Point-blank: Changing attitudes to revolution?

Mohamed Salmawy
Tuesday 8 Feb 2022

A representative of a news outlet I had never heard of before recently contacted me to interview me about changing attitudes towards Egypt’s 25 January Revolution. 

“What change?” I asked. In public opinion and the state, she said. “People have turned against the revolution. They no longer want to hear about it or its ideas.”

I asked her not to confuse the issues. “People don’t want another revolution, that’s true. If anyone went to Tahrir Square to call for one, no one would follow him,” I said.

I explained that the country had suffered greatly from the anarchy that had set in after the revolution and the consequent security breakdown and economic deterioration. Egyptian society as a whole had paid an enormous price politically due to the post-revolutionary fluidity that had enabled the Muslim Brotherhood to monopolise power. 

But all that is one thing, and the “people turning against the revolution” is something else entirely. It was the 25 January Revolution that made it possible for the people to march in the 30 June 2013 Revolution calling for the fall of disastrous and dictatorial Muslim Brotherhood rule. Had it not been for the 25 January Revolution, people would not have realised their latent power and asserted their will, which repressive regimes had held captive for decades. 

The Egyptian people fully appreciate how the 25 January Revolution, which demanded change, paved the way to the great changes they see around them today at all levels, from the resolute confrontation against the extremist terrorist groups that previous regimes had appeased and left free to permeate our lives to the great construction projects that previous regimes had not undertaken on the grounds of insufficient resources. 

Egypt now has unrivalled health programme, one of which has succeeded in eradicating Hepatitis C which had ravaged Egyptian lives for years. Plans are in progress to eliminate the sprawling slums that were even threatening to become an emblem of Cairo. Their inhabitants are being relocated to new and dignified housing fit for human habitation. 

We also have foreign policies that have enabled Egypt to regain its place in the international sphere. 

“On the anniversary of the 25 January Revolution, the president himself said that it had expressed the Egyptian people’s aspiration to build a new future for this nation in which all its people would enjoy a dignified life,” I told the journalist.

“So where is the so-called ‘change in attitude’ towards the revolution?”

*A version of this article appears in print in the 10 February, 2022 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly.

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