Prescient remarks by Mohamed ElBaradei


Excerpt from an address by Mohamed ElBaradei in Spring 2008, as part of the Commencent exercises at my alma mater, Amherst College, where he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Laws degree. 

Audience member: “What do you see as the political future for Egypt?”  

ElBaradei: “Well, I think it is uncertain. I mentioned last week that what I worry about there is the increasing gap between the rich and the poor. Democracy has not yet taken hold there. Democracy has to come from within. Democracy takes time—we all know that. But we have to take certain concrete steps in that direction. People have to feel that they are being treated fairly, that they have a say in who is governing them and how they are governed. When I mention people saying we are poor but not stupid, I mention the fact that people know the difference between genuine democracy and fake democracy. I still think Egypt has a lot to do, and the most important things to me are democracy, education, fair distribution of wealth. We have in Egypt right now, I think, seven or eight people who are on Forbes’ list of the richest 500 people in the world. That’s in a country where still the per capita income is $1,000. That’s something which is not sustainable to me.” 

The full transcript of his remarks can be read here, where you will also find a link to the full audio recording of his address. 


One response

  1. Excerpt about future of #Egypt from ElBaradei’s remarks at 2008 Amherst College commencement:

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