Is what you see real, fake or nonexistent?
The situation in Egypt reminds me very often now of a fairytale that had fascinated me as a child, “The emperor’s new clothes,” in which two tailors convince the emperor his new clothes are fabulous even though every time they try the “new gown” on he is stark naked. There were no real clothes, but he was so convinced by their flattery that when the day came to parade in public, the emperor put on his “new gown” and proudly walked the streets to the awe of all his citizens. No one dared to open his mouth and speak the truth the eyes could see. Only a small child, who was yet uncorrupted by
the way of the adults, squealed it out. The emperor was naked.
In Egypt what you see on the streets and what the cameras portray in the media is systematically denied or at least systemically dismissed as counter-revolutionary. It becomes rather farcical at times when images of burning tires blocking roads, shattered hotel facades, days and weeks of clashes between angry mobs and police forces, extensive tear gas completely covering hot spots around the country and the daily counts of injured and dead go by with barely a response from those in charge.
When and if, the lame excuse of that one unidentified “third” party becomes the illusive culprit. In all case scenarios the one common response is certainly not the Brotherhood or their party. The recurrent scene is only Egypt’s surface reality to keep everyone confused and insecure.
These are the smoke screens that cover up the realities of a leadership void, a weak government, a suffering economy and diminishing social capital. Nothing has changed much in the lack of transparency, respect or trust between Egyptians and their rulers. The usual rule by fear still prevails.
They forget quickly that the young do not subscribe to the old formulas. They are neither afraid nor insecure, nor are they blind to reality. They will speak out. Attempts to tarnish them, demonize them and frame them as the real culprits for the chaos that prevails only show a growing fear of them. The latest attempt to curb one of the more organized and energized young groups is to consider banning the football fan clubs known as the “Ultras” following their expression of anger and their persistent attempts to demand justice.
Egyptians are no novices when it comes to the denial of those in power. They have endured a game of make believe and false promises so often. They have survived whole decades of fed lies and a cover up of painful social-economic realities on the ground. Most suffering Egyptians have learned to live as ghosts, not to be heard and not to be seen by the ruler and his surrounding tailors.
The tailors were busy making laws and regulations, creating events and celebrations and devising
justifications to blatant lies. One day the young could no longer accept the charade and they had a revolution.
All attempts to silence them, scare them or even crush them have only made them more determined. The young continue to pay the price for change willingly. For every young Egyptian who dies, hundreds replace him. Theirs is a revolution of the values of freedom, dignity and social justice. It is futile to fight Egypt’s present; it is futile to try to silence Egypt’s future, for they are able to see through the “emperor’s clothes” and speak the truth.