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

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    What Take-out Food Reveals About American History

    From fast-food restaurants to pizza delivery, here's what the history of take-out food tells us about changes in American society

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora