• 07:28
  • Sunday ,20 February 2011
العربية

Revolution brings out the best in Egypt

By-Amr el-Shobaki

Opinion

00:02

Sunday ,20 February 2011

Revolution brings out the best in Egypt

During Mubarak’s rule, Egypt was divided into two camps. The first benefited from the regime and was complicit in its crimes. The other opposed the regime's policies and everything it stood for.

This revolution has revealed the face of another Egypt, one the regime sought to conceal for years. Mubarak's regime always tried to convince Egyptians to focus on their own survival through any means necessary, even if it compromised their dignity. But the other Egypt was still there, even if the regime attempted to hide it through state media (which is now jumping on the revolution bandwagon), corrupt politicians (who have suddenly turned into revolutionaries), and security services that killed political life, suffocated civil society and kidnapped Egypt's youth.
 
Not only did the revolution succeed in ousting the head of the old regime, it also succeeded in presenting the image of the "new Egyptian" that has been marginalized for the last three decades.
 
The republic of fear that President Mubarak imposed on Egyptians was founded on isolating social classes from each other, creating mutual fears among politicians, and sowing divisions between Christians and Muslims as well as men and women. Tahrir square challenged the republic of fear that Mubarak used to stifle us. The culture of Tahrir square ended the fear among Egypt’s middle and upper classes of taking to the streets. The rich who chose to live in isolation outside the city came to Tahrir and realized that Egypt’s poor are its most noble citizens. Egypt’s rich and poor were united in their struggle against the regime and its oppression. All of Egypt’s social classes struggled together for change, without a single incident of sexual harassment or verbal insult.
 
Christians--who have long been taught by the regime to fear Muslims and to seek protection with the security services--learned that their fellow Egyptians are better than anyone in Mubarak’s regime. The friendly co-existence of Christians and Muslims in the “Republic of Tahrir” was much more sincere than all the fake claims of national unity we've seen in the past.
 
The revolution proved that Egypt, which the Mubarak regime had limited to the ruling National Democratic Party and the Muslim Brotherhood, is bigger that both parties. The revolution also convinced the outside world that the Brotherhood can be incorporated into a democratic political system, and that oppression is the only real threat to democracy in Egypt.
 
Mubarak’s republic made people scared of everything. The revolution has offered Egyptians a chance to establish a second republic, inspired by the experience of Tahrir square. Congratulations to Egypt’s revolution and God have mercy on its martyrs.