Friday, 16 September 2011

Can Egyptians unite to save their own Revolution?

A couple of days before the last millionia (a million protest) took place, I was feeling pessimistic.

With groups popularly known as: We're Sorry Mr. President and the Children of Mubarak taking a confident stand, talk of an ominous counter revolution, a violent clash between Ultra football fans and the police during a match and what seemed to me like more of a shift in public opinion against ever more protesting in Tahrir, it seemed to me that more Egyptians were turning against their own revolution.

A decision by the Supreme Council for Armed Forces (SCAF) that week, banning new satellite licenses and the tightening rules around protesting didn't help. For the first time, I was sceptical that the protest day in Tahrir would really make a difference.

But against all odds, Sep 9 occurred and suddenly hope reappeared on the horizon. It was a day organisers called the day of "Correcting the Path" of the revolution. I interpreted that as a protest to reinvigorate the revolution's aims.

I was away that weekend, but the impression I got from televised interviews was that Tahrir was peaceful. I felt optimistic again.

It was a day I think, that could have swayed some of the doubters back in favour of the revolution. But far from that, it was regrettably a day that ended with a dark cloud over the revolution.

The attack on the Israeli embassy much later that day, successfully derailed the revolution. Whatever the motivation behind the attack, I disagreed with it. Beyond that, the revolution suffered a major setback. The emergency law was reactivated, and a further enquiry into existing satellite channels in Egypt, suggested a further tightening grip on freedom, one of the revolution's main pillars.

People later claimed the attack was a plot to destabilise the revolution. Thanks to the actions of a minority, the majority would have to suffer the consequences.

If the attack on the embassy achieved one thing, it was that it successfully drew attention away from the revolution's aims. Meanwhile more anti-revolution voices could be heard, casting a dark shadow over it.

While all this was going on, I kept wondering and what about the revolution's demands? What about "Bread, Freedom and Social Justice?" And more importantly, would Egyptians find a united way back to save the revolution?

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