Now that Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi has been sworn in for a second term as president, Watani decided to sound Egypt’s young persons on what they desire from the President during his upcoming four-year term.
Education, jobs, family
Ahmed Said, a law student, said: “After graduation, I need a reasonable job opportunity. I also demand adequate health care and treatment whenever I need it.”
“We need an education system that would prepare us for the job market, not just to score in exams,” said Ibrahim Samir, a student at the Cairo University’s Faculty of Science. “The State should also pay attention to basic education: primary and preparatory schools which are pivotal in formation of the character of future generations.”
Along the same line, Sally Ahmad said, “We also need a better education system, more schools and a modern curriculum.” In agreement, mathematics teacher Ashraf Tawfiq stressed: “We need to train teachers, and to raise their notoriously low salaries.”
Ms Ahmad expressed a wish for “better safety on Egypt’s streets. In general, we need more concern about women and their rights. The family needs more care, especially in case of children whose parents are separated or divorced. Child custody laws need amendment so as to be fairer to mothers and children.”
Samia Sadeq, a mother of two toddlers said, “The steady rise in prices has made it very hard for us to make ends meet. All we ask for is a decent life.”
Another stay-at-home mom, Sonia Waguih, was optimistic. “Today we are much better than we were before. Yet we wish there would be control over commodity prices.”
For Sandra Eliya, the poor and needy were a major concern. “The government should take better care of the poor; we still see homeless people scavenging for food in bitter weather; many of them are sick.”
Towards better pay, better quality
Samy Naguib, a young employee, demanded better salaries for young people, salaries that would allow them to get married and have families. “We, youth, need to feel more secure about our future in Egypt. Yes, there have been strenuous efforts by the State during the past four years to ameliorate conditions, but we still lack the sense of security.”
Sameh Soliman and Bassem Nessim, both young pharmacists, focused on the problems of the pharmaceutical sector and the health sector as a whole. “The market suffers severe shortages in specific drugs; and hospitals need upgrading of medical equipment and emergency units,” they said.
In the mental health field, Walid Taha, a specialist, demanded more psychiatric centres and specialised hospitals. In his opinion: “The number of beds available for psychiatric patients are severely inadequate for their numbers.”
Ezzat Estaphanos shed light on the need to boost tourism and raise local awareness on tourist sites in Egypt. “This requires that fares for Egyptian tourists should be reduced,” he said.
For Ayed Soliman, an engineer, there was a dire need to look into the plight of factories that had to close down owing to the economic downturn following the Arab Spring, and that never reopened. “It is important to manufacture products in Egypt, and to export them to bring in foreign currency,” he said.
A number of university students agreed on the urgent need to help young people start small projects, by cutting red tape and securing easy loans.
In conclusion, better education ranked top of the demands of young people, followed by adequate healthcare, and better job opportunities.
3 June 2018