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Mohamed Ali, the man from Egypt's operations room

Egyptian film producer and real-estate investor Mohamed Ali [Facebook]
Egyptian film producer and real-estate investor Mohamed Ali [Facebook]

Mohamed Ali, 45 years old, is an amateur actor whose company was involved in the Egyptian army's contracting investments for 15 years until a dispute arouse over a few million dollars. This resulted in him flying to Spain, taking with him what was left of his wealth, to expose his rivals on social media.

In his first video, Ali stressed that his financial problem has nothing to do with politics. After ensuring that his number of followers increased, Mohamed denied avoiding engaging in politics and stated that he had been planning to expose the government for the past six years and that he picked the fight with his partners in the army. He also hinted that members of the army support him. This all led to the Egyptian people clinging on to him as the last straw of hope and they took to the streets to protest. The matter seemed to be going in the direction of a scary revolution, but it faded and the protesters were surprised by the large number of individuals arrested under the pretext of his calls. Finally, Ali backed down and admitted that he does not have a military cover and that he was working alone.

Mohamed portrayed himself as a fugitive threatened with death, then he soon turned to praise for being in a safe country in a European country that respects human rights. He then announced his tour in Europe and the US with complete reassurance.

Major international newspapers said he exposed the workings of the Egyptian regime; its operations room.

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The operations room of any government is the decision-making area. Mohamed did not reveal secrets which are more important than those already in the public domain; the ordinary citizen knows that vital areas in the heart of Cairo are being sold to Arab investors. Locals also know about the sovereign fund placed solely at the disposal of the President of the Republic, decisions made by the army to put their hands on land and facilities, unmonitored and guards imposed on major companies under the pretext of fabricated charges, i.e. its owners being members of a terrorist group, etc.

The international media considered him a hero who did what no one else before him has.

This is not true; those who preceded Mohamed kept the revolution's flame burning. From the first moments of the coup, supporters of President Mohamed Morsi's legitimacy reacted, staging sit-ins that were dispersed with massacres, massive demonstrations that ended with killing and arrest, and pauses in memory of the revolution followed by imprisonment and liquidation in homes, and small dispersed movements in the villages were oppressed, along with silencing social media sites that exposed the coup leader and his government.

Film producer and real-estate investor Mohamed Ali Abdel Khaleq

Film producer and real-estate investor Mohamed Ali Abdel Khaleq at a press conference in London organised by Egypt Watch on 20 November 2019 [Middle East Monitor]

Meanwhile, the civilian forces that supported the 30 June coup, which returned defeated, have accused the late president of being weak and his group of being failures due to their peaceful approach. These forces focused on fragmenting and exhausting Morsi's supporters by calling for an approach that erases the period between 2012 and 2019 and providing a solution that matches the Sudanese revolution, i.e. they have complete control of the government and they exclude the Islamists from political work. These forces presented numerous initiatives and public figures, such as actors, Amr Waked, Khaled Abu Al-Naja and most recently, Mohamed Ali, who is considered a more advanced model than his predecessors.

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News networks portray Mohamed Ali as a man who exposed the system with a mobile camera! I say that no one reaches this level of exposure without being directly or indirectly supported. For example, Massaad Abu Fager, who exposed the army's performance in Sinai, appeared at the same time as Mohamed, as did Tamer Gamal, the political activist who made an attempt to revolt, none of whom gained a quarter of Mohamed's support. Shouldn't we wonder why the international newspapers are opening their doors to Mohamed Ali when they did not do the same for the Brotherhood supporters and supporters of President Morsi at the height of the repression they were subjected to after the coup?

The emergence of Mohamed Ali bears many question marks, especially for those who know well how a person rises from the public to the elite class by working with the army and intelligence for 15 years. Is it possible that he turned against them because of a few million? Many businessmen lost their money tragically in Egypt and none of them did anything similar. So, the departure of one of them, as we are seeing today, cannot be so innocent!

In summary, is it acceptable for the Egyptian opposition to be lead towards reforming by a man with a corrupt financial history and superficial political thought? Mohamed Ali has adopted the phrase (we are all corrupt) as his slogan, in order not to be held accountable for his past, and thus commits a moral crime against the revolution and society. Ali did not follow the electoral platforms of any of the presidential candidates in 2012, yet he says that he was not convinced by any of them! Ali is proposing a government programme that represents the post-Sisi phase and has no idea that what he is talking about is a parliamentary government.

Mohamed Ali: 'No shop can compete with the army because they don't pay tax' 

Mohamed chose his government experts on his own and proposed an electronic mechanism for the referendum that proved to be a failure in the past. The question remains, will Mohamed Ali present his programme as a choice or a de facto matter that guarantees the ideology and approaches of those who lead Egypt after Al-Sisi? Doesn't he realise that he is replacing a dictatorship with another?

What the civil opposition presents is a true mockery, turning the revolution into a type of fragile opposition that toughens the coup government in Egypt and further exhausts those supporting the cause day after day. After talking about the perseverance of the imprisoned heroes and the rebels rallying behind the rejections of the coup, everyone has begun chanting for the man in the operations room, who may run for the presidency under international protection.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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