December 13, 2012

Egypt: 12-12-12

Four years ago I wrote that chances that we get an “Islamic republic of Egypt” are next to null. It was so clear that the fight to get an “Islamic Egypt” is peaking and I took the side of believing in Egyptians. I chose to believe a myth about “Egyptian Religion Tolerance” which is something we say but any of us know it wasn’t true all the time.

Four years ago anyone would tell you Egypt is heading into the unknown at full speed. In late 2009 everyone would sense 2010 will be the year of “change”. And it wasn’t till late 2010 when the Tunisians decided to take down Ben Ali when my "La Révolution en Rouge" worries became real.

Egypt was about to explode and I had nothing to do. I told everyone I know that what’s going to happen is wrong. I went into denial believing that we have responsible government who would listen and act to serve the people. I am calling it denial because I have been talking about the signs of lack of governance. I was in denial because I knew the state was failing yet I “hoped” they will step up to the situation.

And then it happened. The “revolution” happened. The change everyone knew will come and no one dared to stop or control. In my humble opinion what happened in Jan25 2011 wasn’t a revolution. It was more of a televised coup, a coup that many sold as a move in favor of the rule of law, equality, justice and supposedly other good things.  It was nothing more a televised coup but people called it “public revolution” and theorized for the role of “innocent youth” and “un-politicized” masses.

Two years of theorizing for how “inspiring” the “peaceful revolution” was. Two years of circulating false readings to positions and political scene in the media and among “political elites”. Two years that got us to where we are now.

Where are we now?

At this very moment we are half step away from hell. Let me explain. Right now we have an “Islamist” president. A president who belongs to an “organization” that’s illegitimate, secret and armed! A president who took an oath to serve and protect a constitution then woke up one day deciding he won’t. A president who doesn’t respect law, and who said I am law and I am immune. A president who is now the executive, legislative and judiciary branches of state. A president who called his opposition traitors and sent the “militia” of his “secret” organization to kill them in front of his palace. a president who is fighting everything and everyone to get a constitution draft to referendum. A referendum that judges refused to supervise and the government has no idea how to organize.

A president who is doing his best so the people of Egypt submit to him and his organization. And whoever “thinks” this isn’t how things should be done has no place in this country.

This is where we are.

The televised coup succeed in being a “revolution” as it got rid of a said to be “autocratic” state and replaced it with an “autocratic” and “theocratic” one.

Right now, Egypt is being taken over by the “secret” organization. And I am not very optimistic about it.
The president with his “decree” attacked the “judiciary” and claimed it his. The judges are fighting for their independence. They are escalating into a full civil disobedience.

The referendum is still taking place, thought right now all signs show it will be rigged. Yet the “President” and his “organization” are still pushing to have it on time and one more time he issued more “God Powers” decrees to make the “referendum” happens.

The “president” and his “organization” are playing on time. They believe that people will give in to submission if held on to their places for long.

The “president” and his “organization” are playing the “sectarian” card. They are calling their opposition “Christians”. Not only they are threatening “minority rights” by their proposed constitution ( if we assumed Christians are a minority just for the sake of argument) but also they are calling in the majority to “act” on sectarian basis.

The “president” and his “organization” are also playing the “classes” card. They are calling their opposition “rich”. In a country with a troubled economy like Egypt and with no sign of improvement soon, they are calling for the poor to take things on their own hands. They are calling or maybe threatening a “hunger revolution” had the Egyptian didn’t submit to their will.

The judges are 1st, then will come the turn for the army and every other thing in what used to be called Egypt. The Islamists will take down the state one institution after the other, and will “Islamize” the society one law after the other. And whoever thinks differently, will have the “militias” to deal with him.
The point is, in order for them to take down Egypt they will have to take down lots of Egyptians in the way. They will happily do it. And as they do it, in theory they will lose which will make their fall inevitable.

But in theory too, we will all be dead by the time they fall.


Mohammad said...

Shaimaa, what happened was a revolution. Mobility of the mob against their ruling regime cannot be called anything else. All the theorizing about it does not make it something else.

And like any other revolution, the people did the hard work and suffered, and the vultures knew how to get to power. Sometimes they are Islamists, sometimes communists, sometimes fascists, but in the end they know how to get to power. They know how to play the game of power. Sometimes after violence and give and take countries would reach a shore of equilibrium and freedom. That does not happen often, though. Iran and Cuba are good examples.

Shimaa Gamal said...

:) :) :)

Shimaa Gamal said...

Iran & Cuba and plenty of other examples are exactly why you should hope that my theorizing about the unrest be right :)

if it is just an unrest then there is still a window not to be iran or cuba.

or even better, somalia :)

we are screwed :)

coz of the so called "revolution"

Mohammad said...

Revolting was inevitable. It was a status against a status quo that outlived its time. Unrest is what is taking place now. What happened was gonna happen sooner or later, and the later it was going to be, the more violent.

We have been screwed a long time ago, like any blind follower is inevitably screwed. Now we are reaping the produce of ignorance and slavery. What happened 2 years ago has nothing to do with that.

Shimaa Gamal said...

I disagree

Egypt wasn't what u are describing.

this is what the MB media machine sold you before so they can get to power now.

and this is exactly why i was ahead of those who supported jan25

i knew nothing good would come this way.

but you seem to be a thawrgy :)

we will never agree on that :)

Mohammad said...

MB media machine didn't sell me anything. To be honest I don't think it even exists. How can anybody sell me anything if I stopped reading newspapers and watching TV a couple of years before the revolution? The sense of injustice and bottled anger was everywhere around me. I felt it in Uni, when I was looking for a job, when I worked, and when I was walking in the streets and while looking at the faces around me. I myself was angry ever since I started thinking of what's going on around me. I knew that pressure can only lead to explosion. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to know that :)

Don't give the MB more than they are worth. They were surprised as much as any of us of what happened. The difference is that they quickly decided to take advantage of it, and that's exactly what they did the last couple of years. I don't think they ever had a media machine. Propaganda is not their game, field work is. This is why they are failing now. This is why they lost much of their credibility once they finally sat in the driving seat. This is why their channel, newspaper and website are the mockeries they are now.

Now I wonder, what was your Egypt before the revolution. I'm sure it was different than mine, but I'm still curious to know in what way.

Shimaa Gamal said...

You might not need to be rocket scientist to know simple things, simple things like the negative environment, the tendency to feel unsatisfied was fake, people were negatively charged through many things.

tv & newspapers are one.

social media is another form of how to get to people

never with direct messages, indirect messages in everything

movies, songs, jokes.

how u interact with people, people spread the negativity.

and the whole problem of those who supported the jan25 mess is that they couldn't believe the mb has an agenda.

the fact that u still believe that they just got lucky.

well :)


my egypt was a my egypt. a place with good things and bad things.

the worst part about my egypt was some ungrateful people who kept complaining about nonsense :)

you need to take a step back and look at how thing are and how things went in the last few years.

i believe you will start seeing things with different perspective.

Mohammad said...

Taking a step back is what I've been doing my whole life.

Looks like you believe in a major full fledged conspiracy theory led by the MB. Well, I don't. They had an agenda, that's for sure. They have been around for more than 80 years. Of course they have an agenda.

You Egypt of good and bad things was not the Egypt of many people who took an active part in the revolution. The worst part about their Egypt was that they and their family have to live on less than 1000 pounds a month. They didn't complain because they had no time to do so. They saw light at the end of the tunnel after Jan 28. Jan 25 was a middle class protest, while Jan 28 was a full fledged uprising.

Judging an uprising from a middle class point of view is always a bad idea.

Shimaa Gamal said...

1st i don't believe in conspiracy theories. you calling the hard work of other conspiracy and insisting on underestimating them is ur problem not mine.

I don't believe in conspiracy theories. just to make it clear.

2nd you are putting too much effort in convincing me with things that i believe are wrong :)

3rd i am not good taking "revolutionary" talk and defending the mess & the kharab happening in egypt as necessary

so I am sorry. really because i know i could have written better replies. but i have an allergy for the whole jan25 thing.

it brings the worst in me, like it brought the worst in the whole country.

you are wrong, u need to take a step back :) and maybe wait till you are mid 30s because i can tell you are in your min or late 20s from how you see politics in a romantic way :)

sorry again.

Mohammad said...

I keep replying not because I want to convince you, but simply because I want to take the debate further. I know that this is not very Egyptian of me, but I enter into a debate to convey my point of view and receive counter points of view that eventually lead to a bigger picture. Convincing is not on my agenda :)

I am in my late twenties. I took a step back 6 months after the revolution simply because I moved to another country and since then managed to travel to 5 other countries, me who have never left Egypt until July 2011. In 2012 I finally managed to compare life in Egypt to life in other parts of the world.

Something else. I don't see politics in a romantic way. I knew very well that what happened in January 2011 was a shock to a status quo that outlived its time. I knew very well that the situation will not magically improve overnight just because the regime was shaken off. I knew that we are entering a transition phase that might take as long as a decade and that the outcome, the new status quo, might be better or worse, depending on the collision of social forces and many other factors. I knew that we would be really lucky if we arrived peacefully at a better status quo without violence and bloodshed. I had no prospects of leaving the country at that time, but I did not let my own safety and well-being interfere with my perception and judgement.

Back then, when the revolution was young, people were very positive and optimistic. I was positive too, but by nature I'm pessimistic and tend to regard the bigger picture sometimes on the expense of the details. For me what should be done was clear: say no to the status quo of oppression and injustice. Defending the status quo because I or my social class benefit from it was too cowardly even for me. The mess or "kharab" that would result from such uprising if it succeeded was inevitable in my opinion. Any such mobility anywhere else in the world resulted in the same confusion and mess, usually with a lot of bloodshed thrown into the bargain like what happened in France, Algeria and even the US. I thank my passion for reading for my early disillusionment.

I hope you think differently of me now. I'm not an enthusiastic revolutionary who believes Jan25 was the best revolution in history. I can see where the stereotype is coming from, but there are those who supported and still supporting the revolution and in the same time does not belong to that category. This is why it was a popular uprising: many unrelated categories of people joined in, each for their own reasons. As soon as the common goal was met, they returned to fighting over their differences. The result of that collision will be the new status quo that will gradually materialize and eventually take a final shape sometime in the next few years. Whether better or worse will depend on so many factors, among which is the ability of the young revolutionaries to soldier on and not give up.

Sorry for the really long comment, and I hope I made my point clearer. Of course it goes without saying that this is my own point of view based on my own observations. I make no claims on having truth or enlightenment on my side.