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The straw that may break Egypt's back
By: - TAWFIK HAMID

 


www.tawfikhamid.com

Suzanne Mubarak, the wife of Egypt's ousted president Hosni Mubarak, was granted bail in a corruption probe after agreeing to hand over her assets inside Egypt amounting to 24 million pounds," (around USD 4 million), as her husband pledged to do the same, in a bid to secure an amnesty.


She had been held on corruption charges in a 'luxury' hospital at the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, along with her husband, who is also being investigated for allegedly ordering the shooting of anti-regime protesters.

 

 


Meanwhile, Mubarak, 83, is said to be preparing to hand over his assets in Egypt and apologise to the Egyptian people in return for an amnesty from the military rulers who took power when he was overthrown on February 11.

 

 

This situation and decision, that aims at avoiding punishment of Mubarak's family, is likely to initiate a destructive process within the country, and can be "the straw that will break the Camel's back". 

 

After the Jan 25 revolution many poor Egyptians lived with the hope that some of the public money that was stolen from the country by the Mubarak's family which amounts -according to the Guardian-to 70 billion dollars and according to other sources 700 billion dollars will come back to them and this will relieve, or even end, their suffering. Many Egyptians have started to calculate how much money they will have after the government brings back Mubarak's money from overseas.

 

Many Egyptians trusted the new military rulers of the country and lived with the optimism that the new leadership will care for and stand by the people of Egypt. 

 

Furthermore, many Egyptians lived with the dream that the time of corruption of Mubarak's family is over and that after the revolution no one will be above the law.

 

 

The release of Susan Mubarak and the possible release of the former President is likely to have serious, uncontrollable, and irreversible consequences on the country. 

 

 

The cumulative effect of the above factors i.e. losing hope in a better future, losing trust in the current leaders, and losing respect for law can cause a significant increase in crime rates, which can further weaken the economy. In addition, this atmosphere creates a very fertile ground for Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups to orchestrate a wave of terrorist acts within the country and make it like Iraq. The economic collapse that can result of   an increase in crime rates and terror acts can lead to loss of more investors, and result in the collapse of the tourism industry, which will further aggravate poverty, and increase the crime rates. This negative feedback loop can cause uncontrollable negative consequences. 

 

On the contrary, the current leadership of Egypt can prevent this disastrous case scenario, if they actually did the opposite, and instead of releasing the Mubarak(s), put more pressure on them to bring back the stolen money. Only in this situation can the current leaders regain the trust of the people and bring them hope for a better future.

To conclude, due to several factors, Egypt is already suffering from major economic and security problems. The decision of releasing Susan Mubarak and the possible release of the former President as well, is likely to be "the straw that will break the camel's back" and can initiate a destructive cascade of increasing crime rates and terror acts and works only for the benefit of Islamic radical groups


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