Qandil, who worked as a journalist during the Nasser, Sadat, and Mubarak years, hopes the current transitional phase will usher a new era of press freedom and democracy.
“I met an old man who did not go to Tahrir and now regrets it. I told him, ‘you should be proud because your son went to Tahrir and you are the one who raised him to be that brave,’” he said.
Throughout his lecture, he emphasized the importance of journalism in politics and society. According to Qandil, the media industry has embraced an array of platforms used to report and present the news. Qandil talked about his journey towards becoming a successful journalist, crediting his friends and family for their support, particularly his father and Mohamed Abdelsalam, owner of a now defunct newspaper called Al Ekhlas.
Omar El Sabh commended Qandil for his view regarding how Egypt can guarantee freedom and democracy in the future, which he believes lies in the power of the people.
“We should start to know how to confront policymakers, [who] should always operate based on the concept of equality between governor and governed,” he said, emphasizing accountability in fair and democratic governance.
But senior Sherine Karam expected more in-depth analysis of Egypt’s current events rather than “a long introduction to his biography”.
Qandil, born in 1939, is a well-known television personality in Egypt and the Arab world. He has worked on several successful television shows, including Raees El Tahrir and Kalam Rassas. He is known for his contributions as a member of the National Association of Change (NAC) and support for an end to the Mubarak regime.