[Revolutionary Egypt, Vol. 8, Page 2]
Come, let’s write our constitution…
We like to catch the reader’s attention from the start and say that this article is not calling for the constitution first, nor the elections first, nor is it important to us which one comes first. What is important to us is that we are a true part of the equation.….
The general sentiment right now among many citizens is the following: it is as though they are sitting in lines of onlookers, or on the reserve bench during an important game, waiting for whoever will score the first goal. Will it be the constitution-first supporters, or elections-first supporters? Will it be the Muslim Brotherhood, the Salafists, the Liberals, the Socialists, or the youth movements? The Egyptian public that once congregated around the revolution now stays away from it and has begun to watch it as if it were a strange child not even a day old. They do this even though they know the truth, which is that what happened on 25 January was for all of us citizens in whose name ‘the elite’ speaks. They fill the world with noise. Newspapers, satellite TV programs, social-networking sites—through these media they speak in our place, discussing our desires, dreams, and ambitions without ever asking one of us how we see it.
We are speaking to you today about an important initiative to make us a true part of the equation. It is possible that this initiative can overcome the errors that the elite have made while speaking on our behalf. “Come, let’s write our constitution” is an initiative launched by a group of people interested in public action. It is an invitation to think together about the social contract we can dream up for our “new” Republic, in order to guarantee that it will be new. We must write this contract ourselves in order to make sure that it is our own and not the brainchild of constitutional or judicial scholars. It is an initiative based on gathering volunteers who will roam throughout Egypt—from Sallum and Siwa to ‘Arish, from Alexandria to Aswan—to ask people what they dream for Egypt in the coming years. What do they think life would be like in an Egypt where justice, equality, and respect are enjoyed by all? What is the best regime? How should we control those responsible for real estate matters, from the president to the worker? How should we interact with the police? What are the limits on the president’s powers? What mechanisms might enable the people to regulate wrongdoing?
A campaign was launched in earnest and divided into three groups. The first is for public works, and it is responsible for gathering and distributing large numbers of volunteers with common dreams. The second group is for research and is responsible for investigating how to gather information and resources. It is also responsible for configuring the tools used by the public works group. The third group will be technological and will provide the technical tools to facilitate saving and indexing the information and creating good mechanisms for communication between the groups.
This initiative will not succeed without you. It is open to all those who wish to participate. There are no requirements except the ability to dream. To participate, you can visit: The Hisham Mubarak Center for Law. 1 Suq al-Tawfiqiyya Street. Phone: [redacted]. Or on Facebook: http:www.//facebook.com/dostorna
Acquired 17 July 2011
Translated by Elley Cannon and Emily Drumsta