What Went Wrong: Egypt 5 Years After the Revolution

By Layla

It has been five years since the anniversary of the Egyptian Revolution, where 50,000 Egyptian citizens marched down to Tahrir and occupied the Square until change was made. 5 years since Egypt was a cohesive nation fighting against the decades of militarized politics and oppressive regimes. Today we commemorate the anniversary of peaceful protests and the collective call for the end of a thirty-year long dictatorship.

We started 2011 on a wave of pure hope and preparation for a grueling process of state rebuilding. The coup of 2013, however, quickly destroyed whatever the Egyptian people had strived for. Soon enough, all the positive change that had been planted in the streets of Egypt was hacked away by an excessive police presence. The beauty of Tahrir Square in 2011 was centered around the acceptance of all differences — Copts protected Muslims as they prayed, Muslims protected Copts in Tahrir Square. There was no difference between religious and secular voices. Political differences were forgotten and a unified call for dignity was the goal that everyone harkened to reach. After the 2013 coup, brother was pit against brother, and the nation became divided once more. Is the dream really gone? Is that moment of dignity, unity, and humanity still there, even after the regime has risen again? Are there any bonds that will waken the dreams of 2011? The houses of those involved in humanitarian aid or civil society movements have been searched by the police. Those who belong to Cairo’s youth have the internet under massively surveilled in fear of another rising in celebration of the revolution. Those who have not already been imprisoned live a quiet life, in fear they or their family will face its consequences. The once vibrant cities of Cairo and Alexandria are now empty of activists and writers, who now take up jail cells. Tourism, once the main source of income for the Egyptian economy, is at an all time low. The guise of stability in Egypt is a false one that even Egyptians are forced to accept.

As the five year anniversary comes and goes, I ask that we remember those who died at the hands of violent politics, those who have been wrongfully imprisoned, and those who were granted death sentences in absentia. It is my hope 2016 will restore Egypt’s national integrity, personal freedoms, and fuel for change. To the people of Egypt, we are with you. We are all searching for some kind of freedom.


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  • commented 2016-01-25 21:55:16 -0500
    Namaste, Salam, Shalom, Peace, Paz, Pace,

    The people want peace, first and foremost. Why? Because they want their children to grow up in a safe and healthy environment. Therefore, the people could unite again, to work together and help each other – to help others, to work for humanity. The uniting elements are the children and nonviolence. FIRST UNITE for the sake of the children, develop programs “For the Children,” to ensure the children of every ethnic background has food, shelter, and health services. By working together for a commonality, we can solve our differences.

    It will not be easy and there will be risks. The key is to get it started. A plan exists with the leadership from the people most associated with the children, WOMEN. Women have an advantage. They are usually socialized to be less physically violent than men and usually are responsible for the upbringing of the children.

    The plan is for women to lead a Global Movement of Nonviolence, For the Children. It will not solve all the immediate problems. The purpose is to set direction for the whole world, to illustrate, “For the Children,” a commitment to resolve conflict nonviolently, and for the people to influence their own government, all at the same time, all for the same goal.

    The new narrative is for the people to commit to nonviolence (and their governments) and to show respect and genuine caring for others. Please see www.GSofNV.org

    Peace and Love
    Rose, Jan, Andre, Libby, Carol, Don, Joan, Deanna