Nonviolent change is sustainable — Mohamed Elbaradei
Showing the type of calibre working behind the scene with Elbaradei, the former IAEA chief has given a one-hour interview that was uploaded on the video-sharing site Youtube. The interview is shot in hight quality with good and well-fixed angles. Multi-cams have been used to or at least it was fixed in the video-editing process.
The interview was conduced by Dr.Mustafa Al-Nagar, a prominent Egyptian activist whom some identify as a liberal Islamist.
While the interview was uploaded as one piece in its one-hour form, it was also clipped into small video clips each answering a major question. Titles included : ‘ Can the Egyptian people change? ‘, ‘ Is that petition idea effective? ‘, ‘Why do you travel alot?’, and ‘ Whether he eats the Egyptian popular food called ‘Koshari’ ?’.
The way the questions themselves were selected is interesting. A couple of weeks before the interview was to be aired, a page was set up on Google Moderator. Moderator is a service by Google which aggregates questions and selects them accordingly after an electronic vote.
In total, 2729 users sent 1332 questions and 59,733 votes were cast. The result was the 25 most asked questions included in the video interview.
A print-screen of the Google Moderator page that received the questions
The ‘Change Petition’, effective?
The one-hour interview is interesting, but it included some swift answers and statements geared towards the regime.
One of the major questions was over the ‘effectiveness’ or ‘usefulness’ of the so-called Change Petition. The Petition includes 7 demands focusing on constitutional reforms and other guarantees for a free and fair elections. So far the online edition of the petition has registered over 63,000 signatures and reports suggest more are have signed on the ground.
Answering the question over the effectiveness of the petition to bring about change, Elbaradei said : ‘ In the beginning the people have to declare swiftly that they want change…I believe that if enough signatures were collected, no regime can stand against the will of the people. And there are historical precedents to that.’
Further he was asked: ‘ What if we collected signatures and the regime refused to respond to the petition? What is next? ‘. Elbaradei answered, ‘ We will not re-invent the bike. Countries across history have changed when the people rise up and knew that they are the true decision makers…if the regime stood against the popular will, then it has to bear the consequences such as civil disobedience etc ‘
Peaceful exit for the regime
Elbaradei has usually sent messages between the lines and this one deserves a highlight. After threatening civil disobedience, he said that this doesn’t mean ‘ we will destroy the whole temple’ an expression used to denote putting current regime figures on trial after overthrowing them. They can go away without trial, means Elbaradei. But many other Egyptians would love to see another Nuremberg especially for state security officers !
The rest of the interview was a reiteration of what he had said earlier in major tv stations. There are reports that a security directive was issued to all private TV channels not to interview Elbaradei, but the new media is not controlled by the security, fortunately.