Egypt’s Triumph Over Dictators

Jack Barry

Professor Williams

COR – Arab Spring

VITAMINS Essay

 

Egypt’s Triumph Over Dictators

The Arab spring showcased a wave of uprising across the Arab World in which oppressed populations overthrew totalitarian governments. However, many nations ended up either dissolving into war zones, or erecting new religious governments that just as oppressive as before. This has been a recurring trend among Arab nations, where Arab populations become stuck choosing between dictatorships and militant theocracies. Egypt is one such nation that went from ousting a secularist dictator, to then electing a new president that would barely differ from the previous one. Though, the people of Egypt refused to let the cycle continue and again ousted the president, which showed the world it is possible for the Arab World to push beyond the duality of autocracy towards freedom and democracy.

Egypt, like many other Arab countries prior to the Arab Spring, had been under a long ruling dictator, Hosni Mubarak, who had been in power for 30 years. It was only until the brutal murder of Khaled Said by police officers became public did large scale unrest begin to take form in the guise of a facebook group called “We Are Khaled Said.” After months of protests and increasing government suppression, it all culminated on January 25th where millions of Egyptians took the streets and revolted. The ensuing chaos and unrest eventually led to Hosni Mubarak’s resignation. After the military restored moderate order, the first series of free elections saw Mohamed Morsi be chosen to be the first elected Egyptian president. Mohamed Morsi was a long time member of the Muslim Brotherhood, which sought to increase its influence in Egypt after being long repressed by Mubarak’s regime. The public soon realized Morsi was much like his predecessor, as he began to increase presidential power and use his influence in the new government to establish Islamic laws and policies. Eventually the people of Egypt once again revolted, but this time the military took an active role with a coup d’etat, effectively removing Morsi from office.

Egypt has since then had an unclear future, with the nation being led by the former head of the military General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who has taken office as acting president. Many fear that current progress will falter, and the government shall return to its controlling ways. Though many others disagree, continue to have hope that the past will not repeat itself. In their eyes, the Egyptian people are now aware that they are capable of overcoming any obstacle on the road to prosperity and freedom for their country.

Sources:

  1. “Egypt’s notorious police brutality record”. Omar Ashour. Al Jazeera. 28 March, 2016.
  2. “How Mubarak won the election”. Brian Whitaker. The Guardian. 13 September, 2005.
  3. “Egypt’s Mubarak resigns after 30-year rule”. Amir Ahmed. CNN. 11 February, 2011.
  4. “Muslim Brotherhood to establish ‘Freedom and Justice Party'”. Egypt Independent. 21 February 2011.
  5. “Egypt court orders dissolving of parliament”. Al Jazeera. 14 June, 2012.
  6. “Islamist claims victory in Egypt president vote”. Keath El Deeb, Sarah and Lee. Associated Press. 18 June 2012.
  7. “Mohamed Morsi – Meet the candidates – Presidential elections 2012 – Ahram Online”. Ahram.org.eg. 6 May, 2012.
  8. “Rallies for, against Egypt president’s new powers”. ABC News. Associated Press. 23 November 2012.
  9. “Millions flood Egypt’s streets to demand Morsi quit”. Shaimaa Fayed, Yasmine Saleh. Reuters. 30 June, 2013.
  10. “Egypt’s Morsi says he will not step down”. Al Jazeera. 2 July, 2013.
  11. “Egypt’s Shura Council dissolved: Judicial source”. Bbc.co.uk. 4 July 2013.

5 thoughts on “Egypt’s Triumph Over Dictators

  1. Shirley Reid

    It is sad that political instability creates a world wide perception that a country is no longer safe to visit. So life goes on in Egypt but the economy is trashed because tourism collapses and sanctions are placed on the economy. Why do people in positions of power seem to always get greedy and paranoid and ruin everything?

    Reply
  2. Peter Fonda

    I wrote about the Uighur peoples of Xinjiang Province, China, and their struggle for independence and autonomy, and there are some similarities between Egyptians and the Uighur peoples, there it almost a complete split in the outcome of their respective campaigns. Both groups fought extremely powerful state security apparatuses in their protest efforts, both are predominately Islamic, and both take great pride in their ancient roots, but where the Egyptians successfully overthrew Hosni Mubarak, the Uighur people enjoyed 1 year of independence in the last 100 years, during the 1940s. The world also watched as the Egyptian peoples rose up and protested, but few people even inside China know of the Uighur people and their peace campaigns, any attention to paid to Chinese minority succession is usually spent on Tibet. It’ll be interesting to see if the Uighur peoples ever achieve even some of the reforms or goals achieved by Egyptians.

    Reply
  3. nick kaufmann

    You made a lot of good points about how egypt’s government and people are in a tough times. The government is on the verge of a large economic reform in attempt to fix its problems. It’s going to hurt its people with collecting more taxes and cutting fuel subsidies but is necessary to bailout. I hope to see Egypt’s unemployment rate drop and government control to subside in the next decade.

    Reply
  4. George Foss

    I think that you’ve done a great job outlining the difficulty of gaining political stability after the removal of a corrupt government system. A similar situation occurred after the removal of Muammar Gaddafi during the 2011 Libyan civil war, as the political party that was elected as its replacement (GNC) eventually became oppressive towards the Libyan public and ignited a second civil war. It’s situations like these that make me wonder if foreign political intervention should be a mandatory factor in the process of replacing a corrupt governmental system.

    Reply
  5. Andrew Bettencourt

    John,

    Very interesting points here. My paper focused on the populist up rise happening in both Europe and the United States.

    It is promising to see up rise in Muslim countries with their intolerant religious views. What scares me here is the Muslim Brotherhood, they are proclaimed to be considered a terrorist group and are in the process of disenfranchisement but yet with their legalization as a political party in 2011 through the Arab Spring Movement they still hold a solid public following. As they have been a political staple in Egypt since the 1930s. The Muslim Brotherhood has caused violence and hysteria from Anwar El-Sadat’s assassination in the 80’s and the Egyptian Revolution where they conquered parts of Cairo, forcing citizens out of their homes and following non-compliance with death yet they still claim to condemn violence and violent acts.

    Now I have not taking the Arab spring class, nor do I plan to, but I have close friends that were devastatingly effected by the Revolution and I understand how detrimental the Brotherhood has been to
    Egyptian society and it’s economy. Tourism has been crushed due to global fear of being shot down during travel or kidnapped during time in country, the global stereotype is that Egypt is unwelcoming of foreigners.

    (Side Note) Its not as bad as most say.

    The Arab Spring is just another form of Populism spreading around the world and just like in the United States and Europe, the Muslim minority without a stay are frustrated with their forced silence and suppression through compliance with the Qur’an. There have been both positive and negative outcomes in past as a result to similar political movements as this, but one thing is for certain is that it is necessary. Whether it means disrupting the political suppression placed by imbalanced super delegation on a state by state basis and corporate/political corruption in the United States or the continued combination on Mosque and state throughout the Muslim world. The point is, is that its time for change and if it has to be a tv reality show host/business failure to show us the way then by all means, but at least were headed in the right direction…. (hopefully)

    Reply

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