Staying optimistic is an uphill struggle
The tension between revolutionizing Egypt and just managing change in Egypt is possibly at the heart of this lengthy and draining process. Since the revolution that erupted on Jan. 25 and forced the 30-year ruler to step down did not instantly provide a replacement, Egypt has been run by a military council and its appointed temporary Cabinet to manage the transition.
A process that started with great optimism and trust in a brighter future is faltering. For the majority of Egyptians, their lives have not yet been positively affected. On the contrary, the prolonged sense of insecurity, a lack of a future plan and serious economic concerns are definitely altering the mood of the majority.
The lengthy emotional rollercoaster has made most people dizzy and disillusioned. Is the revolution fading away and gradually allowing things to turn back? Did we really have a revolution? Questions like these, going stretch all the way to believers that Egypt’s old guard, now behind bars, is still in control, are common to come across today. Some are even digging out similar scenarios that took place almost 60 years ago and established Egypt’s military rule until now.
A revolution has certainly taken place. It was inevitable. Egypt had been boiling under the surface for many years. For most Egyptians maintaining the status quo was not possible any longer. The groups of mostly unidentified heroes who planned and led this population to speak out, to demand their dignity and their rights to live have not disappeared into thin air. The next few weeks will be critical to the future of this country and consequently the whole region. In addition to the many attempts to broker a reasonable agreement between the military and the myriad of political groups and parties on the scene, talk of another revolution is being heard. This might amount to yet another form of pressure to push ahead the revolutionary demands that have faltered.
Time seems to be running out for those in charge to move the revolution forward. It is both the promise and the responsibility of the military council and its government, not only to safe guard the revolutionary demands but to also hand power over to a democratically elected civilian parliament and president; a task that was expected to have happened by now. Mixed signals, confusing announcements and untrusting exchanges dominate Egypt’s ailing media. In the next few weeks, Egyptians expect the announcement of the schedule for elections. These first parliamentary elections will be detrimental, not only to Egypt’s future but also in the developments of all the Arab Spring countries and far beyond.
We can only afford to be optimistic, regardless of the waves of disappointment and the many questionable actions or inactions of the transitional decision makers. One thing is for certain, the revolution is there and there is no going back.