Op-ed review: Marrying into Al-Sisi’s family

Op-ed review: Marrying into Al-Sisi’s family


Ezzedine Choukri Fishere

Al-Masry Al-Youm Newspaper

Columnist Ezzedine Choukri Fishere chose to create an analogy for the current political scene in Egypt, with each political entity becoming a family, similar to the mob families seen in action movies. In the analogy, Egypt is a small village made of farmers and peasants. “When there was a conflict between the rest of the families last year, everyone went to the Al-Sisi family asking them to intervene, but they refused, fearing that it would damage their position in society and their relationship with other families,” Fishere writes. “But soon, it became an obligatory action, and they became part of the conflict. For the first time in history, members of the Al-Sisi family became targets for vengeful attacks from the defeated and angry family.”

Fishere explains through the analogy that Al-Sisi knows that to be able to manage the “complex conflict”, he has to seek an alliance with one of the other political entities. “However strong the Al-Sisi family is, it knows that it cannot manage the country alone with all of its accumulated and convoluted problems and manage the ongoing conflict between the other families as well.”  Fishere also explains that the people no longer accept that the country be ruled by only one political faction. He explains that a great part of the “Al-Sisi family” does not want to get involved in all of these problems, since it distracts them from their own affairs and causes a lot of divisions within its ranks.

Fishere goes on to explain that the first political entity willing to create an alliance with Al-Sisi and the army is the remnants of the previous regime, also known as feloul. “They are a family of criminals and thieves, who have been stealing from the people of the village for decades in broad daylight. They depended on their relationship with the governor, sheriff, police and the Agricultural Credit Bank to dominate the town and control the people’s livelihoods. They also depended on hurting whoever goes against them through their own thugs.”

He explains that members of “Al-Sisi family” believe that aligning themselves with the feloul will benefit them greatly since it will bring back stability and calm to the country “since they know the village and its people and they have experience in managing it”. Fishere adds that there is a minor conflict between the feloul and “Al-Sisi family” because of what happened during the past three years, but it can be overcome by a few minor compensations.

Fishere explains that the second possibility is an alliance with the country’s elite, which he dubbed as “the Diaspora family”. “They have the highest percentage of educated people in the country and many of its members are spread among the suburbs and even abroad. They work in prestigious companies and some of them appear on TV. Yet, despite their great name in the village, they are always fragmented and they never agree on one thing. They also do not have a leader, and even if their eldest members agree on one thing, the rest of the family never adheres to the decision. This family never won in the elections, and therefore, the Al-Sisi family does not see the benefit from an alliance with them despite the Diaspora family’s riches and educated members.”

The third possibility is with the “defeated family” or the Muslim Brotherhood , but Fishere explains that the Brotherhood does not want to align itself with anyone. “Despite its conservatism and religious appearance, they are a closed-off family who does not marry from outside of itself. No one really knows their ideology because they internalise it. The Brotherhood is bent on seeking revenge from everyone for what happened to it. It waits for the opportunity to ruin any alliance or agreement.”

Fishere explains that Al-Sisi faces a tough decision. Aligning himself with the feloul will only achieve order for a short while and afterwards, things will begin to deteriorate. “The feloul family does not know anything beside thievery, and their whole experience is based on frightening the people into submission and pretending that everything is fine.”

On the other hand, the elites are not guaranteed either because of their chaotic and fragmented nature. “It is true that they are well connected with the modern world and many of its members have great visions concerning reviving the village. However, their nature really crashed with the nature of the Al-Sisi family.”

Fishere concludes that this decision will shape life in Egypt during the next four years.

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