An alternative Mubarak May Day speech

While I was preparing to appear on a program for al-Horra satellite channel to analyze President Hosni Mubarak’s May Day speech, I asked for a copy of the speech. I received my copy, only to realize that it was an imaginary version of Mubarak’s speech, written by an ordinary Egyptian citizen before Mubarak actually delivered his own speech.

I liked the imaginary version much more than I did the real one, for it expressed the thoughts of millions of Egyptians. Since the fictitious speech was written in a very moderate tone–perhaps not a far cry from a speech that Hossam Badrawi would have written–I decided to share it with my readers.

Here’s the text of the speech:

“Egypt’s faithful workers: Happy May Day!…Happy May Day to all of Egypt!…

“We hope to see Egypt progressing and advancing as a result of your sincere efforts….

“I want to express my gratitude, appreciation and love to you on your day…the day of work and production…

“I would like to salute those who built modern Egypt, the workers and industrialists, those who built the High Dam and Egypt’s industrial edifices in the 1960s and 1970s in Helwan, Naga Hammadi, Kafr el-Dawwar and many other places, and those who created new industries in the 1980s and 1990s….

“I’m extremely happy to be standing among you now in our first meeting since my return from an arduous therapeutic trip during which I experienced the bitterness of leaving one’s homeland and felt touched by the sweetness of your good health wishes. You have set an example for all the countries of the world. 

“The world around us has changed radically as a result of events and variables that have interfered with the international balance of power and given rise to new factors, the impact of which needs to be taken into consideration.

“With your help we managed to resolve many crises. I’m aware that the current political conditions necessitate a greater degree of transparency. I promised you before that as a state that has political institutions we will work towards the implementation of the law. We will not be lenient with wrongdoers or with anyone who threatens the livelihoods of Egyptians. There will be no place for favoritism in Egypt and I will keep my promise.

“I know that Egyptians aren’t satisfied with the performance of their government and I’m following up closely on manifestations of this anger–expressed in the frequent worker protests and complaints.

“I’m sad to see government still unable to solve your problems and to see many of you still protesting in front of the parliament. Even though those protests are a sign of democratic practice, the image of those workers is still cruel.

“I heard Zakaria Azmy, chief of the presidential staff, urging ministers to take action to address the problems of the workers who are protesting before the parliament, but I’m not sure if the ministers have heeded his call…

“Therefore, I hereby announce that I will fight along with the government to find quick solutions to the problems of Egypt’s workers and to provide the resources needed for the distribution of the social bonus which will not be set below ten percent.

“I will fight that battle for a minimum wage on your behalf for I strongly reject the extremely low figures suggested by the government. I will continue to be biased toward the simple Egyptian citizen.

“The current economic conditions force us to abandon any talk of abolishing subsidies. Subsidization will remain an established right for Egyptians and we will organize the system and ensure that subsidies go to those eligible to receive them. We will never abolish subsidies or reduce them.”

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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