perspective, proposing innovative ways to finding mutually-beneficial solutions for the Nile basin countries.  Their articles discuss the legal framework governing the Nile basin with proposed solutions to the controversy surrounding existing Nile agreements; the Ethiopian dams polemic and its possible effects on Egypt’s share of the Nile; innovative ways of calculating the Nile states’ water budgets; a reassessment of Egypt’s political relations with Sudan and Ethiopia in the wake of the 25 January Revolution; and proposals for the optimal management of the Nile portfolio.


So surely the Nile is an issue that can unite us, left, right, religious, secular, socialist, farmer, laborer, poor, and rich – an issue that transcends all these differences, that reminds us once and for all that we are Egyptian. Let us finally behave like the proud people we should be. Blood has been spilled, people have died. Enough of this squabbling, this debilitating mediocrity that seems to surround us and characterize so much of what we do and so much of what we discuss.

We were looking for a national project to unite us and maybe that project has been flowing below our feet all along

 

Let us demonstrate the greatness that will deliver this nation to its rightful status and stature, and make us truly deserving of the legendary heritage of the Nile. We were looking for a national project to unite us and maybe that project has been flowing below our feet all along. It’s simple really, if we don’t save the Nile, everything else we are debating, discussing, arguing about will be irrelevant. Let us work in a manner that is commensurate with the momentous changes that promise a new dawn for Egypt and its relations with Africa. Many things in our history once rose from the Nile. Let our greatness as Egyptians now rise once again from the great river. Remember who we are, we are Egyptians.



 

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