Hossam Shaltot, a retired aviation engineer, is running in the Egptian presidential election on 23rd/24th May. But he has no intention of becoming Egypt's next president. His aim to give the country its Monarchy back.
"I came to announce my bid for president because there are so many problems that need to be solved and I'm the only one who can solve them," he told Turkish Anadolu Agency. "Conditions in the country are going from bad to worse," he added: "Something has to be done." He calls both toppled president Mohamed Morsi and his toppler, army chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, who also running for president, "failures".
Shaltot said: "Al-Sisi has been Egypt's de facto ruler for the past eight months, but he's done nothing to solve the country's problems."
If elected, Hossam Shaltot plans to restore Egypt's monarchy, which, he suggested, would allow it to join the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a six-country grouping of oil-rich Gulf Monarchies plus The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the Kingdom of Morocco. This would mean Egyptian workers would have the chance to find work in the Gulf without requiring a visa.
Shaltot said the restoration of the monarchy and GCC membership would solve Egypt's acute fuel shortage by stimulating fuel aid from the Gulf.
Egypt's legitimate Monarch, King Fu'ad II, was toppled in 1953 and has been living in Europe since a military coup d'état established a dictatorship that lasted until the "Arab Spring" forced Hosni Mubarak out of power. King Fu'ad had succeeded his father on 26th July 1952 upon the abdication of His Majesty King Fārūq I, who was forced by the putsch of army officers to leave the country. His Majesty, King Fu'ad II reigned for less than a year until 18th June 1953.
|Egyptian wedding in Istanbul on 30th August 2013, King Fuad II embraces his son, Crown Prince Muhammed Ali, who married Princess Noal Zaher of Afghanistan in a lavish ceremony.|
In July 2013 Al Jazeera author Tanya Goudsouzian speculated about The Return of the King:
In Egyptian author Alaa Al Aswany's bestselling 2002 novel The Yacoubian Building, an ageing aristocrat declares:
"It was a different age. Cairo was like Europe. It was clean and smart and the people were well mannered and respectable and everyone knew his place exactly…"
Fewer and fewer people remember Egypt as it once was, a glittering romantic metropolis and a genuine regional hub for culture and the arts - it is an Egypt that now only lives in the collective memory of some exiles, the result of dictatorships both republican and Islamic.
Prince Osman Rifaat Ibrahim was barely two years old when his family was forced to leave his native Egypt, after the 1952 Free Officers' revolution. As members of the dynasty of Mohamed Ali, founder of modern Egypt, they had become persona non grata. His father, Prince Amr Ibrahim, was blacklisted as a potential threat to the new order. He had been a high commander of the Special Police during World War II, and enjoyed a great deal of support among certain circles. As a grandson of Mohamed Ali's eldest son, he was viewed as a contender for the throne.
Overnight, their family lost everything, as the state confiscated extensive properties and all of their personal belongings, including priceless antiques and artworks, by order of the Revolutionary Command Council. There were three palatial homes in Cairo, three buildings in coastal Alexandria, and vast swaths of agricultural land on which they grew cotton, then a highly profitable crop. With nothing left in Egypt, they went into exile, first to Italy and later to Switzerland, where Prince Osman grew up among other Egyptian aristocrats.
Today, like the rest of the world, the 63-year-old prince watches from afar as chaos unfolds in Egypt, wondering whether there will ever be a happy ending to the story that began six decades ago.
"When this latest revolution started a little over two years ago, I was hopeful that it might be the end of nearly 60 years of military dictatorship," he told Al Jazeera. "Unfortunately it was not, and where we are headed is gloomy."Unless the Monarchy is to return in all its glory.