Revolution Egyptian Style

Revolution Egyptian Style - Revolution: Egyptian Style By:...

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Revolution: Egyptian Style By: Sundus Balata Egyptians did revolution like no other people. They made it exciting; peaceful and inclusive. The Egyptian revolution was sparked by the growing disdain for the security infrastructure that entrenched and engendered a system of brutality, which disfigured a young man named Khaled Said. On June 6, 2010, Security forces walked into a cyber café and picked up Said, forcefully dragging him outside, beating the life right out of him, leaving him dead in the alleyways of downtown Cairo. The Egyptian revolution grew out of a movement for freedom, human dignity and decent livelihood, frustrated by the economic inflation and the political repression that left the population subservient to the state. The revolution emulated the Tunisian experience that started with the self- immolation of Bouaziz and ended with the resignation of Zine al Abidine. Egyptians fundamentally changed the way political aspirations could be realized starting with the way they protested. The protests I witnessed and participated in weren’t protests in the traditional sense. People didn’t just come to Liberation Square waving flags, chanting dry political slogans, loudly voicing demands, marching to a consulate or an embassy. Instead, they were festivals, complete with free food, popcorn, tea, live music, comedy skits, colorful slogans, political speeches, Christian and Muslim prayers, and of course, the national anthem at least four or five times daily. It was likened to a Sufi moulid with the uplifting positivity, the sense of togetherness, the fun of carnivals and the humbling spirituality. Liberation square during most of the 18 days was the place to be. When the government shut down the internet and mobile phone networks, it essentially sent the youth to the square since they had nothing better to do. Cafes, restaurants and theatres were closed and they were outraged by Mubarak’s audacity to cut them off from the world. The organizers did their part to find new and interesting ways to keep the youth coming back until eventually, they began camping out in large numbers in Liberation square effectively erecting tent city in the middle of downtown Cairo. The artistic creativity that emerged during the revolution as buildings, sidewalks; subway stops, fences and walls were draped in verses of love for the country; of demands for freedom and democracy and of encouraging symbols and phrases denoting victory and triumph. It became a nationalist tribute, an ode to Egypt culminating in a campaign to revive the Egyptian nation. The artistic outpouring converted Cairo into one big collage of resistance. Stores, sidewalks; billboards; traffic barriers; concrete dividers; balconies, windows displayed flags, nationalist symbols and messages of solidarity. I have never seen so much red, black and white in my life. The commodification of the revolution took on a life of its own: people sold flags, head bands, bracelets, hats, stickers and cards that
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This note was uploaded on 06/07/2011 for the course POLS 740 taught by Professor Frost during the Spring '11 term at Claremont McKenna College.

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Revolution Egyptian Style - Revolution: Egyptian Style By:...

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