- January 2, 2013
- 7 minutes read
Worldwide Campaign by Egyptian Expats to Support Economy Finds Support in the Gulf
Egyptian activists launched campaigns on Facebook and Twitter pages to support and shore up foreign reserves at the Central Bank of Egypt.
The Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) homepage launched as well a campaign entitled ‘Your money transfers support Egypt’s economy and development’.
One of the pro-Egypt campaign pages logged the transfer of over US$1.3 billion to Egypt on the first day of the campaign ‘For you, Egypt’ launched by activists to encourage money transfers, in dollars, to accounts in Egypt, to support the Egyptian pound.
On his Facebook page, Dr. Ahmed Matar, Chairman of the Arab Center for Political and Economic Research and Muslim Brotherhood leader, said: "Definite information: Bureaus de change have already begun getting rid of the dollar. Wednesday, January 2, sees pound falling by 6 piasters more".
Matar called for a million dollar money transfer campaign, adding: "It’s a million-man demonstration indeed, but a new kind that does not take place in liberty squares, but in financial circles. It does not involve cheers, chants, flags and fiery speeches, but money transfers to Egypt.
"For the first time, thousands of Egyptians working abroad are joining this campaign. Just as million-man marches and protests in Tahrir Square toppled the Mubarak regime, the million remittances campaign will help Egypt’s economy, and the pound will rise above all expectations."
Sports commentator Dr. Alaa Sadek, said: "Millions of Egyptians have not had the opportunity to participate in the revolution due to their work conditions outside the country, but their patriotism emerged with their positive participation by transferring their monies in dollars to their accounts in Egyptian banks to support the economy and to face up to remnants of the ousted Mubarak regime attempting to sabotage the Egyptian economy. What they’ve done is equivalent to effectively participating in the Revolution".
Spreading all over Facebook and Twitter pages are photos and copies of documents and receipts of dollar remittances from abroad to Egyptian banks, especially from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
For his part, Salah Al-Arabi, UAE-based Egyptian journalist, said: "A large number of Egyptians residing in the UAE have agreed to transfer large amounts of dollars, and to open bank accounts in Egypt to transfer savings into, in order to contribute to the national economy, to help it pass the current critical stage by increasing foreign exchange liquidity in the Egyptian market and easing the pressure on the local currency.
Observers suggested that Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt should issue certificates of deposit in dollars so Arabs can invest in them through Egyptian embassies.
Qatari activists also announced their participation in the campaign "For you, Egypt". Qatari media professional Nasser Jaber Al-Marri, said in a Tweet: "A group of youth from Qatar decided now to transfer the amount of US$200,000 to the National Bank of Egypt and invest that in Cairo."
Separately, Muhanna Hubail, Saudi political researcher and analyst, launched a campaign entitled "For you, Egypt by some Gulf citizens.
Saudi Sheikh Ibrahim Al-Harethy stressed that Egypt gave the Arab world a lot; and that Arabs now need to support it, adding: "Shame on us that Egypt’s economy shakes or fails as we sit and watch".
For his part, Saudi preacher Sheikh Khalid Al-Bakr urged Egyptians abroad to transfer hard currency to Egypt to support its economy by all means, saying in a Tweet: "I say to my brothers, Egyptian expatriates, today, ‘Pay a dollar to save Egypt’."
Further, Dr. Salman Bin Fahd Al-Ouda, Assistant Secretary-General of the Union of Muslim Scholars, urged Egyptians abroad to take responsibility for building the economy and contribute to overcoming the economic crisis in their own country through money transfers.
In an article published in ‘Islam Today’ website under the title "An Egyptian away from home", Al-Ouda asserted that money transfers and remittances constitute a fundamental pillar of the Egyptian economy.
"According to World Bank estimates, remittances from Egyptians abroad in 2008 were about US$9 billion, a figure that increases and decreases according to the economic situation, and are most likely to increase now. Egypt ranks first in the Middle East among countries that receive remittances from their citizens."