Egypt: what happened to the revolution?External Relations 15 February 2016
After the last tragic news about the mysterious death of Mr. Giulio Regeni, a young Italian PhD researcher in Cairo, the whole world is asking a final response to the Egyptian Government, maybe guilty of covering the truth.
Mr. Regeni was an active researcher focused on the Middle East area and the Egyptian labour market, a real matter of interest at international level, with dynamics that reflect the true level of democratization in the State. Democracy.
When Al-Sisi took the power, every dream of democratization slowly has disappeared. The time for revolutions is long over. Those boys and girls who had demonstrated in Tahrir Square five years ago, they surrendered to a country that is just asking for stability, economic development and security. Egypt is tired of all the protests and stopped to believe that change will finally come from those squares and streets. The smartest guys, those who were in the front row during the 2011-2012 demonstrations, now they are queuing to western embassies and consulates just to take a VISA and leave, giving up that naïf idea that something finally will change. Others chose to stay and prefer to think about something more concrete than democracy or freedom, such as a stable contract, a new house, a family and a simple and quite life. Someone else has been arrested, tortured, and threatened – so that they chose to accept the defeat.
Those boys and girls of Tahrir Square realized of being just a weak minority. The praetorian government owns the factories, arms, media and the political power to quell every sort of opposition and demonstration. Defying them equals to be defeated at the very beginning. Moreover, the Generals of the new Egyptian Government made the people aware that without this establishment, Egypt could fall as Syria very soon and that the only alternative to the Al-Sisi Government is the Political Islam of the Muslim Brotherhood. All that stuff is sufficient to gain the support and internal legitimacy from lots of Egyptians, who prefer to gain very slowly the fruits of a weak economic growth and a maybe-steady society.
The most dynamic part of Egypt stopped to believe in something different, while simply realized that it is still at the starting point. Someone is sure that the country is not ready for democracy, others believe that something went wrong in the strategy of the post-Tahrir, and someone has also stopped to ask this kind of questions about civil and human rights. There is also someone who in 2011 was active in Tahrir Square, but now supports the Government because they are convinced that it could be no alternative to Al-Sisi, or maybe just for mere convenience.
Political participation and mobilization turned into the simple desire of having fun, getting distracted and stop asking and thinking that much. Few still want to engage in politics, while for the majority of boys and girls living in Cairo there are no concrete results in the aftermath of the revolution – just a common memory for a generation that thought it was sufficient to fill a square to change the political dynamics of a country.