- By Ty McCormickTy McCormick is an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Previously he was a freelance correspondent in Egypt, where he wrote about everything from military trials to revolutionary rap music. A 2011 Pulitzer Center grantee, he has written for Newsweek, the New Republic, the International Herald Tribune, and the Los Angeles Times, among others. He has also appeared as a commentator on Fox News and American Public Media’s Marketplace Tech. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, and a master’s from the University of Oxford, where he was a Clarendon Scholar.
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy marked the first day of Ramadan today by addressing the nation in the inaugural episode of his new radio series. The program, called "The People Ask and the President Answers," gives the president a new platform to promote his "100-day" plan, which promises to improve security, make subsidized food and fuel widely available, and improve Cairo’s notorious traffic problems.
The first 10 episodes have been pre-recorded and feature a "listener" asking Morsy a single question. Each episode runs about 5 minutes long and touches on a different subject, ranging from security, to housing, to unemployment, according to a report by UPI.
This morning, Morsy also addressed worshippers at his mosque, urging them to beat the lassitude that typically settles over Egypt during the holy month.
"Ramadan is a month of fasting and worship… and it is also a month of work and production," said Morsi in the speech which was broadcast on state television.
Morsy, it seems, was being extraordinarily generous. During the holy month, practically nothing gets done. As Vali Nasr put in FP in 2010, "[P]roductivity in the Muslim world plummets during the fast, and government business grinds to a halt."
Perhaps Morsy should take it up with the Egyptian people in the next episode of his radio show.