By Marwa Al-A’asar
CAIRO: A number of activists who were involved in organizing and publicizing the Jan. 25 Revolution said Monday that they held a meeting with two senior army officers who represented the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.
During the Sunday meeting that took over three hours, the officers confirmed that the army does not aim to rule the country and that a civilian state is the best option for Egypt’s development.
The activists who attended the meeting included the administrators of “We are all Khalid Said” group on Facebook, Wael Ghonim and Amr Salama, April 6 Youth movement general coordinator, Ahmed Maher, and media coordinator of the Public Independent Campaign for Supporting ElBaradei, Abdel-Rahman Samir.
The commanders said that an honorable committee, formed of members who have no political affiliations, was formed to finalize the required constitutional amendments within 10 days. A public referendum on proposed constitutional amendments will be held within two months.
Salama, an independent filmmaker, told Daily News Egypt that the officers were so keen to listen carefully to them, taking down notes all the time.
“The officers were paying attention to every word we said. We felt so optimistic about this meeting,” Salama told Daily News Egypt.
For the fist time, youth were not addressed in a condescending way by the older generation, he added.
According to Salama, the officers seemed interested to figure out with the youth a way to get Egypt out of the current situation, boost the economy and restore order in the country.
Salama declined to mention where the meeting was held for security reasons.
Ghonim, the regional marketing manager of Google, said on a Facebook note co-written with Salama, “I felt quite proud because the achievement we have attained made all these high-profile people respect it.”
He said the reason they got the opportunity to meet with these army commanders “is the millions of Egyptians who took to the streets calling for their rights,” Ghonim added.
The army officers said that the people should start a new phase where everyone works hard to make up the losses suffered by the Egyptian economy. The army vowed to pursue the corrupt regardless of their current or former positions.
Egypt’s young activists were encouraged to take serious steps towards establishing political parties that reflect their views and ideologies.
The army vowed that it would hold accountable whoever was involved in killing or injuring the protesters.
“We sensed a true desire to maintain the achievements of the revolution as well as an unprecedented respect of the youths’ right to express themselves,” the Facebook note read.
The army agreed to periodically meet youths from different groups who took part in the Jan. 25 Revolution.
In the note, Ghonim and Salama said the group of activists called on the army to make a public appearance on TV to illustrate these viewpoints as “the people deserve to hear what the youths heard during the meeting so that everybody is relieved.”