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HALA ELKHOLY

HALA ELKHOLY > Egypt: A revolution up against a deeply rooted status quo

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Many wonder whether there has actually been a revolution in Egypt. In a year and a half, Egypt has managed to change the regime or at least the face of the regime. 

President Mohamed Morsi is the new face of Egypt. His first few weeks, like his election, have been turbulent but probably indicative of what is to come. As the dust of the political brawl of the presidential elections momentarily settles, the nature of the ongoing political struggle for control of the country becomes clearer. Much like a football match, the teams create their chances to score as the game continues for control of the ball. The only problem with the scenario of competition is that it basically recreates the status quo, with some cosmetic changes on the surface. The game has not changed yet. 

One cannot forget or ignore the fact that on Jan. 25, 2011, millions of Egyptians young and strong unanimously revolted against the existing status quo, their demands were clear and their courage exemplary. They were the true voice of the agonizing, silent spectators of decades of poverty, corruption and humiliation. The present decided it needed a change from the past. The present was determined to create a better future only by breaking away with the past. The present has been rewarded but is yet to be understood. 

As the “past” continues to even old scores, the present increases its knowledge and understanding of what it is up against. The real struggle lies not between the old and new, but rather between the past and the future, between old and young. For those immersed in their rules, gradual change is already difficult to accept, revolutionary change is even harder to imagine. The present dared imagine a different future. Up against a deeply rooted status quo, with its accumulated frustrations and perceived traditional powers, the struggle to break away will take time and energy. Those who dared to rock the boat – those who dared to change the course – are those who should certainly steer the course. 

The old need time to settle their scores, much of which they can no longer afford. They are all versed in the political game of control and rule and all have great experiences in what could have been. They carry the frustrated dreams and aspirations of their generations. They have the old power to play the old game and they do. 

Meanwhile, the old and proud country gets older and weaker. Regardless of who is at the helm, Egypt will endure. We can only expect that the new winners of the current political game will be aware enough not to make the same mistakes of ignoring the present. If they do, they can, in turn, expect nothing short of a similar response. They have been given the chance to accept the present and usher Egypt into a young and strong new future. The new government that is yet to be appointed will be one indication of their understanding of the revolution.

This is not only a political revolution. 

The young have time and energy and the ability to dream beyond the past. Theirs is a new dream that will not be frustrated. Theirs is a revolution in perspectives – a real revolution in mindset that is in the making. The youthful Egypt might have to once again show its power.

July/14/2012

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