Eight years have passed since the greatest revolution in Egypt’s modern history occurred on January 25th. It has passed without much commemoration, neither on the official nor the popular level; although it is understood why the media outlets associated with the regime did not mark it. The regime hates and opposes the January Revolution and has imprisoned all of its icons, charging them with false charges. How can it celebrate the revolution that it considers to be a conspiracy? It does, however, placate the people with an annual speech on its anniversary in which it warns several times that the events of 2011 will not be repeated, and constantly reminds the people of the events and not the revolution itself.
As for the large masses that took to the streets that day in protest against the oppression, tyranny, and corruption in a spontaneous manner, they broke the barrier of fear inherited from the previous generations. They spoke out against the fascist regimes and demanded freedom, human dignity and social justice. The current regime has herded them back into the barn of fear and oppression despite the fact that the reasons prompting them to protest on January 25 2011 still require them to take to the streets in 2019. The situation is even worse than it was during Mubarak’s rule, and citizens are now suffering under the unjust regime that deprives them of their freedoms and lifted government subsidies on goods. They are living in a state of poverty and destitution, but they cannot shout out in pain, as it will cost them dearly. They may even pay their lives as the price of this or their fate may be imprisonment.
Therefore, to remain safe, they sit within the confines of their cold homes and resort to the smart device through which they exercise their lost rights and confiscated revolution. Social media sites are filled with memories of the January 25th Revolution, along with pictures of the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the sake of the freedom the people did not enjoy for long. The public celebrated their revolution through social media sites.
Indeed, the January 25th Revolution was a great human act of heroism in which all the members of the nation, regardless of where they fall on the political spectrum or their intellectual and ideological affiliations, focusing only on their affiliation with Egypt. This affiliation and loyalty was top priority and trumped any other affiliation. The voices united and became one symphony chanting, “The people want to over throw the regime” and “keep your head up, you’re Egyptian, and “live in dignity and social justice.” These are the voices and chants that shook Egypt in 2011 and the tremors spread to other Arab countries in Libya, Syria and Yemen. This is not strange as we are a single Arab nation with a united people divided by colonial powers into many cities.
Eight years have passed since Egyptians astonished the entire world with their civil behaviour. It was a beautiful dream that the Egyptians have always dreamt of and it was coming true. They overthrew a dictator and corrupt rule, but they did not overthrow the regime and that was the biggest mistake made by the revolution. This was the portal or door through which the regime returned, along with its conspiracy with the imperial and regional forces that were afraid that the winds of the revolutions would reach their countries and dethrone them. Of course I am referring to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which act as Israel’s arms in the region and the stronghold of the counter-revolutions from where all the conspiracies against the Arab people and Muslim nations as a whole are plotted. These who countries in particular managed to turn the Egyptians’ dream into a frightening nightmare, like they did with the other Arab revolutions out of fear that their people would catch the bug of democracy and change. These countries spent billions of dollars to overthrow the democratically elected president in free elections occurring for the first time in Egypt’s history. The entire world witnessed its integrity and honesty. This was followed by the military coup, which certainly would not have occurred if it hadn’t received the green light from the US.
The Israeli leader did not like the Egyptian revolution, just as the Arab leaders didn’t. In addition to them wanting Israel to be considered the only oasis of democracy in the region, they also fear the Arab peoples’ awakening and their coup against their leaders, who are Israel’s agents and guards in the area.
However, we cannot forgive the elites, especially those who took part in the plots against the January 25th Revolution and joined hands with the enemies of the revolution merely because their political opponent was elected. They staged a coup against democracy, which they were calling for, and allowed themselves to be the horses on which the military rides in with their tanks to carry out the June 30th coup, dressed in civilian clothing in front of the people.
After losing hope of occupying a position in the regime they summoned and considered themselves a pillar of as the heroes of the June 30th play, and after suffering at the hands of oppression and injustice with some being put in prison, the degenerate elites began calling for the fall of this fascist regime. However, they are too proud to admit their mistakes and hate that the Islamists reached a position of authority. They wanted to completely eliminate them from the political arena and keep them from carrying out any political actions. Meanwhile, they demand that the Islamists take a stand with them against the regime. This is opportunist elite that was a reason for the decline of the revolution and what we are currently suffering.
Now, eight years after the revolution, the rebels have separated and dispersed into factions and parties, each pointing the finger at one another. Division and polarisation has become characteristic of the Egyptian people, even within the same family. This is what the regime has sought to achieve since the success of the revolution and the overthrow of Mubarak. The youth in Tahrir Square were divided into dozens of coalitions and parties, according to the admission of Lieutenant Sameh Said Al-Yazal in one of his television interviews after the coup. He said that the armed forces funded youth parities to confront the Muslim Brotherhood.
The question remains whether this polarisation, exclusion and the planting of seeds of hatred in the Egyptian soil will still allow for the restoration of harmony amongst the Egyptian people, or will we continue on in the vicious cycle of endless accusations and counteraccusations from both sides? This is a waste of the revolution due to stupidity and sells out the revolution. We keep crying over spilled milk and we turn the anniversary of January 25th into an occasion for crying every year. We forget the Egypt in which millions of its people took to the streets to participate in the revolution. These people are required today to take to the streets to save the country and cast aside their differences. Everyone is contributing in one or another to the situation that Egypt is in now.
The lack of a vision, as well as the lack of a leader for the revolution helped create this situation. This is one of the revolution’s weak points, as everyone wants to be the only leader and godfather of the revolution, so it was lost between its legitimate and illegitimate parents who suddenly appeared after its success and wasted the blood of the martyrs.
The January 25th Revolution was truly a popular revolution against injustice and tyranny and a gift from God. Unfortunately, we did not preserve it and did not protect it or nurture it the way we should and therefore we deserve what we are suffering now.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.