Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Turning the Clock Back

When asked if this renewed activity at Tahrir Square will be called the second revolution, Amir, 26, said rather that it should be named February 12. He wished, in other words, that they could move back in time and not leave the Square on February 11 when Mubarak resigned. Amir's sentiment that the revolution has not been successful - that they trusted the interim leadership to move the country forward - is widespread among many youths in Egypt. For such-minded youths, their passion has not weakened but they feel disappointed and angry that too much feels the same: too little transparency and accountability.

Kholoud was able to list the several achievements of the revolution - e.g., the resignation of Mubarak and Shafiq, the referendum, etc. - but she is troubled about the lack of progress on other fronts, particularly the failure to prosecute the security officers who killed so many in February. She is also concerned, indeed offended, that too many people have become apathetic to the drive of the revolution.

Aly is worried also. Things are harder now for him. During the revolution, it was clear who the enemy was; now, with the figureheads out of the way and the political structure partially dismantled, the continuing inertia feels ominous, signalling as it does to him that the persistent injustice and self-interest are fundamental to the social and political systems. He has seen that it is not enough to make simple alterations in political leadership, but that society needs to change. Ths frightens him because, in part, it means that the enemy is his own people.

Sayed has had enough of the revolution and totally opposed to the continued protests. They seem silly and aggravate him, distracting as they do from forward progress, particularly the recovery of the economy. Walid shares this position to a degree. He appears to share some of the passion for the protests but knows somehow that it will take time - even years - to make the necessary changes. Meanwhile, life must go on and the temporary leaders must be given the moment to begin the changes.

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