Cairo – Shaimaa Mikkawi
Media veteran Moataz al-Demerdash has said that Egypt is “like a heart patient who needs a skillful surgeon. This surgeon is the new president that will create an atmosphere of stability and safety for all people.”
He also wished Egyptians would elect a president in a free and fair manner. In an interview with Arabstoday, he added that his television programme “Masr el-Gededa” (New Egypt) has had resounding success although it is just months old.
AT: Who will you elect as a president?
MD: I will not divulge that, however, I hope Egyptians choose their president with complete freedom so no controversy arises afterwards.
AT: Do you expect another revolution against the new president?
MD: This will happen if he goes against the will of the people. All Egyptians are waiting for the new president to fulfill their hopes for a decent life, to eradicate unemployment and the housing crisis, in addition to many other problems. If this is not achieved, another revolution will break out to topple him.
AT: What is your opinion on the rule of Islamists?
MD: I don’t mind Islamists or Muslim Brotherhood as rulers, if they are capable of granting the people's wishes. If they fail, Tahrir Square is there and revolutionaries are there too.
AT: Tell us about your latest programme “Masr el-Gededa” (New Egypt)?
MD: Thank God it has achieved considerable success so far, although it is just months old. I am optimistic about it.
AT: Why did you give up working with co-presenters?
MD: There are different ways of presenting programmes. The channel and I mutually agreed that a single presenter was a better format.
AT: What do you think about criticism that talk show programmes are too negative?
MD: I totally disagree with this and others who think it portrays a negative image of society. They are just programmes we were not used to in the past. I am proud that Egypt is the only country in the region with such an active media. I appeal to my colleagues at the same time to abide by the rules of this profession.
AT: What was the most difficult episode you have presented?
MD: It was when I hosted my mother, the great actress Karima Mokhtar, on the day the episode of her series “Hamada Ezzo” was broadcast when the character she was playing died. I felt like I was going to burst into tears.
AT: What is the funniest thing you have come across?
MD: I come across many funny incidents as Egyptian people enjoy humour. Some times when I go to a café after filming my show I find those who interact with me and express their opinion about the episode I presented. Sometimes people imitate me saying “don’t go anywhere”, which I always say before the breaks.
AT: What about your personal life?
MD: My wife makes me feel like I'm experiencing a new love story everyday. She is very organised and I like that as she organises our life the right way. However, sometimes she sets me on a diet, which I feel the need to rebel against.