Friday Prayers for Egypt: Nearing Normal

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Several hours from now Egypt will have a new president; several weeks more and a parliament is promised. These are the last two steps of the roadmap to rebuild the state, presumably after which it will function again normally.

But God, make normal good. Indications can be read toward either better or worse.

President-elect Sisi has been long discussed, seen alternately as a savior or a devil. Only time will tell, judged not only by his own character and intentions, but by the ability of the people to hold him accountable, or overthrow him entirely.

The latter is the new normal; the former has never been. God, make the presidency work, and make it work for good.

But before Sisi’s inauguration, the outgoing interim president set the rules for the parliamentary contest. The number of seats is increased. The slice for political parties is small. Copts, women, youth, farmers, disabled, and expats all have a mandated share. Some say the law resets a Mubarak-era parliament. Others see better representation and empowerment of local actors.

Some is normal, some is new. God, make the parliament work, and make it work for good.

For parliament, more prayers will come and the law may yet be modified. But for Sisi on the verge of his presidency, make known your will with him as head of state.

Bless him and strengthen him. Increase his wisdom and increase his humility. Hold him accountable; hold him to the right. Bless Egypt through him; bless Egypt despite him.

You have made him important, may he make others so. You have given him power, may he give it to others. You have given him privilege; may he not only privilege his own.

The latter was the normal, God; the former is of the spirit needed. Transform Egypt so that all leaders will serve. May Sisi set the chief example.

But among none, God, is this normal. It takes strong, balanced, and limited institutions. Its takes your character, and your heart.

Rebuild the former, and among all Egyptians, enliven the latter. Egypt is technically close to finishing her roadmap; only you know if she is close to her resurrection. May both come, and soon.


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