News / Middle East

Three Years After Tahrir, Has Egypt Changed?

Three Years After Tahrir, Has Egypt Changed?i
X
January 24, 2014 3:28 PM
On Saturday, Egyptians mark the third anniversary of the revolution that ended decades of a repressive regime -- and that many heralded as the beginning of a transition to democracy. Elizabeth Arrott reports from Cairo.
Elizabeth Arrott
On January 25, Egyptians mark the third anniversary of the revolution that ended decades of a repressive regime -- and that many heralded as the beginning of a transition to democracy.  
 
But three years after millions of Egyptians rose up and overthrew Hosni Mubarak, a general-turned- president, the country seems set to back another general, Abdel Fatah el Sissi, as his successor.
 
That leaves many asking how much, if anything, has changed?

There is more violence, including a series of bombings in Cairo, one day before the anniversary - which makes General Sissi all the more popular with many Egyptians, who long for stability after all the turmoil.
 
Supporters, like taxi driver Said Ali Yaseen, feel the general - who toppled Egypt's first civilian and democratically-elected president in July - brings a new perspective on moving the country forward.

“It's very different.  No - Sissi has a different mind, he's still young,” said Yaseen.
 
Adopting the “revolutionary” mantle appears key.  Sissi, and the military-backed interim government, are among many forces laying claim to the legacy of Tahrir.
 
Officials argue that Morsi's ouster and the crackdown on his Muslim Brotherhood stemmed in part because they deviated from the revolutionary path.
 
But then, so, too, authorities say, have some of the original revolutionaries. Dozens of activists, liberal figures, have faced arrest in recent weeks.  

Gamal Eid, an activist with the Arab Network for Human Rights Information, says the young revolutionaries have demands that have not been met, and are now being attacked.   
 
Even an Academy Award-nominated Netflix documentary on Tahrir and the more recent upheavals raises the government's concerns.
 
"We did all of this in order just to remove him and put someone exactly like him in his place," Eid said.
 
Egypt's censorship board is holding up its release.
 
But Tahrir was not just about politics. It was a cry against poverty, injustice, and stagnation under the old regime. Ahmed Kamal Abou El Magd, a constitutional lawyer and Islamic scholar, warns that basic needs must be met.

“If they feel grievances are not met seriously and very little improvement is taking place, God knows how they are going to rebel," he said. "They are going to rebel."

But with the hope of the Arab Spring long since faded, some, like taxi driver Ali Yaseen, put Egypt's situation in a broader context.
 
“Look at this whole world in Arab area. See what's wrong with them now?  Libya, nothing [good]. Iraq nothing," said Yaseen. "You start with Yemen and then now with Syria.”

You May Like

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: mhpatter from: USA
January 24, 2014 6:53 PM
As long as people are jailed for their views, left or right, nothing has changed in Egypt. The whole thing looks like a circus show from where I'm standing (Chicago, IL)


by: MikeBarnett from: USA
January 24, 2014 1:58 PM
Egypt has returned to a new strong leader. Egyptians wanted democratic change, but the Muslim Brotherhood was the best organized group and won the elections. President Morsi focussed on institutional changes to gain power over the country and failed to provide the work, food, clothing, and shelter that most people expect leaders to provide, facilitate, or encourage. Public works programs, business loans, and foreign trade deals are examples of expected goals for regimes. Morsi failed; he is in jail; and General Sissi must deal with remaining radicals while working to restore the economic stability that underpins his rule.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid