Many people were surprised to see the huge maquette of "the new capital for Egypt" presented by a businessman from the UAE at the Sharm el-Sheikh Economic Conference. However, later we heard that the Emirati project had stumbled, and that an Egyptian company will take it over.
1 – How can the President alone, or even with the army’s engineering division, decide to build a new capital for Egypt? This is a matter that the Egyptian people should decide for themselves. It should be put forward to a community dialogue, to see what good would a new capital bring. Then the Parliament will decide on their behalf.
2 – How can such a huge project be announced without presenting its feasibility studies to the people, especially with regard to how much it would cost and how long it would take? Many projects in Egypt are currently being dealt with in this way, which is rather strange.
3 – Why was the project not presented to Egyptian architects, engineers and economists to assess?
4 – Would it be a place for ministries, government agencies and embassies to move to, or would there be residential neighborhoods? And if so, what are their absorptive capacities and social standards?
5 – Would the government be able to bear the cost of the construction and the infrastructure, provided that the residential areas would be funded by the residents?
6 – Is this an economically feasible project or should the government invest in other productive projects?
7 – Is there a parallel study for the traffic from Cairo to the new capital and back without causing jams in both cities?
8 – Similar projects in other countries, such as Brazil, were implemented in remote locations, but ours is only a hundred kilometers away from Cairo. This means it would not be a new capital as such, but rather a suburb of Greater Cairo like the 6th of October City and the 10th of Ramadan City.
Finally, Mister President, you keep saying that you are not a president or a leader, but just a citizen. But we want you to be a president and a leader who is democratic and hears the views of the people, not who takes decisions singlehandedly with regard to projects that the people who have elected you know nothing of. We want you to respect the Constitution, which states that our capital is Cairo.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm