I cannot believe it has been a year already, a year since the light of justice shined and revolution swept throughout the Arab world all the way from the Maghreb through the Fertile Crescent to the Arabian Peninsula. Tomorrow marks the first anniversary for the start of the Egyptian uprising which succeeded in toppling Hosni Mubarak’s 30 years rule on February 11th the same year, yet the revolution is not done. The streets of the Arab world haven’t settled down, and not for one minute. The people are holding on to their demand for justice and dignified living. It breaks me whenever I hear about the gruesome terror the Assad regime perpetrates against its people, Syrians have been courageously marching and facing death for the last 10 months hoping to topple the corrupt regime and march towards freedom and liberation. I am angered to know that Jordanians and Moroccans’ desperation, only in the last couple of weeks, has driven many of them to light themselves up, hoping to spark a popular uprising demanding social justice and an end to state oppression. Yet, I am inspired by the continued efforts of people in Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, and Egypt to set their revolutions on the right track and prevent external forces from taking over their achievements.
On the first anniversary of the Egyptian revolution, I’d like to send a very strong and warm salute to the Egyptian revolutionaries who have inspired the whole world. Last year, Egyptians have shown us that nothing is impossible; they’ve shown us that when the people will it, the people get it. Egyptians haven’t only been an inspiration to revolutionaries across the globe; Egyptians have been an inspiration to this world’s young generation. We now have the reason to believe that our generation will indeed bring the change this world has been waiting for. Beginning with the toppling of Ben Ali’s regime in Tunisia, Egypt caught the spark and Maydan Al-Tahrir was the epicenter of this world-wide revolution. From Cairo our journey begins, from Cairo to Tripoli, Damascus, Manama, Sana’a, Marrakech, New York, Moscow, Rome, and the whole world, we hope our journey will end in Jerusalem.
All I have lived through and experienced in the last 10 years in Palestine was nothing but horror and frustrating reality. January 25th revolution has resurrected hope; it has revived my frustrated sole and made me believe that from this point on, everything is possible.
No one could imagine what the Egyptian People’s power was capable of doing, it never ceased to amaze me.
Nevertheless, the Egyptian revolution is not done. As Mubarak left, the Military Council took power in Egypt, and ever since there has been horrific violations of Egyptians’ basic rights on every scale. Corruption still exists; the Mubarak regime is not receiving the punishment it deserves. Al-Adli and Mubarak’s trials keep getting postponed. The families of the martyrs have not seen justice ever since the Military Council took power. Thousands of Egyptians are being tried in Military courts while the corrupt figures of the ex-regime are tried in civil courts. Egyptian youth are facing Military courts for speaking out against the military on their internet blogs. Journalists are still being harassed and censored. The Military commenced with raping women under the cover of “Virginity Tests”, watch Samira Ibrahim’s strong account of being harassed by the military (English subtitles available). The Military attempts to destabilize the country by causing sectarian troubles - as when dozens were killed in Maspero back in October, but Muslims and Christians turned out united stronger facing the Military oppression. Scores of Egyptians were killed as they continued to protest the military dictatorship in the second Friday of rage back in November. The official state media is blindly spreading pro-Military propaganda just as it did at the time of Mubarak before the revolution.
The Military Council, in their announcement on the 13th of February, have said that Egypt will move to civilian rule in less than 6 months. It has been a year, and Egypt seems to be moving nowhere but in the direction of a Military dictatorship. The people of Egypt are feeling betrayed by many of the political factions, especially the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood’s only concern is the elections and securing seats in the Parliament, the Brotherhood has avoided any official stand on the Military’s repression of the Egyptian people. Of course, I love the idea that Egyptians have finally elected their own representatives and their own government, only time will judge whether the Muslim Brotherhood deserve it or not. But what I fear the most is for this Military Dictatorship to lure the Muslim Brotherhood so the former could stay in power; the worst thing we could imagine is an alliance between the Military Dictatorship and the democratically elected Brotherhood.
Just as the pro-Mubarak media were viciously attacking anyone who supported the revolution, just as pro-Mubarak media had defamed the revolutionaries and called them foreigners and spies seeking to destabilize the country, the pro-Muslim Brotherhood media is doing the same today. In its issue of 21st of January, “Freedom and Justice” pro-Muslim Brotherhood newspaper published a headline which says “The mask of Bendetta [sic], the anarchists’ plot to spread chaos on January 25th”
Not only the headline is saddening because the Muslim Brotherhood’s official media is attempting to use its outlets to spread false propaganda to smear revolutionaries as people seeking to destroy the country, the use of “Bendetta” instead of “Vendetta” has gone viral on Social media networks where people are mocking this fear mongering headline. On twitter, Egyptians used the hashtag #BforBendetta for mocking purposes. Artist Carlos Latuff has weighed in with his own “B for Bendetta” cartoon, seen below:
And graffiti like this was seen on the streets of Cairo, this picture was taken by Hussam El-Hamalawi at Youssef el-Guindi Street:
Egypt is in urgent need to move to civilian rule immediately. The military council cannot be allowed to turn the country into a military dictatorship; could be worse than Mubarak’s dictatorship. The Egyptian people are well aware of this, January 25, 2012 will be the day Egyptians will continue their revolution against everyone who seeks to bring Egypt back to gloomy dictatorship. The revolution has come to stay, dictatorships will vanish. People’s power will prevail.
Wishing my brothers and sisters in Egypt all the best on the 25th.
Note: At the time of publishing this, 12:30AM Jerusalem time, 35,000 protestors have gathering already in Tahrir Square according to ON TV.