Plea for support via crackdown on youth


“Sisi warns Egypt students against ‘malicious’ acts” reports on President Sisi’s speech prior to the beginning of the semester for universities. In the speech, Sisi warned the students against taking part in any political activity on a campus, which is reserved only for the purpose of education. The speech follows the draft of a new controversial law that gives the power to fire faculty members and surpassing the trial stage. Sisi promised that more state resources would be committed to university students.

“Egypt’s Student Protests: The Beginning or the End of Youth Dissent” describes the government crackdown on university campuses, initiated by President Sisi. Egyptian authorities have attempted to quell any political activity on college campuses by banning protests and reinstating the law of university president appointments. Sisi has tried to appeal to the youth by acknowledging their grievances while at the same time reminding them that they are too naive to contribute anything worthwhile to the political process. This move is a risk to Sisi’s regime because it could alienate the very support that they desperately need to gain any real political power.

It seems as though President Sisi acknowledges the power of the youth population because of his wide appeals for their support. However, he seems to have underestimated their power by simply attempting to contain them. The patronizing tone in his speech to university students is further confirmed in the attempts by the regime to suppress all freedom of students. President Sisi is almost conveying an attitude of political liberalism, by stressing that decisions made by the administration will be multifaceted. Sisi claims that he wants to work directly with the youth population to hear their opinions through special councils and committees. However, he is only using this position as a facade to further protect his image as a strong state leader. Sisi is clearly only giving “support” to the youth in order to suppress them. His appeal to scholarship and education priority is probably attractive to the youth, who may feel apathetic toward the constantly tumultuous state of politics. However, Sisi should be cautious in this approach because if no changes are made, the passionate youth may reignite the flame of protest, which will be detrimental to his authority.

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