EACH DAY, the world witnesses hundreds of incidents as a result of actions carried out by mentally challenged people. The consequence of such acts ends instantly once the perpetrator is arrested, similar to what happened in Washington – the capital of the United States of America – a few weeks ago.
The latest of these incidents happened in front of the Congress building where a man fired a gun. As a precautionary measure, police officers closed the areas surrounding the White House and the Capital for two hours. After that, life in the area returned to normal.
Neither local nor international news agencies allocated long hours to analyze or look into public opinion about the incident, unlike the Egypt aircraft hijacking which became a hot topic worldwide. Many political and economic analyses were made on the incident, transforming the entire issue into a debate among critics who did not leave any stone of flaws unturned in terms of finding fault in the authority or those in position. Has the matter reached the extent of some people striving towards disparaging vengeance which also destroys national values?
What we have heard and read is very dangerous due to the possibility of transforming every incident into an occasion for bombarding official establishments with shenanigans keen on tarnishing the image of a country such as Egypt.
The real political opposition is one that criticizes for the sake of rectifying an error, not to wreak havoc.
I do not think the people of Egypt will accept the misinformation and misguidance practiced by some local (Egyptian), Arab and international media, especially when it comes to differentiating between an unusual incident and terrorist action aimed at transporting the hell of civil war to their country – a war which Arab countries continue to endure till now. This is what the heads of information media outlets need to understand and perceive, specifically those who prefer to raise issues just for the sake of agitation. They are the ones who cast doubt on the ability of terrorist and economic wheels to move. They even doubted the ability of Egypt’s currency against the US dollar in terms of combating the aftermath of this incident.
They ought to know that Egypt is not fragile to the point of being affected with this kind of incident, its economy is strong enough to combat the crisis which is more serious than the previous one including the operations conducted by terrorist groups. Despite the explosions and crimes committed in Egypt in the past few years, projects continue to be implemented including construction and tourism.
Indeed, this kind of incident might make the security agencies busy, prompting them to review their security plans considering this is the core of their daily work. From time to time, drills are performed in order to address security loopholes, if any.
However, transforming such odd and isolated incident into a cradle for pessimists entails the need to thoroughly review nationalism and patriotism concepts which are not just part of a motto stated through information media outlets, whereas our practices and behavior are light years away from genuine patriotism.
In short, if the intention of the mentally challenged hijacker was to pursue his ex-wife in Cyprus, it is better for the Egyptian authorities to leave him where he is now so that he does not make the media houses occupied. These media houses are supposed to strengthen international confidence on their country by presenting the positive aspects expressed by international establishments in last year’s economic conference in Sharm el-Sheikh.
Undoubtedly, the unprecedented and massive coverage of the incident leaves a negative impression of Egypt in the eyes of investors and tourists at a time the latter is in dire need of development and stability.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah – Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times