Mey Al Sayegh – Cairo
Being in Egypt without visiting the pyramids is similar to going to Rome, without seeing the Vatican. This was in the near past, but now, we are not exaggerating if we say that after “January 25 revolution”, Tahrir Square became a necessary station every journalist should visit.
In this square, the bases of the third republic in the land of the Pharaohs were set, but the new republic did not meet the aspirations of the Egyptian youth who shouted slogans demanding “ bread, freedom, social justice” and succeeded in toppling the Hosni Mubarak regime.
The youth whom I met at Tahrir Square seem disappointed, to what things led to, after the victory of Muhammad Morsi -who came from Muslim brotherhood- in the presidential elections. They were worried that their achievement has being stolen by this faction.
Samar from the first days of revolution came to the Tahrir Square. She and a group of her friends used to come every day to square especially after “camel massacre “in February 2011,(those who committed it was not sentenced).
A revolution that seems in complete in the eyes of the youth who leaded it, but they insist that they will continue the struggle to reach triumph.
Samar who is studying law at “ain shames” university could not at that time continue going to university while her friends are being killed at Tahrir Square.
She said:”we were silent for 30 years to reach to our rights at the end, we suffered a lot, and because of that we joined the revolution” and still wondering “why our friends were killed”?
she added:” at camel massacre, ,My head was injured because of being beaten by guns of Egypt’s Central Security Forces police who show us death on that day”.
On the 2nd February 2011, Mubarak and the leaders of his ruling party, arranged for and paid tens of thugs, criminals and convicts to go attack the peaceful protesters in Tahrir Square. The is the famous attack in which some of those thugs used camels and horses to charge against protesters in Tahrir square.
Camels attack cannot be forgotten by Egyptian youth, and its memories were refreshed, On the 12th 2012 at noon Friday prayers, when demonstrators from civil society groups protested Morsi’s “hundred days” and his failure to do what he promised and they clashed with supporters of “Muslim brotherhood”, where 120 of protestors were injured.
Clashes started when supporters of “Muslim brotherhood” throw stones and empty glass bottles and bombs, and cartridge at the demonstrators.
Iman said: “while we were praying, they throw stones at us at Tahrir Square, they say it is a peaceful demonstration and they throw us with stones of marble and ceramic and cartridge”.
Samar interpreted her to say: “they say it is a peaceful demonstration, and they beat us with iron chains, and were equipped with ambulances. She added:” even though I’m wearing veil (hijab), I’m not with Muslim brother hood, and because of Morsi and brotherhood (ikwan) policies ,I would take off the hijab.
Mohammed who is studying commerce said: “We had hope in Morsi , we give him 8 million vote in the second round to save the revolution, from the remnants of Mubarak regime, even though I elected the leftist candidate Hamden sabahi in the first round”.
He added:” we don’t have a problem with Morsi, our problem is with Muslim brotherhood, in fact “al ikwan” control the attitude of the president.
Unlike Mohammed , Iman insisted that she did not elect neither Morsi nor Ahmad Shafic ,the last prime minister during Mubarak era . She said:” we want neither brotherhood, nor remnants of Mubarak regime”.
But Mohammed opposition to Morsi does not mean his desire to topple him ,he said:” we demand only a separation between presidency and ikwan, because we refuse the dominance of brotherhood on the state . There are 100 speakers who issue statements in the name of Morsi, we want one president for Egypt and not 100”.
Mohammed also criticized morsi for his pledge to implement his plan “hundred days” of rule, and his failure to do what he promised. He said: “we want food and petroleum to be available, morsi put a deadline for himself, and not us, and said come and held me accountable”.
Tahrir Square youth refuses to mark a precedent for Morsi for terminating the rule of military and transferring the power to civil leadership. They accuse him of negotiating with military council and reaching to a compromise, which lead to safe exit of military leaders from power, without being prosecuted of the crimes they were committed , especially their role in Maspero Copt massacre and Abbasyia , without forgetting what happened in front of Israel embassy in Cairo.
On the contrary, Ahmed who has a bachelor degree in law has another opinion. He said:” the situation becomes better 70 % after the coming of mosri , the traffic becomes less worse, and the security conditions are better ,but he affirmed that we are patient , and will continue our struggle in Tahrir Square, to achieve the demands of the revolution”.
Mohammed listed these demands that include “liberty, social justice, release prisoners of the revolution, adjusting the minimum wage, dropping the constitution committee, controlled by Muslim brotherhood and Salafi groups.
Iman aslo felt angry because the authorities painted the walls near to Tahrir Square, removing the graffiti paints that represent the “January 25 revolution”. She said:” they want to delete the revolution from our memory”.
One accomplishment they praise Morsi for, for giving orders to launch a military operation in the Sinai Peninsula a month ago . Mohammed said: “we support chasing terrorists in Sinai , the former regime was not tough in dealing with them and used to neglect those who disobey the law”.
Saber, a member in the musical band of youth revolution, that turned the slogans into songs, that represent the situation of Egyptian youth who stayed at Tahrir Square ,until Mubarak step aside, admitted their failure to accomplish the change they were looking for, due to their disagreement on a unified political vision and plan to lead Egypt.
Saber who had bachelor in journalism said: “we are independent youth, we don’t work under the frame work of any faction, 30 years of injustice and one man rules us, we don’t have a leader, because of that our demands were lost, there are coalitions, movements and various parties in the revolution that, all had their interests and they give priority to their own interests at the expense of the revolution”.
Mohamed in his turn attributed the dominance of Muslim brotherhood on the entire political scene in Egypt, because they are more organized. He added: “they kidnapped the revolution, the parliament and the cabinet, where brotherhood hood has the majority”. He said:” during Mubarak era, the Muslim brotherhood was a secret entity. We did not know their names at that period, even though we were walking with ikwan , we could not know that they are from Muslim brotherhood, after revolution, things changed and Muslim brotherhood hood figures became very famous”.
He admitted that ikwan suffered a lot during Mubarak era, in their mentality they want to revenge, and they want to compensate at the expense of the people who voted for them because they were opponents to the previous regime”.
Mp in the dissolved parliament Mohammed Abou Hamed was also criticized. This figure who was in the first lines of revolution turned to be an ally to shafic . They accused him of solding himself to external parties that provide him with financial aid, without confirming if they mean Lebanese forces leader Samir Geagea.
Due to that, the Egyptian youth did not respond to his appeal to participate in 24 august demonstrations, Under the slogan ”toppling down the brotherhood state “.
Tahrir Square youth did not agree on the letter morsi sent to his Israeli counterpart Shimon Perez and that was through new Egyptian ambassador Atif Salem at Tel Aviv when presenting his credential diplomatic papers.
They affirm that Israel is still an enemy for all Arabs, and Camp David , peace treaty with Israel it serves Israel more than Egypt, demanding to amend the gas treaty with Tel Aviv as they see it unfair for their part.
The Syrian crisis was also present. Egyptian youth seemed very sympathetic with the suffering of Syrian people. Samar said:” we want to kill Syrian president Bashar Assad; we had a lot of friends, who escaped from their country, fearing being killed by Assad shabiha (militia ), and they come to join us in our demonstrations”.
Concerning the situation in Lebanon, some accused Syrian regime of assassinating The general wissam Hassan, while others accused Israeli Mosaad of committing this crime.
I came to Tahrir Square and in my mind an image I cannot forget, thousands of youth who spent their days and nights sleeping at this area and their eyes are waiting the triumph hour, the whole scene that shake the world, its essence is still present, even though the majority of the bodies of these youth were not there, but their souls still.