Friday Prayers for Egypt: Saudi Islands

Flag Cross Quran

God,

Perhaps the story is over, perhaps the judiciary will still have a role. But two contested islands in the Red Sea have been ceded by Egypt to Saudi Arabia, after parliament ratified the president’s decision.

It was an unpopular vote; proponents insist it was the right one.

At issue is original ownership. Egypt has long administered the islands, but were they originally Saudi? Both sides have produced maps, documents, and other evidence to support their case.

And in the background is the role of Saudi Arabia in supporting Egypt. The president first announced the deal in conjunction with a massive Saudi aid and investment program. Many felt he ‘sold’ Egyptian land.

The Administrative Court sought to block the transfer, but parliament acted on its believed constitutional prerogative. The Constitutional Court has not yet spoken—it may or may not. If originally Saudi only parliament is necessary to ratify a foreign agreement. If originally Egyptian a national referendum is necessary.

God, sort out the complications. The islands are unpopulated, but strategic. And little is more valuable in Egyptian imagination than land.

If the vote to cede was genuine, then bless the courageous lawmakers for standing against the popular will. It is right to give back what belongs to another.

But opponents say the vote was manipulated by government pressure. If so then bless the courageous lawmakers for calling it out. It is right to resist machinations of power.

But was the vote right, God? You know. Bless Egypt whether yes or no, but bless her differently. Through rebuke or commendation, guide her to the right and good.

All land is yours, God. All souls belong to you. All peoples reflect your handiwork.

Determine the exact lines of the places you would have them. Your greater story is not yet over. Within it is Egypt, and may all end well.

Amen.

 

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