Values of revolution must be utilised, says Egyptian writer
IAN BLACK in Cairo
ON JANUARY 28th, a young Egyptian man urged the novelist Alaa al-Aswany to write a book about the revolution then gathering momentum in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. minutes after their brief conversation, the protester was shot dead by a government sniper from a nearby roof.
Such killings, along with the bravery of revolutionaries motivated by “a profound sense of injustice”, are seared into the memory of Egypt’s most celebrated living writer, as is clear when he articulates his feelings about the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak and what it means.
“The revolution was a great human achievement,” Aswany says. “It means people are willing to die for freedom and justice. When you participate in a real revolution you become a much better person. You are ready to defend human values.” Now, like other Egyptian democrats, he fears a counter-revolution led by old regime loyalists fomenting violence, in line with the warning by Mubarak of “chaos” that would follow if he were forced out.
Egypt's socialist network keeps the spirit of the revolution alive
Much of the old regime is still in place in Egypt – the Popular Alliance's aim is to make people aware of alternatives
With September's parliamentary elections just around the corner, Egypt's revolution is in a vulnerable phase. Without clear, progressive direction based on the values forged in Tahrir Square, there is a real possibility that remnants of the old system will re-establish a grip on power.
Romantics who feel the hard work is done should recognise that little substantive change has been achieved as yet. Many elements of the former regime remain in place, occupying positions of authority and they will be represented in the election. The freedom of activists and press remains under threat, as shown by the three-year prison sentence for blogger Maikel Nabil.
The referendum on constitutional amendments was a masterful hoax, bypassing the need for a completely new constitution and placing obstacles in the path of the formation of new political parties.
12/03/2011 - 15:00
12/03/2011 - 18:30
Press Statement: http://www.irishantiwar.org/node/1178
Irish Anti War Movement
Revolutions in Egypt and the Arab World
Wassim Wagdy, well known Egyptian activist
The project for a new Arab century
The birth pangs of a new Middle East are being felt, but not in the way many outsiders envisioned.
One constituency the US has long ignored in the Arab world is the people.
No sooner did former US president George W. Bush come into power in January 2001 than a much vaunted neo-conservative doctrine came into full swing, wreaking havoc across the Middle East. Throughout the eight years of the Bush presidency, the levers of power - the political, the economic, the scholarly and, importantly, the military - were all employed towards one ultimate goal: The project for the new American century.
Bush's neo-con backers had prepared the manual for his presidency well before time. With their man in power, the greatest force of Western power since the Roman Empire set about changing the world in the name of neo-conservatism, to "promote American global leadership", we were told.
Stealing Egypt's revolution
The people on the streets of Cairo got rid of their old enemy, Hosni Mubarak. Now they should be wary of new friends.
How ironic! A regime that has been sustained since 1979 by US funds to the tune of $2billion annually - and functioned in the interest of Western governments - falls, and we see a sudden deluge of statements welcoming the long overdue change in the country, applauding the bravery of the Egyptian people and even demonising Hosni Mubarak.
One could be fooled into believing the transformation currently taking place in Egypt is one that has been fought for by Western governments for years already - a long-sought change finally materialising.
Who would say that successive US, British and European governments have long argued that Egyptians, indeed all Arabs, are not ready for democracy - that "special circumstances" demand the denial of democracy, and that the brutality visited on them for thirty years was better than the risk of a free vote?