The Revolution is still in Tahrir!

  • January 25, 2012

People & Protest

What began on January 25, 2011, and was said to have ended 18 days later, was in truth only just the beginning. Egypt will have its freedom.

Today is the one year anniversary since the people of Egypt took back their streets to reclaim power from a regime that had, for so long, been the cause of brutal oppression. The story of this anniversary is one of endings and beginnings, of courage, selflessness and sacrifice. 18 days into the revolution, the story was transformed into one of hope, empowerment, and inspiration.

There is no need to dwell on the facts of the revolution, as the stories have been told over and over again. There is not a single person who does not know of the movement that it sparked, nor of the legendary images that have been spread around the world. Instead, I will try to explain what this day means now — one year after the outbreak of the revolution.

June 6th, 2011 marked the one year anniversary of the death of a prominent activist-blogger named Khaled Said. His death inspired the Facebook group “We are all Khaled Said” and was one of many underlying motivations behind the Egyptian revolution.

On the one year anniversary protest in front of the Ministry of Interior (the head of police), a woman was detained and tortured after lingering behind the crowd as they left the protest. She later went on the news to explain her experience. She was bagged, taken to an unknown place, beaten, and told something along the lines of: if you think life under Mubarak was bad, life will get a lot worse.

I only explain this one fact to show that — like Time has stated — the Egyptian revolution is far from finished. In 18 days, after hundreds of revolutionary martyrs were gunned down, run over, and beaten to death, the face of the regime resigned. But it was nothing more than a means to appease the masses. A “public beheading” of sorts was offered to the angry Egyptians in order to ensure the stability of the country.

But the true revolutionaries knew that the battle had not been won. February 11th, 2011 was said to be “the end of the revolution” — while, in truth, it was only the beginning. Today, on the one year anniversary, many groups have called on the country to take another stand. This stand — against the Supreme Council of Armed Forces, or the “SCAF” — will be the final one.

If Mubarak was the face of the brutal regime, the SCAF was the brain. The Council has received billions of dollars in military aid since the Camp David Accord in 1978. Since then, it has ruled with an iron fist, killing or arresting (and sending to military court) all those who dared to speak of injustice and abuse. This is the real battle, brothers and sisters, this is where the stand will be bloody.

There is one thing I noticed, though, that no one who hasn’t visited the revolutionary state can truly understand: these people will not stop. They will have a real democracy. They will have freedom. They will take what was never given to them. And they will win.

Tear-gas (with fatal chemicals) and live ammunition will be fired. Blood will pour. Screams will echo. Mothers will cry for their fallen sons and daughters. But victory, freedom, and democracy will be fought for and won. The revolutionaries have gone too far to ever go back. They see the horizon of justice, this is the final push towards it — and it will be the hardest yet.

In solidarity with the finalization of the Egyptian Revolution.

Nadim Fetaih

Nadim Fetaih is a writer, activist and documentary filmmaker. His first film is A Tale of Two Revolutions.

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