Tensions high on streets of Cairo

Tensions high on streets of Cairo

Tension is running high on the streets of the Egyptian capital, as the deadline of June 30 steadily approaches. All senses are on alert for any pre-eruptions of dissent. Anticipation is the name of the game. Most Egyptians are beginning to wonder with emotions mixed with hope and fear about what is in store for their beloved Egypt by June 30, the date set for massive public demonstrations against the rule of President Mohamed Morsi. As the hopes of many rise in expectation that the day will bring about the final demise of the Brotherhood, fears of bloody confrontations are also escalating.

One thing seems to be clearer by the day: public opposition to the barely one-year-old rule of Morsi and his brotherhood is posing a serious threat to the already shaky status quo. The dissent, however, is not only toward the president-elect and his crowd of followers; it is also aimed as much at the whole spectrum of the religious right. The many who found themselves cornered into a choice between the old regime and a representative of the Brotherhood for their first president following the Jan. 25 revolt and the ousting of former President Hosni Mubarak, the choice had been simple then; they voted for change. Those who knew better either abstained or fell back on old adages of “better the devil you know.” In reality, most everyone now realizes there had been no choice. A year down the line, it all seems like more of the same.

Regardless of the faulty process, what many Egyptians thought would bring a whole new beginning on the right path turned into a major disappointment. What began as a major revolt against the tyranny of a corrupt and suffocating regime, celebrating its victorious symbolic achievement of bringing down the head of a 30-year-old regime, has so far produced nothing much to match the hopes of the brave who dared to change. The millions who took to the streets, the thousands who lost their lives and the tens of thousands who were humiliated, brutally beaten, maimed and tortured are now certain their revolution has been hijacked by a political process that left them derailed far away from their dreams and hopes for a better life. The tens of millions who watched in apprehension and hidden anticipation are distraught. The unity and drive of the collective that marked the revolution quickly gave way to the division of Egyptians. Egypt fell into an internal political squabble, a mere struggle for power and game of winners and losers.

There is much information that has yet to surface, allowing us to fit all the pieces of the puzzle and create the full picture of what has really happened since January 2011. What is crystal-clear is that regardless of the negotiated political deals and regardless of the gains and losses in an orchestrated political process, the will of the people has not been expressed.

It is that strong will of the collective that ultimately shapes the history of nations. For Egypt, the will of its people, the energy and drive of its youthful population will find a way to get back on track. The challenges facing Egypt can only be viewed as part of the needed learning to shape a strong and better future of the nation. The only unknown is how or when that will come to be.