Thomas L. Friedman, the winner of 2002 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, used to work as chief White House correspondent. He then joined Washington Bureau as chief economic correspondent. In 1995, he was selected as the foreign-affairs Op-Ed columnist of The New York Times. His fabulous work made him win the Pulitzer Prize 3rd time for The New York Times in 2002. Later on, in 2005, he was made the member of Pulitzer Prize Board (Friedman, 2009).
In 1981, Mr. Friedman started working for The Times. In 1982, he started serving as Beirut bureau chief. Later on, Mr. Friedman was transferred to Jerusalem in 1984. He stayed there till 1988 and worked as Israel bureau chief. Mr. Freidman won the first Pulitzer Prize for international reporting in 1983 and the second Pulitzer Prize for international reporting in 1988 from Lebanon and Israel respectively (Friedman, 2009).
Chosen article, argument and background -- Egypt's Step Backward
It is depressing to know that Egypt's transitional government is in no mood to work in collaboration (Friedman, 2012).
A total 43 people will be put on trial on Sunday. Out of these 43 people, 16 hold U.S. nationality. They are alleged of the crime of promoting democracy with a license by channelizing unregistered funds in Egypt. Though Egypt holds the right to monitor foreign organization working within the country, but they are ignoring that these organizations were waiting for approval in the regime of Hosni Mubarak. Before the revolution, these groups had filed the registration papers. They were told their documents are complete and the approval is pending. However, with the fall of Hosni Mubarak, these groups are now in trouble and facing strict legal actions, which may result in jail terms. This shows that revolution in Egypt did occur but it was an incomplete phenomenon. There is still a tussle between revolutionary and counter-revolutionary forces (Friedman, 2012).
The situation prevailing in Egypt is distressing. Unemployment and inflation is rising. Value of currency and foreign reserves is declining. Still, retrograde Mubarak holdovers are still focusing on putting staffers belonging to National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute on trial. These people worked in association with a few European groups, Freedom House, as well as 2 major political parties of U.S. These people have been put on a trial for arranging seminars in Egypt that focused on the youth of Egypt. These seminars taught young Egyptians how to form parties and monitor elections, so that they can play an integral role in the democratic process of Egypt that was initially set up by the Army soon after the fall of Hosni Mubarak (Friedman, 2012).
The reality is still ambiguous. Fayza Abul Naga, the minister of planning and international cooperation of Egypt, and a very close colleague and friend of Hosni Mubarak, trumps this case. According to her, Egypt is going through the worst period of last 50 years. This period is about finding the weaknesses that hindered Egypt in becoming a strong and developing economy like India, China, Brazil, Malaysia, Taiwan, and South Korea. This period is about ascertaining the lost dignity. The lost dignity lies in the youth of Egypt. If the youth gets better health and educational facilities, as well as a reliable government with proper institutions, flourishing economy and export-led growth industries; then the economy of Egypt can be revived. Unfortunately, Egyptians are finding their dignity in putting foreigners under trial (Friedman, 2012).
For the past 6 years, Abul Naga has been playing this game with the help of the Military. She has been opposing political and economic reforms, as told by one of the former adviser of Hosni Mubarak. Military and Abul Naga did not prefer having an open economy. That is why, they discouraged any reform. As both of them were against the revolution, now they are playing the nationalist card for saving themselves (Friedman, 2012).
Illiteracy and poverty are now the major predators of Egypt. Although Hosni Mubarak received $50 billion in the form of U.S. aid, still 33% of men and 56% of women cannot read or write in Egypt. In the 30 years period of Hosni Mubarak's rule, nothing beneficial has been achieved. However, Abul Naga is unconcerned about the failure of that regime (Friedman, 2012).
It is important to note what her priority is. Abul Naga is not at all interested in creating employment opportunities for young Egyptians. She is not interested in creating a suitable business environment so that Foreign Direct Investment can be increased. She is also not interested in bringing a new 21st century vision for Egypt that could flourish the economy. She is of the opinion that whatever bad has occurred with Egypt is rooted in the interferences of foreigners. Hence, she wants to put consultants of Western democracy under trial. By doing so, she thinks she can bring the golden era of Egypt back (Friedman, 2012).
The Times from Cairo reported that the dossier of prosecutor has been supported by the testimony of Abul Naga. The dossier is against democracy workers, and according to him, these workers had links with C.I.A and that is why they are working for the interest of Israel and USA. The dossier further adds that these workers' actions have increased tensions between Copts and Muslims. The dossier also makes it clear that these workers aimed at working against Egypt upon the wish of American public opinion, Congress, and Jewish lobbyists (Friedman, 2012).
Abul Naga has been skeptical about the role of Westerners in Egyptian revolution. She told Egypt's youth that the revolution was not by the brave Egyptians, rather by the Jewish lobby, Israel, U.S. Congress, and C.I.A. According to her, the youth, who died in Tahir Square while marching and protesting for their rights and secured future, have been misused by these actors (Friedman, 2012).
It is not shocking to hear from the U.S. Congress' members to stop U.S. aid worth $1.3 billion, which is provided to the army of Egypt. This aid would be stopped if Americans are put on trail and sentenced to jail. However, the picture is still unclear. We still have to see if Abul Naga's statements are actually the last resort to save themselves from the revolutionists. We still have to see if she is able to depict themselves as the ones who can safeguard the dignity of Egypt. If she fails, it means that Egypt has been revolutionized by true forces (Friedman, 2012).
Egypt's youth should replace the old faces in order to secure their future. The current rulers are only wasting the resources of Egypt, which are already declining substantially. If the youth does not stand for their rights, they will not be able to save their honor and dignity. The honor and dignity of Egypt lies in embracing modern tools; having good education; forming accountable government; and availing better opportunities. However, Abul Naga is diverting the attention of youth from the real situation (Friedman, 2012).
It seems like the main motivation of the author to write this article was the fact that he believed that 43 innocent individuals, 16 of whom were Americans, were being tried for sentences in Egypt for actions that were not really crimes and those that had a legal paper trail leading back to Hosni Mubarak's rule before the revolution. His argument had logic in it as there was concrete evidence available on the fact that these individuals filed for attaining licenses to get funds in Egypt during Mubarak's times and all of their filings were pending the decision of Mubarak. Hence, not only does the author here display solid logos but also uses it by depending upon legal, government-level and public records.
The intended audience for this article was the Egyptian youth and the…