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08 February 2011

Egyptian Nobel Laureate Zewail Presents 5-Point Initiative on Egypt's Crisis

Egyptian Nobel prize winner, Ahmed Zewail, denied the possibility of running as a presidential candidate in the transition of power, even though Egyptian youth unanimously agree to mandate him to hold talks with the Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman. "There's no room to talk about this matter and it is indisputable," said, the Egyptian-American scientist, winner of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on femtochemistry.

 Dr. Zewail has been nominated and will participate in President Barack Obama's Presidential Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). The council will talk about education, science, defense, energy, the economy, and technology.
During a press conference in Cairo, Zewail put forward a 5-point plan for dealing with the 13th day of unprecedented popular protests against the regime of President Hosni Mubarak.
In his first public debut since his arrival in Cairo on Wednesday, Zewail said the current situation in Egypt necessitates a rapid resolve to the crisis, emphasizing the need to keep Egypt's national interests in mind.
Zewail, a member of the Committee of Wise Men, has offered a radical change of five points:
 first, the formation of a council of trusted legal experts and public figures to amend theConstitution, which should include articles 76, 77, 88 and 179. Also, a time frame should be set for democratic elections following the dissolution of parliament, and a timetable should be set for genuine elections.
Zewail said his second condition is "the abolition of the Emergency Law and the amendment of laws governing the formation of political parties and the exercise of political rights.
The third condition is the release of political detainees belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood, the 6th April movement and the 25th January movement, as well as other opposition groups.
The fourth condition is the holding of free elections characterized by integrity under the full supervision of the judiciary as soon as possible.
Zewail's final demand is the introduction of far-reaching change regarding the Egyptian media, including granting a greater margin of freedom to private media, allowing opposition figures to appear in state-run media, abolishing freedom-restricting legislation, and refraining from harassing international media.
He paid a special tribute to young protesters in Tahrir Square, who said he met with their representatives at length, adding that the great work they have done was not anticipated either at home or abroad.
He called for a change in "Egypt's Facebook-adept youth" to "Egyptian youths face", but warned about suspicious politicization.

In his June 4, 2009 speech at Cairo University, US President Barack Obama announced a new Science Envoy program as part of a "new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world." In January, 2010 Ahmed Zewail, Elias Zerhouni, and Bruce Alberts became the first US science envoys to Islam, visiting Muslim-majority countries from North Africa to Southeast Asia.
When asked about the rumors that he might run for Egyptian presidential election in 2011 and his political ambitions, Ahmed Zewail Said: "I am a frank man .. I have no political ambition, as I have stressed repeatedly that I only want to serve Egypt in the field of science and die as a scientist."
During the 2011 Egyptian protests he announced his return to the country. Zewail said that he would join a committee for constitutional reform alongside Ayman Nour, Mubarak's rival at the 2005 presidential elections and a leading lawyer.