The ninth anniversary of Egypt’s 25 January Revolution has come, and one of its leaders, who stood among the other heroes, legitimate President Dr Mohamed Morsi, has gone. The people elected him to achieve the revolution’s aim and objectives, but he was ousted and basically killed by the conditions of his detention. Moreover, many key figures of the revolution have been in prison since the 2013 coup, while some have also died behind bars like Morsi. Their names have to be added to the list of revolutionary martyrs who fell under the regime’s bullets and brutality.
It was the greatest revolution in Egypt’s modern history. On 5 January 2011, the Egyptian people rose up against injustice and corruption. They came from all political, intellectual and ideological backgrounds to put personal affiliations to one side; their loyalty to Egypt was paramount and united them in the quest for “Bread, freedom and social justice”.
Their cries caused a political and social earthquake in Egypt which spread to other Arab countries, including Libya, Syria and Yemen; people took to the streets to express great joy at what was happening with the Egyptian revolution. It gave them hope about getting rid of similarly oppressive regimes. This was not surprising, as we are a single Arab Ummah divided into nation-states by the colonial occupiers.
The January Revolution shocked the world with its success and was viewed as Egypt’s second rite of passage after the 1973 October War. It was a beautiful dream that was coming true. The people overthrew a dictatorial president and corrupt rule but did not overthrow the regime. This was a mistake which kept the door open for the deep state, backed by imperialist and regional powers, to conspire against the revolution. They all feared that the winds of change would reach their countries and topple their own unstable thrones.
I am referring particularly to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, Israel’s henchmen in the region and the strongholds of the counter-revolutionary forces. All conspiracies against the Arab and Muslim Ummah are managed in these two countries, which have turned the dream of the Egyptians and others into a nightmare. They spent hundreds of billions of dollars to topple a democratically-elected president in free elections, the integrity of which was witnessed by the whole world. The military coup was planned and blessed by Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, with a green light from Washington.
Blame lies closer to home as well. We cannot excuse the elites, especially those who participated in the revolution but then plotted to bring it down just because their political opponent won the elections. They turned against the democracy that they had demanded and were content to allow the military to walk all over them in 2013, giving the coup a civilian facade.
By 2011, they had lost hope of being given positions in the regime of which they believed themselves to be pillars, and also faced oppression and treachery. Then, and only then, did the degenerate elites join in the calls for the people to take to the streets and overthrow the regime. They only fooled themselves, just as they fooled themselves after the coup and thought that the army would hand over the government to them after ousting President Morsi and removing the Muslim Brotherhood from the equation. In their hearts, they must have known that whoever came in on the back of a tank will only leave on the back of a tank.
This year, the anniversary of the revolution has involved Mohamed Ali, whose online videos exposed the corruption of the Sisi government and called on the people to take to the streets on the anniversary. He announced a plan to topple the regime, a plan that raised many questions about this suspicious character who appeared suddenly on the scene having been close to the government from which he profited through major contracts. However, nobody responded, and the streets were instead just lined with security forces. With a heavy security presence across Egypt’s on 25 January, the anniversary passed almost unnoticed. Not surprisingly, the regime-friendly media completely ignored the anniversary and only celebrated National Police Day.
The revolution has no schedule or specific days on which to break out again. Accumulated pressure can cause an explosion at any time, without calculations or planning. It remains in Egyptian hearts; the January Revolution is not just a memory, it is fuel for the next uprising to free the people from tyranny. Of that I am certain.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.