DR. ASHRAF EZZAT:THE DOWNFALL OF MUBARAK OF EGYPT
“Without beating around the bush or postponing or playing us for fools and without more false promises, we, the people of Egypt, demand all of our long forgotten rights to be granted and this time there is no turning back … we have learned our lesson …we have finally broken free of all fears
… thus stated a written flier that has been circulating – by banned oppostion -all over major cities of Egypt in thousands of copies on the night before January, 25th or what is now known as the Egyptian day of wrath.
The flier contained a lot of economic and political demands amongst which;
* Salaries and pensions increase that would cope up with the high prices and to include financial aid to the unemployed wide segment of the youth.
* Cancel the law of emergency – that gives the government the right to abduct any citizen without need for any law warrant.
* Egypt is no monarchy. 30 years are more than enough for Mubarak. He must go and his son Gamal- the probable successor or heir to his father’s presidency.
* The dissolution of the current parliament- whose elections deemed fraudulent.
* Fair and democratic parliamentary and presidential elections.
* Ban Egyptian exports to Israel and mainly the Egyptian natural Gas.
The paper had been written in Arabic slang with a language that reflected a lot of spontaneity and simplicity, nevertheless, it managed to reflect how the Egyptians felt toward their current regime.
Egypt is ruled by an authoritarian and oppressive regime headed by Hosni Mubarak who has been in power for almost 30 years now.
Egypt under Mubarak’s regime
Egypt – once known amongst Arabs as the mother of the world- that used to be the leader nation of the Arab world during the presidency of late President Nasser has turned during Mubarak’s reign into a shadowy and subordinate political entity.
The deeply rooted corruption of the Mubarak regime has turned one of the oldest agricultural societies on earth into one of the world’s biggest importers of wheat.
Mubarak’s agricultural cooperation with Israel has destroyed Egypt’s production of the world’s finest cotton to be replaced by fields of carcinogenic[i] fruits and vegetables.
Mubarak’s autocratic rule has never allowed the emergence of actively participating secular parties and free democratic elections.
The education and health care systems have dramatically declined during Mubarak’s regime.
Freedom of speech and demonstration has been widely denied and human rights have been violated.
Mubarak has been busy setting the stage for his son Gamal to take over the kingdom he thought was immune from mutiny.
On Tuesday thousands of ordinary Egyptians took to the streets – drived by years of opprssion and not by any foreign agenda – chanting slogans calling for change and freedom.
Throughout the long history of Egypt its people seldom rallied in huge numbers except during the first half of the twentieth century when Egyptians were trying to liberate the country from the British colonialism and one unprecedented time when they spontaneously swarmed the streets in June 1967 denouncing president Nasser`s decision to resign following the setback brought about by the six -day war with Israel
What is happening now in Egypt is historic by all means and all parties involved should acknowledge that and deal with it as such.
Egyptian protestors and clashes with security
The security forces managed to disperse the nearly thirty thousands protestors who were going to stay afoot and spend the night of Tuesday at Tahrir square in Cairo but that did not deter them, they hit the streets again the following day despite the prosecution and the brutality of the police forces which began to be more aggressive and to even fire live ammunition at protestors especially at the city of Suez [ii] whose citizens are putting up a courageous street to street fight with police forces.
Egypt could not be compared to Tunisia as far as the security and military apparatus is concerned. Egypt enjoys one of the biggest military and police forces in Africa and the Middle East. But Tunisia has to be given the credit for the domino effect that is sweeping across the Arab world now.
Mubarak – being a former military man – knows very well that he needs the support of the army and police forces to keep his reign safe and secure. That’s why he keeps himself surrounded by a close ring of loyal and strong men in the police and the military and that’s why the downfall of Mubarak won’t be an easy job nor without sacrifice.
The demise of 30 years of authoritarianism
The authoritarian regime of Mubarak has been so stunned and taken by surprise by the swift and abrupt uprising of the Egyptians; it failed to respond yet by any official statement to what has been happening.
One thing is sure now, Mubarak’s credibility has been shattered, he can no longer look in the eyes of any ordinary Egyptian, and to me, this is the clear sign of the end of his long and agonizing reign over Egypt.
What is characteristic of any Muslim Metropolis city like Cairo is the peak of crowd of people that fills the streets and mosques after Friday prayers which often witness reference to the latest national events during its speech – khotbah- delivered by imams.
Most of the historic demonstrations in Egypt – against the French campaign (1789-1803) and against British occupation (1882-1936) erupted by people gathered after they had finished their assembly for Friday prayers at Al-Azhar mosque. Likewise, and keeping this legacy alive, free Egyptians are now calling for the assembly of around one million protestors next Friday to go on a never seen before rallies that will demand that Mubarak should go.
This political unrest in Egypt might take a while, the stubborn regime of Mubarak might buy some time and concede to some of the protestors demans, he might announce that this would be his last term in office and he might want to drive his son – as rumours say-out of the country but what is certain is that the downfall of Mubarak will be -if not next Friday- on any given Friday.
The Egyptian addiction to Authoritarianism is finally coming to an end.