Wednesday, January 25, 2012

One year of revolution

While I was enjoying my winter holiday at home, Egypt of course continued its path. In the parliamentary elections (lower house) the Islamists - I lump them together – got over 70% of the votes.

So here they are sitting: in the first more or less democratically elected parliament, those bearded men without moustache, wearing traditional robes like at the times of prophet Mohamed. Although I should be used to seeing those men (and the covered women in black – not in the parliament of course), I still get shocked when I come across them.

This parliament met for the first time yesterday and before yesterday and immediately put the cat among the pigeons. Some added their own statements to the official oath: they did not want to contradict Qur’an; they would only act in a way that was permitted by God; but some also commemorated those who gave their lives for the Egyptian Revolution. A member of the Muslim Brothers was nominated as parliamentary speaker whereas one year ago, he was imprisoned (as a Mubarak’s regime’s enemy). The members of the parliament harshly criticised the country’s leaders, the SCAF. However, at the same time, they replied to the SCAF’s felicitations by thanking it for their role during the recent months! And the members of the parliament clearly confirmed their commitment for the revolution that has to go on and that they would stand up for democracy in Egypt. I am just wondering, how Salafis and democracy shall match …

To commemorate the uprising one year ago, the SCAF has announced celebrations and 25th of January should henceforth be a national holiday. Actually, it was a holiday before, namely in honour of the police. It was exactly the police day that was chosen for the first demonstrations. The activists, however, don’t see a reason for celebrations and the strongest political power – the Muslim Brothers – do both: they celebrate with the SCAF and will be present on Tahrir square. This is a nice example explaining how they could come that far!

Tantawy announced yesterday, that the emergency law would be abolished „with exceptions“. What a nice gesture – but anything else than clear-cut. In addition, around two thousand political prisoners should be released. Many more thousands however are waiting for a fair trial. One of the released ones is a blogger who was on hunger strike for more than four months and was even sent to psychiatry.

Marches are announced from all directions towards Tahrir square in Cairo; already last night it was packed with protesters and early this morning, the first ones are already there. More marches are planned in other cities across Egypt – hardly to celebrate as the SCAF has ordered.

It’s been one year now. I very well remember how people spoke about protests across Egypt on 25 January. “Not in Hurghada”, was one comment. This one was right. „It will finish as quickly as it started“, „Mubarak will not allow this to happen“, „impossible“, “nothing, definitely nothing will change”. Those were other statements of Egyptians. I met them with disbelief. Their comments were wrong.

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