Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Egyptian Former Finance Minister Sentenced to Three Decades

In 1961, during his inauguration speech, late president JFK uttered a sentence, by which the whole speech is known today. "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country."

For a number of years, the finance minister of Egypt forgot this lesson. His leader was Hosni Mubarak, who seemed to be the life time president of Egypt. The nephew of former Secretary General of the UN, Yousef Boutros-Ghali was a confidant of Gamal Mubarak, the son and possible successor of the aging Hosni. He may have had grounds to forget JFK's advise because he lived in a virtual dictatorship where you can enjoy almost any benefit if you are a henchman of the leader.

However, just an eighteen-day revolution was enough to change it all. Yousef Boutros-Ghali fled the country. In early June, 2011, he was sentenced in absentia for three decades for squandering public funds and abusing his authority.

When you do not ask what you can do for your country and ask only what the country can do for you, a day will arrive when you will understand what the country can do to you. But by then, at least for some, it may be too late.

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