A new year is at our doorstep. For some, this is a blank state, an opportunity to start a fresh life. But as the year draws to a close it is worth reflecting on 2009, the good and the bad. In this light, Al-Masry Al-Youm took to the streets of Cairo and asked people: What was the most important event of 2009?
Karima el-Shahd, 40, physician: “I think the most important event that occurred this year was that Obama became the first African-American to hold the office, as well as the first president who has Islamic origins. This emphasizes the implementation of democracy in America, where they enjoy the freedom to vote for whoever they think is most capable, regardless color or religion.”
Yasser Abdel Fatah, 37, lawyer: “The resignation of Mohamed Mansour, Minister of Transportation, in the aftermath of a deadly railway crush was a really unusual action. I think I have never heard about an Egyptian minister resigning before. It is a miracle in the Egyptian government’s history.”
Suzanne Moustafa, 50, pharmacist: “The most important event happened in 2009 is that Mohamed ElBaradei will consider running for the Egyptian presidency in 2011. I thought the nominated candidates, as ElBaradei and Zuweil, are only alleged names and are not going to take an action. I mean who would dare after what happened to Ayman Nour in the last presidential election?“
Magdy Khamis, 45, supermarket owner: “I was bothered by the deterioration in relations between Egypt and Algeria because of a football match, regardless its importance. What the Algerians have done to Egyptians in Sudan was like massacre. Where is the Arab unity?”
Ahmed Fathy, 17, student: “I think the outbreak of swine flu because it caused unnecessary global panic. If swine flu is like any other flu, why all those sudden concerns about a trivial matter? ”
Abdel Aziz Mohamed, 25, baker: “I think the most important event is that Egypt was beaten 1-0 by Algeria in 2010 World Cup qualification. It was very disappointing for Egyptian people. We have been waiting [to qualify] since 1990.”