When the popular masses took to the streets of Egypt their plight set in stone; innocent, fresh and purely motivated, their unadulterated fervour shook the world.
They would succeed come what may; their aim was to oust the oppressive regime that had reigned unchallenged for over three decades. Direction was simple: forward, onwards and upwards. All else seemed unimportant, premature and even unnecessary. Take-off was undaunted and without a safety net.
The uprising was purely driven, untainted; like a burst of effervescent bubbles that carried no baggage, no vengeance, no thought for bureaucratic weights nor identified solutions; in its very strength an embodied weakness, a helplessness.
The revolution that followed could not have had such national and moreover universal appeal had there been any sinister agenda on board. The deep-rooted and yet uncharted harmony of the people could not be thwarted; no organised parties could make their foreboding malevolent incentives filter through unnoticed. There would be time for that later, just as there had been before. They would bide their time.
For the new movement, as if protected by an invisible surrounding shield, it took days, nights, weeks and months of perseverance and nothing but the firmest resolve, hope for a brighter glimpse of an era to come, before the 'royal' mettle of presidential seat was finally cast off and molten. “Out with the old…”
Personal and shared dire hardship became defined starkly by poignant sacrifice of a few, those lying in the debris of the wake of a freedom aspired to.
… In with the new?
Dead leaves were shed and promising green shoots already present in the constitution and seemingly in tune with the changing tides, magnanimously repotted.
In effect, vacancies advertised and signed up for simultaneously.
The promise of a new era.
The youth groups, all abuzz, grabbed the vines and began swinging to and fro their bright ideas, some more grounded than others but all intrinsically laced with a tint of idealism; all in the hope of being embraced, adopted and securely planted. With every valiant swing, the potted verdancy becomes more and more discoloured; its innate corruption seeping through to the surface. With every attempt at reform, sterility encountered. Impenetrable veneer of regime, always backed by big ‘friendly’ biceps of a powerful deeply embedded army, loses no lustre.
Frantic attempts in all directions, some wishing and clinging onto past securities, others hoping for their brighter dawn to turn into daylight and inevitably those with their own parasols seeking to deviate and overshadow the lot and all the while, the inferior diseased flora digging its roots in deeper and deeper.
The coin of the revolution has been flipped, its momentum has dissipated. With every stark revelation of the regime's embezzlement and shameful conduct, its driving force of innocence unavoidably compromised.
Egypt~ in the aftermath of furore and exhilaration, the picture shaken, a rosy regard for the main ruling force in Egypt, the army, becomes inevitable; wishful thinking protective of an effusive and genuinely pure uprising, to blot out the otherwise unbearable unease. When dictators are propped up and supported so is the country's army; the Egyptian army is now viewed as a ruling unit independent of the ousted dictatorship but how independent is unclear. Egyptians without leadership, formations of youth groups with varying and at times conflicting agendas strive for radical change; all the while however, necessarily subjugated to the military rule which is now the gathering force.
FB Anonymous Art of Revolution
The apparent stance of the army was never a straight-forward one. It would be rational to assume the army is always either overtly or covertly dictated to. Its funding is crucial. The military will naturally obey step by step whatever is advocated and outlined, whatever the circumstances. If a military force has backed up a certain regime it is unlikely to be dispersed or weakened when the regime crumbles. Soldiers are specifically trained to do as they are told and not to think for themselves. Any soldier who disagrees with the outlined strategy automatically risks facing inevitable ultimatums. As for the soldiers' seniors their motivations are intricately enmeshed with the overall fringe benefits; chief and eminent positions are conditionally attained and cognizance is not necessarily shared with those under their command. Individual integrity is rarely, if at all, independent of the general framework of the army's structure. The paramount objective for the army is to preserve its basic skeletal strength. That is its duty. But most significantly: Whoever funds has puppet control. It would be more than a little naïve to think that reform will just happen. Sadly and inevitably backlash is palpable. The unleashing of hard-core criminals demonstrates the extent of insidiousness involved. Every lunge towards change is counteracted by some discernible hindrance. This can only denote the regime, referred to as 'former', is indeed still ostensibly prevalent. Those individuals who were either ousted or feel presently under threat of being overruled have no intention of changing their ways but do have options unlike the majority of impoverished populace. The fact that Mubarak left office was only ever symbolic at best. There are those who imbued him with power, some who have no intention of exiting the covert yet luxuriously furnished seams of corruption they occupy. Rather Egypt were to crumble than their ill-gotten gains be scrutinised. Obscene affluence glares out vividly amidst broken pavements & broken spirits.
Reform is an uphill struggle. With no police force offering security the only answer is 'vigilantism' and that cannot be risk free. And yet, alongside such complications the tides of change have nevertheless furnished many Egyptians with a new-found sense of identity, a sense of national pride and a sense of accountability as contributing members of a society. These are valuable assets, once apportioned not lightly relinquished. Nothing is certain; there is no clear target to propel towards. Democracy is a concept that at best can only be semi-realised and even in countries where it is prominently more present its validity would soon expire without a people's aspiration & their willingness to test its boundaries.
Egypt will never be the same as it was before the popular uprising. This lists high on every individual's chart of aspiration; something to cling onto with hope. However undercurrents are severe and the tide is high; up a river without a paddle, confusion and bewilderment every step of the way. Corruption is indeed on many a level and intricately woven into the fabric of society on a varying scale; some of it is 'a way of life', nothing more. The relatively recent profusion of unaccountable wealth establishing itself in all aspects of society is highlighted by a similarly recent impoverished multitude of a nation; a contrasting anomaly in the wake of the uprising's high expectations and idealistic aspirations. The fabric of an endgame has yet to unfurl itself.
There are no guarantees, no terms and conditions, no small print, however every ounce of integrity and resolve could prove crucial and a necessary prerequisite for a brighter future.