Tuesday, November 27, 2012

TIME'S Person of the Year

It's that time of year again where TIME magazine is preparing to select their Person of the Year. Last year's announcement came at a critical time in the Arab Spring, when 2011's person of the year was declared as "The Protester." Of course this was not limited solely to the protesters in the Arab world, as we have seen protests around the globe over the past few years. But to select the protesters as 2011's Person of the Year was a monumental acknowledgement of the power that organized individuals can have together.

This year the race is on, and perhaps (for me) the most surprising candidate was Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. From their website, they say: As always, TIME's editors will choose the Person of the Year, but that doesn't mean readers shouldn't have their say. Cast your vote for the person you think most influenced the news this year for better or worse. Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 12, and the winner will be announced on Dec. 14.

"For better or worse." Taking that last bit into consideration, perhaps Morsi is deserving of the title. After all, since Mobarak no man has brought Egypt so close to the brink of a civil war. Between his recent Constitutional Declaration that granted him sweeping powers over everything in Egypt (even more power than Mobarak had) to his half-assed backing of the cease-fire in Gaza - between playing nice to the US and EU to keep the funding while his party the Muslim Brotherhood pledge undying allegiance to the people of Palestine's rights to defend their country -Morsi certainly has left an impact.

I said it when he was initially elected, and I'll say it again now (particularly as it seems he may get recognized as TIME's Person of the Year ...). Why is it that the Egyptian people are so quick to forget that the root of their problems lies NOT at the top political tiers of society? The root of their problems is not who Egypt is allied with. It is not about where Egypt will get its next hand-out from - speaking of hand outs, all the $$ sent from the EU to Egypt, I'd love to see a break down of where that has gone so far ... that is aside from purchasing Turkish drones.

The core issues in Egypt lie in the societal infrastructure. Grassroots is where the problems lie. Yet as happened in the time of Mobarak, and in the period of elections both parliamentary and presidential, the Egyptian people have been distracted by issues that really DO NOT impact their day to day life! Will it help the poor kids living in the streets if Mr. Morsi utilizes foreign funding to purchase weapons? Does it help with the traffic congestion and rubbish in Cairo? Does it address the growing trend of illiteracy?

Of course not, but let's go ahead and just distract people with senseless issues. Let's convince the lower class that the bikini-clad Westerners are all foreign elements and spies here to take over their country. Let's get them arguing about how late a coffee shop should be allowed to stay open. Let's have them believe that the sale of alcohol in the beach bars and hotels is the reason that Egyptian society and its corresponding problems continue into a deeper downward spiral.

I mean, taking all that into consideration, of course he deserves TIME'S Person of the Year award, right? After all, he's made such a huge difference in the everyday lives of Egyptians - just like he promised he would... Back to the streets they go!

To read more, or to vote on if you believe Morsi should be voted Person of the Year, click here.

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