This is not an opinion piece insomuch as it is an invitation; an invitation to turn your heads, once more, to Tahrir Square.
We are taking to the streets again because, a year after our “revolution,” activists are offered the luxury of choosing between having their eyes plucked out by sniper rifles, being beaten to death, or being stripped naked and knocked unconscious. And for the faint of heart, there is always the option of being thrown in military jail for an undetermined period of time.
All this while our supposedly toppled dictator relishes the comforts of his five-star suite in one of Egypt’s top hospitals and is transported to court daily by top-notch helicopter courtesy of underpaid taxpayers; our democratic government features faces from the old regime; and those dying for freedom are labeled thugs and spies, just like in the good ol’ Mubarak days.
Government has threatened that those protesting on January 25th will be sprayed with purple water cannons so that we may be “marked.” Well, we say what our South African brethren said, back in 1989: “The Purple Shall Rule.”
Mubarak’s trial lawyer, Mr. Farid El Deeb (whose last name translates to wolf in Arabic), yesterday announced that, for all intents and purposes, Mubarak is still the ruling dictator…er, president, because a) He did not sign a formal resignation and b) It is unconstitutional to oust the president or remove him from his position. Right. As if revolutions ever need to be constitutional.
Sadly, Mr. El Deeb is right. Unfortunately, we, the pro-revolution people of Egypt, have long known this fact: the events that transpired between January 25th, 2011 and February 11th, 2011 were indeed not a revolution. They were an uprising of the people, aborted by the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) and Mubarak who, as his lawyer asserted, did not step down, he just stepped aside.
Egypt under SCAF has not been different from Egypt under Mubarak. Actually, it is much worse, because SCAF unleashed islamists, moderates, and radicals alike in order to scare people back into the arms of dictatorship. Mubarak justified his rule because he told Egyptians and the world that he is the only one capable, along with his Minister of Interior and main man Adly, of holding the islamists back. “It is me or chaos,” Mubarak used to say. And SCAF gave us chaos.
But we cannot be fooled anymore. The spirit of resistance that was born in those 18 days in Tahrir did not die. We Egyptians from all paths of life who still believe in freedom and equality will be back on the streets of Egypt and the victorious Liberation Square; maybe it still holds the key to our salvation.
Please keep the following in mind:
Date: January 25th, 2012.
Time: All day. Or as long as it takes.
Place: Tahrir (aka Liberation) Square, Cairo, Egypt
Keep your eyes on us, and your prayers with us.
Follow us on social networks.
Watch our status updates and re-tweet our tales.
And if we die, remember our names and tell our orphaned children of our tale:
The tale of people who refused to bow down after they rose from their slumber. The tale of a people fighting for their right to be equal, and their right to be free.