What the hell is going on in Egypt?
I finally understood, here’s how.
You turn on CNN to find a square packed with people with many stories that touch the heart, fighting the evil guy, Mubarak. Three years later, you get sick of that scene which comes along with footage of people getting killed. What happened? We don’t know.
As a Political Science student at the American University in Cairo, I study lots of History and learn analytical approaches of the rise and fall of nations, none of which has witnessed in centuries and can explain what we witnessed in three years.
revolution /rɛvəˈluːʃ(ə)n/ noun: a forcible overthrow of a government or social order, in favor of a new system.
History of revolutions is simple, an organized movement headed by a leader overthrows a regime and tops the nation to set a new one. Easy.
What happened in Egypt is quite different. It all started with some unorganized people, particularly youth, using the internet as an organizing tool and taking to the streets on January 25, 2011, sparking mass protests and riot across Egypt. People joined in the fight against Mubarak. Then splits appeared over fighting the military rule Vs. fighting for parliament posts and over supporting a theocratic rule Vs. supporting a nationalist state led by, guess who, the military. Between the lines, hundreds of people were killed, thousands were injured, and above all, a nation was wounded.
Right now, people who started this movement are quitting politics all together with no light to shed hope on the right way. Egypt has turned its hand from upwards in revolting, to straightforward pointing fingers, waiting to turn it downwards to dig its way up into prosperity.
It’s all about Ideas.
The Arab Spring wasn’t a regular act of revolt, because it doesn’t call for ousting heads of state. It calls for ideas. “Bread. Freedom. Social Justice”. Government officials in Egypt are +50-year-old by default; they inherited a static culture that was enforced by a military rule since 1952's coup d’état. However governments change, the old-school management mentality never changes. So, the same struggle goes on. On the other hand, there’s a movement with an undetectable source that call for the same ideas. You can feel it in the air. It’s very small, but it’s a pain in the neck.
Egypt’s people are as diverse as rainbow colors, yet they managed to fight a single enemy, a symbolic enemy. Whether it’s Mubarak, SCAF, Morsi, Sisi’s Interim Government, you name it. They just represent a socio-economic form that controls the nation from top offices to clerks. Corruption, authoritarianism and close-minded perspectives are their mere characteristics. Whoever ascends to power will be -automatically- an enemy, because the core of conflict is not yet resolved: We will not shut up.
Moreover, communication between opponents is different. You can, with a single click, disrupt the whole public scene and enforce your message on public opinion that’s hungry for conflict. No one can control the voice of revolution, simply because if you executed half the population for it, the idea is still there. Somewhere.
Don’t pay attention to events and focus on improving yourself as much as you can. Parliaments, constitutions, elections and even presidents are worthless right now. The society doesn’t have a consensus that leads to a legitimate constitution, and barriers between the young and the old will lead to the same mistaken policies that lead to the same course of events. It’s a loop until they come to an understanding, or my favorite option, the young rules when the old are dead.
Cutting to the chase, there will be a lot of mess going on around the borders of the true conflict, which is the idea of Freedom and Social Justice, but given the nature that we will rule the nation in 20 years from now, beside the development of public awareness, we won. It’s only a matter of time till we see it.