“We shall never sell illusions to the people”. Yes, I believed you when you said so, Mr. president. You will neither sell illusions nor will the people buy them from you, for the nation has recovered from its addiction to delusions and can now distinguish good from bad.
Delusions are not marketable anymore and we are not asking you for illusions, but something rather possible to secure: minimum subsistence, an opportunity for education and a hope for recovery. That is not too much to ask for, is it? We are not dreaming of villas, luxury cars or green lawns; Egyptians are merely aspiring for self-sufficiency. Is that too much to ask?
Mr. President, illusion mongers are touring impoverished allies with their goods and we bought them in the past. You are right, it was a fake purchase. You did not do it, but there people who sell illusions using your presidential franchise. Those who knock on our doors, speak on your behalf, claim closeness to you and lie both to you and to us equally. The common people believe the goods are yours, Mr. President, then regret buying them. Who let those swindlers into the market?
Who is causing this illusion? Who is speaking about billions while addressing a nation that is praying to Allah for the very basics? Who had promised, and is still promising, people with paradise? People have lived the delusion of billions of returns for five arid years: the promised billions of smuggled funds from Switzerland, the widely-published billions from the Economic Conference and the anticipated millions from the New Suez Canal, and promises continue.
Let your government speak less of billions because it does not have what it takes to carry on with such talk. Mr. President, please revise the billion-sum numbers your government has mentioned over the past 17 months. It makes me feel as though I am the only broke one in a country of billions. Please revise the billions for which a poor country imports provocative items, resulting in an uncontrollable imports bill. By God, that is the real illusion.
We will remain loyal and sincere to you; you will neither sell delusions nor will we buy them from you. But, sir, sell us some hope, draw us an even track, a clear roadmap to hope. Many are spreading despair and there are people who tease the poor.
No, I was not happy with your anger. An angry president? We are still at the beginning of the road. Restrain yourself and let no one intentionally get you off track.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm