News / Africa

Protesters Say Egypt’s Revolution Far From Finished

Egyptians chant slogans against the government and military rulers after Friday prayers, 230 kilometers north of Cairo, in Alexandria, Egypt, July 15, 2011
Egyptians chant slogans against the government and military rulers after Friday prayers, 230 kilometers north of Cairo, in Alexandria, Egypt, July 15, 2011

Multimedia

Al Pessin

Millions of Egyptian protesters throughout the country succeeded in ousting President Hosni Mubarak in February. As dramatic as that change was, however, for many Egyptians it was only the beginning. They say the reforms have not gone far enough.

Tens of thousands of Egyptians have returned to Cairo’s Tahrir Square and other rally points in recent weeks, demanding reform of the police force, the prosecution of top former officials, and faster trials of those responsible for the deaths of protesters who helped oust long-time president Hosni Mubarek in February.

And the interim government has responded. The interior ministry announced that more than 600 senior police officers would be fired.

But many of those who come out to Tahrir Square said there has not been enough change quickly enough.

"I am here today because I have not felt any change," said one woman. "The military council has corrupted political life in Egypt."

“We need to finish what we are doing since beginning 25th of January, you know. And when we came on the 25th of January, we need to change all of the things," said a man on the street.

“It’s just a change of the faces," said another man who was interviewed. "I mean there’s no real change that could satisfy me and my people.”

At the English-language newspaper Daily News Egypt, chief editor Rania Al Malky said the renewed protests point to a fundamental crisis of confidence.

“The minister of the interior had made statements meeting these demands, but people stopped listening because they feel that everything is being done too little, too late,” said Al Malky.

That is all too evident on Tahrir Square, where the main complaint is that police officers accused of killing protesters.

“We didn’t achieve anything yet," said this young man. "Many people, like 300, die for nothing. There is no one [who] killed them.”

To the outside world, it looks like weekly protests every Friday. But for these people, it’s an everyday thing. They’ve promised to stay here, as a sit-in, to live in these tents, until they get justice for the people who were killed during the revolution.

For long-time Mubarak opponent, Professor Saad Eddin Ibrahim, the Egyptian revolution was a lifelong dream. He said his limp is the result of daily torture when he spent three years in a Mubarak prison. Ibrahim said the renewed protests are a good thing.

“Egyptians now broke the fear barrier and if things do not unfold to their liking, they will take up to the square, not just Tahrir Square, but all the public squares in all major cities of Egypt,” said Ibrahim.

Indeed, protesters have already done that, including this demonstration in the city of Alexandria.

But one veteran Egyptian journalist worries that after decades of repression, many people here are too quick to return to the streets because they don’t know how to pursue their goals through a political process. Journalist Hisham Kassem spoke in the building he is renovating for his new media venture.

“You have a mindset which is what I call the prolonged opposition trauma," said Kassem. "And even people like myself can suffer from that because it’s not natural to be in the opposition for 20 years. Now, in some cases, there are political activists who failed to make the switch. They need something to oppose. To them, that’s politics. They’ve never practiced politics properly.”

Proper or not, this is the way thousands of Egyptians are continuing to practice politics, in an effort to ensure that the dramatic change they achieved in January results in the real reforms they want.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals 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.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More