Egypt: The Moment of Change

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What about our own police in the US making it illegal to tape them during an arrest or anytime as far as I can tell. We better fix our own home before we start working on the house of someone else. I'm not sure this is about us working on someone else's house — these are questions and solutions that are often as relevant in the US as elsewhere, and knowing we have a problem here shouldn't mean ignoring elsewhere.

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Leadership - KPMG Egypt

I wish you all safety. A similar interweaving has characterised sympathetic observation of today's north African revolutions from the moment they began.

Of course, it is too early to say what the immediate outcome of Egypt's ongoing mobilisation will be. Anti-government protestors have so far retained the initiative and determined the course and pace of political change. At this point, after a couple of exhausting weeks, Egypt's rulers both at home and abroad clearly hope that belated recourse to a familiar mix of divide-and-rule manoeuvrings — minor concessions, secret negotiations, delayed investigations, selective intimidation — may yet manage to distract some of the participants in a mobilisation thus far remarkable for its discipline, unity and resolve.

Some observers, who are perhaps themselves exhausted, have begun to wonder whether the spectacle of Egypt's protests might now start to fade away.

Torture and abuse

Judging from the response in and around Tahrir Square , this seems very unlikely. In a sense, though, what happens in the immediate future may prove less important than what has already happened in the immediate past. The fate of Egypt's revolution is already independent of the next twist in negotiations with the old dictatorship, or the next fumbled response from its American backers.

For whatever happens next, Egypt's mobilisation will remain a revolution of world-historical significance because its actors have repeatedly demonstrated an extraordinary capacity to defy the bounds of political possibility, and to do this on the basis of their own enthusiasm and commitment. They have arranged mass protests in the absence of any formal organisation, and have sustained them in the face of murderous intimidation. In a single, decisive afternoon they overcame Mubarak's riot police and have since held their ground against his informers and thugs.

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They have resisted all attempts to misrepresent or criminalise their mobilisation. They have expanded their ranks to include millions of people from almost every sector of society. They have invented unprecedented forms of mass association and assembly, in which they can debate far-reaching questions about popular sovereignty, class polarisation and social justice.

The Egyptian revolution was triggered by young voices.

See a Problem?

With three-quarters of the population under the age of 25, the energy that swept through Tahrir Square in January was charged with the bulletproof obstinacy of youth. In July , a second revolution saw Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammad Morsi toppled from his short presidency by a military-backed uprising. Today, Egypt is in a stalemate, hovering in a political impasse as pro-Mubarak, Islamist and military men vie for power ahead of elections; as this magazine goes to press, the interim military-backed government announced its resignation.

But what about the voices of Tahrir Square?

Act One of the Egyptian Revolution

I was born and raised away from my home country. I returned as an adult and, up until January , planned to pursue postgraduate studies elsewhere. But then an day uprising, which threw me at the centre of politics, protests, teargas and deadly confrontations, shattered that plan. The youth dilemma in Egypt goes beyond the stories of those who consider me lucky for having a few valid visas on my passport.

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And accordingly, in the eyes of such regimes, this young power is a threat that should be eliminated. Ahmed Effat and Bassem Abdelrahman are two Cairo locals who represent the thousands of disillusioned youth who came of age in a time of repression and, despite having lived through a revolution, still believe their only hope is to leave Egypt and start a new life somewhere else.


Three years after the revolution that once gave us all hope, I believe as much as they do that we were all wrong to think that something was accomplished. And with Egypt going through unprecedented political, security and economic turmoil, it is clear that much more time and effort will have to be exerted before the revolution fulfils its hopes. In spite of the ongoing disappointment, Egyptians have gained unprecedented freedoms and battered down the barriers of fear they lived behind for decades.

In the summer of , Ahmed Effat — now a year-old web designer at a large IT firm — was preparing for the final year of a commerce degree he never wanted in the first place. By the time he graduated from college, Ahmed had enough work experience to be granted a state-sponsored scholarship to study web design. It was a heartbreaking scene, but it gave us hope that a new era will begin and justice will prevail.

Egypt: The Moment of Change Egypt: The Moment of Change
Egypt: The Moment of Change Egypt: The Moment of Change
Egypt: The Moment of Change Egypt: The Moment of Change
Egypt: The Moment of Change Egypt: The Moment of Change
Egypt: The Moment of Change Egypt: The Moment of Change
Egypt: The Moment of Change Egypt: The Moment of Change

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