News / Middle East

Egyptians Tested Two Years After Uprising

Egyptians Tested 2 Years After Uprisingi
X
January 22, 2013 9:41 PM
Two years after their historic uprising, many Egyptians, from intellectuals to the working class, are reflecting on what has been gained since the heady days on Tahrir Square and what still needs to be done. VOA's Elizabeth Arrott reports from Cairo.
Elizabeth Arrott
Two years after their historic uprising, many Egyptians, from intellectuals to the working class, are reflecting on what has been gained since the heady days on Tahrir Square and what still needs to be done.

One Egyptian's Advice to Countrymen: Work Hard, Votei
X
January 22, 2013 11:06 PM
Egyptians are taking stock - two years after a revolution ousted long-serving president Hosni Mubarak. While some complain that the turmoil of the aftermath is overwhelming, others argue the people of Egypt have it in them to fix what's wrong. VOA's Elizabeth Arrott has more from Giza.
One Egyptian's Advice: Work Hard, Vote - Click to Watch
For Ehab Gohar, who raises pigeons on a rooftop in a Cairo suburb, the biggest gain has been freedom of speech. He can stand up, he said, "and tell the president, 'Your people need this. Your people need that.'"

It's a seismic shift that novelist Alaa el Aswany first saw when he joined the millions who poured out onto Egypt's streets during the uprising.

"The human change," he said, is the most important part of the revolution. "The people overcame the barrier of fear. This is irreversible."

But some people are afraid the revolutionary spirit is in danger. For them, the ascendancy of Islamist politicians spells trouble and division.

A former Muslim Brotherhood leader, Mohamed Morsi, was elected president in June, and helped Islamist lawmakers push through a controversial constitution approved in December.

The previous authorities had detained Morsi for his participation in the Tahrir protests in January 2011, and he regularly invokes the spirit of the uprising. Decrees granting himself temporary sweeping powers late last year were made, he said, to preserve and protect the revolution.

Some doubts

Egyptian Boatman Reflects on Problems, Pride, Two Years After Revolutioni
X
January 22, 2013 11:15 PM
The two years since Egypt's revolution have brought new-won freedoms to the country, but the political upheaval has come at a cost. VOA's Elizabeth Arrott in Cairo profiles a Nile riverboat captain who believes it has all been worth it.
Boatman Reflects on Problems, Pride - Click to Watch
Among the doubtful is riverboat captain Mustafa Siam. Sitting at the rudder of his traditional sailboat, or felucca, along the banks of the Nile in Cairo, he worried the Brotherhood is too concerned with its own interests.

Siam said he's Muslim, "but whoever is responsible for the country," he said, "should be Egyptian, not just Muslim." He said that whether one is Muslim, Christian or Jewish, the important thing is to be devoted to the country.

The government's failure to deliver on early promises of quick fixes to many of the nation's woes has others wondering about priorities.

Two devastating train crashes took dozens of lives in recent months, including those of more than 50 children. Buildings collapse, power fails, prices rise and unemployment grows.

Novelist el Aswany, a critic of the Brotherhood, said that after decades of being banned and remaining on the outside, the group must now take responsibility.

"I think this is very useful for the revolution," he said. "I do not think it is useful for the Brothers." He said their popularity is waning, something he thought would take 10 years. But many, he said, are turning away after only 10 months.

The insular nature of Brotherhood ideology is part of the problem, Aswany said. Most autocrats take decades to become isolated from the people, he said, adding, "for the first time, I see somebody begin with this problem."

Morsi defended

Yet many others show patience with Morsi. They point to his promises to tackle such basic issues as traffic and garbage collection, as well as broader economic concerns and Egypt's regional and international role.

Two Years After Revolution, Egyptian Baker Still Hopeful for Better Futurei
X
January 22, 2013 10:15 PM
Two years after Egyptians rose up against ex-President Hosni Mubarak, many of the same problems that prompted the revolution remain. VOA's Elizabeth Arrott takes a look at how a baker in Cairo is faring in the aftermath.
Egyptian Baker Still Hopeful - Click to Watch
At a bakery in Cairo, Ashraf al Husseini said his business is struggling, but that he is sympathetic to Morsi.

"The government is unlucky," he said, "because it took responsibility in a time of chaos and economic collapse."  He said, "the Brotherhood government" is working hard to overcome the challenges.

The Islamist group also remains Egypt's best-organized political movement, able to quickly mobilize hundreds of thousands of followers to hold counter-demonstrations in support of the government.

It also has been able to work with more conservative Islamists, most notably fundamentalist Salafis, despite underlying tensions that occasionally surface between the two.

Egypt's Farmers Struggle With Post Revolution Attempts at Reformi
X
January 22, 2013 11:10 PM
Egypt's post-revolution leaders are trying to reverse decades of the nation's economic decline. But the efforts may end up alienating some in their rural base. VOA's Elizabeth Arrott profiles a farmer in Sadat City, in northern Egypt.
Egypt's Farmers Struggle - Click to Watch
In contrast, the opposition, many of them the ones who took to Tahrir Square two years ago, have yet to coalesce into a strong political force.

El Aswany defends the disunity, arguing that the opposition is fragmented by definition - rejecting the dictates of anyone, and thinking for themselves.

But the novelist said time is on their side. He said it took France and America years to go through their revolutions.

"If we expect the revolution to make real change in a couple of years," he said, "it means simply we did not read enough about the history of revolutions."

Loading timeline...

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid