In my personal opinion, overthrowing Mubarak (after 30 relentless years of his oppressive reign) was only the superficial gain of the revolution. The real gain was that this revolution has managed to evoke the Egyptians’ realization of their real power & their rightful authority over the regime. For this wasn’t an ideologically motivated uprising, but rather a stand for justice & against oppression. A fight between a people who have realized that they are the true source for any regime’s legitimacy & a regime that thought they can replace the real source of legitimacy with the pathetic forgery practices. The afore mentioned popular realization (sparked by the uprising & fed by the ex-regime’s stubborn state of denial) has produced a collective awareness, that was surprisingly able to think, decide, & respond wisely to the ex-regimes every effort to weasel its way out of complying to their demands.
I believe that such a level of awareness is irreversible, which is why I’m not too worried, neither about the details nor about the attempts to launch an anti-revolution (which, I believe, will be defeated soon) as the critical mass of people still holds enough will and awareness to move in the right direction.
We might not, all, see eye to eye when it comes to the best ways to get to where we need to be as a nation. But our differences, not disputes, provide a variety of options & possibilities, which is a healthy sign of maturity. It’s no longer a case of pro vs. against the corrupt regime, but rather a state of diverse (& non-contradicting) approaches towards achieving the same goals.
A lot of people are worried about the upcoming parliamentary elections, & whether or not we as a society are ready to properly participate in the elective process. Their main concern is that the newly elected parliament wouldn’t represent the revolution’s identity & demands. And that is a reasonable concern, given the generally low level of political awareness among the public majority.
I’m more concerned with the aspect of capturing the essence of the revolution, & restructuring the Egyptian society around this new-found collective awareness & mentality, or, in the Egyptian Strategic Thinker Dr. El Mostafa Higazy's words, "to institutionalize the revolution". To use this revolutionary essence as the foundation for a strong & effective public front, that has the power to stand up to the parliament &/or any authoritative figure in this state should they ever think of ignoring the public will.
I find myself compelled to prioritize investing in building a healthy Egyptian Civil Society, over building an elite political lobby. Because what happened in Egypt is a new & unusual phenomenon, hence it’s inapplicable to deal with it in the old, usual manner. For those who hit the streets weren’t the usual crowd of political activists & members of opposition parties (those merely comprised a few thousands among the crowds). The millions in the streets were majorly politically neutral Egyptian citizens. And their demands went deeper than politics; they went out to reclaim their humanity, through “Freedom”, “Justice”, & “Dignity”. And when they realized that the regime stood between them & these birthrights, they demanded that this regime be overthrown.
The more the regime tried to procrastinate the more determined people became to overthrow it, as their collective awareness grew more stable & powerful. All resulting in an unprecedented manifestation of the Egyptian people in Tahrir square, & all the corresponding Tahrir squares all over the country; opening the door for a transformation beyond political reform, & all the way through to radical social restructuring.
And in order to achieve that level of social reform, we need to establish the society on a foundation of the public realization of the inevitability of the national ownership within every citizen. As well as understanding the exclusivity of such ownership to those who renounce slavery & oppression, & strive to claim their identity as free, Egyptian citizens first & for most, whatever else their personal ideologies might be. And once this becomes a core belief among individuals in this country, they’re bound to realize that it’s their duty to dream for the nation, & to work towards turning those dreams into reality.
Written By: Bassem Zakaria Al-Samragy
Translated By: Lamiaa Serag El Din