Friday Prayers for Egypt: Subsidies Lifting

Flag Cross Quran

God,

The first shoe drops. President Sisi’s first substantial act of policy reduced the massive government subsidy on fuel. Though a government agency predicted a 200 percent rise in commodity prices, so far, it seems like he can make it work.

There has been a public outcry, of course, but no great surge in public demonstrations. Many economists say reducing subsidies was a budgetary necessary; in agreement or not some say the price will be paid by the poor.

But whether due to his popularity, his soft-spoken explanations, or a general weariness for protest, Sisi appears to be pulling it off.

God, if you have granted him success in this decision, grant him success in its results. May it ensure a government policy in line with resources, stimulating to the economy, and equitable for all.

This, though, if enacted wisely will be the long term result. In the immediate term there will be financial difficulty for many, no matter how many programs the government enacts to ease the pain.

The prayer is simple, God. Care for those most needy. Support the middle class. Command the wealthy to be rich in good deeds. Encourage generosity among all.

There is much speculation President Sisi is simply resetting the old order – politically for a particular elite, economically for entrenched patrons. In this step he has broken with the former policies of that order, but for whose interest?

May it be for the interest of the nation, God, and those of the people first and foremost. May a more just order emerge.

This is Sisi’s rhetoric, God, so hold him accountable through these same people, patrons, and elite.

Otherwise the dropped shoe may be lifted and its sole thrust in his face. Spare Egypt from insults; reform both the morality and the economy which produce them.

Fuel the creativity and determination toward wise and necessary policies. For the sake of Egypt, make them work.

Amen.

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