The International Reporting (and Life) Adventures of Vivian Salama

Archive for June 20th, 2012

Egypt’s Second Revolution: Purging the Mubarak Regime’s Legacy

Posted by vmsalama on June 20, 2012


Jun 20, 2012

Daily Beast (click here to read original story)

As Mubarak reportedly clings to life, thousands of protesters flooded Tahrir Square to denounce the military’s powers. Vivian Salama on the ticked-off Egyptians fighting for democracy—again.

Ancient Egyptians believed that every person has three souls: Ka, Ba, and Akh. When a pharaoh was dying, priests went to great lengths to preserve the body in the hopes that even in death, the soul of the pharaoh dwells on earth for eternity.

More than 16 months after Hosni Mubarak, Egypt‘s modern-day pharaoh, resigned and was imprisoned, reports of his death have once again managed to overshadow the country’s historic transition period, just days before his successor is to be announced and while protesters took to the streets to purge his legacy from the incoming administration. State-run Middle East News Agency reported late Tuesday that the defunct leader was “clinically dead,” later backtracking to say that he experienced a “fast deterioration of his health” and is on life support.

With both camps claiming victory and official results not expected until June 21, tens of thousands of people poured into Tahrir Square Tuesday night with spirits reminiscent of the 18-day demonstration that brought down the former regime. The protesters donned face veils or long, thick beards and carried campaign posters of Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi—the presumed winner by many. Some, young hipsters by American standards, carried red socialist flags. Others brought their children and waved red, white, and black banners that read “I love Egypt.” To many activists in Egypt, it doesn’t matter who wins the presidential election. One theme was universal across the square: the revolution continues.

Even as the last of the votes were being counted and Mubarak death rumors made the rounds yet again, demonstrators chanted in unison, denouncing the country’s current ruler—the military—following a series of recent legislations that some say amounted to a soft coup. They chanted: “We’ll finish what we started! Down, down, military rule.” Faced with the dilemma of choosing between the stalwart former Air Force commander Ahmed Shafiq and Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, many are fearful that a military clampdown is inevitable, regardless of who the president is.

“Revolution is about controlling the state, and so far this revolution has failed to do that,” said Ibrahim al-Houdaiby, a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood and an active secular youth activist. “This is not a time for political and ideological disputes between parties because we are fighting for a country that we don’t rule. If you want to have a serious fight, one that’s meaningful, get the power in the hands of the people, then fight over it all you want.” (click here to read more…)

Here are two related stories I wrote:

Daily Beast: Mubarak Steals Election Thunder

North Africa Journal: Egypt at a Crossroads 


Posted in Arab, Arab Spring, Coptic, dictatorship, discrimination, Economy, Education, Egypt, Elections, Employment, Foreign Policy, Freedom of Speech, Hosni Mubarak, Islam, Judiciary, Media, Middle East, Muslim Brotherhood, Politics, Religion | Leave a Comment »