Why don’t the Egyptians celebrate the anniversary of ex-president Hosni Mubarak stepping down from power on February 11, 2011? Wasn’t it the day they wished for when they took to the streets on January 25, 2011 to bring down the regime and demand bread, freedom and social justice? Hadn’t we dreamed of that day to bring down Mubarak’s succession scheme for which the constitution was amended? Did they perhaps feel disappointment after Mubarak stepped down? Has the Muslim Brotherhood hijacking the revolution spoiled that dream? Are we now approaching a return to the Mubarak era?!
Why doesn’t Mubarak celebrate the anniversary of his ouster? Does he not wish to hear about it? Do his sons celebrate that they became freer with less responsibilities? Is it impoliteness to gift him a bouquet of flowers on this occasion? Is it a painful occasion? Moreover, why do the people not celebrate this occasion officially? Why does the political regime not celebrate the anniversary of Mubarak’s fall from power? Wasn’t it the outcome of the January 25 Revolution?!
Was Mubarak stepping down a bad omen for Egypt, or have we moved now to a different era both politically and economically and enjoyed greater freedoms in the process? Do we fail to celebrate because the media is mostly owned by Mubarak-era men, or is it because the 2011 revolution itself failed to provided a project for renaissance in the country? Do we not celebrate Mubarak’s ouster in light of the bloodshed and acts of terrorism that have sparked hatred against the revolution and its defenders? Do the people still regret the Mubarak era?
The most important question is: have we changed for the better or not? The answer is that we have become a proven military power, with the great Egyptian army recently ranked ninth internationally in terms of strength, coming before Iran, Turkey, Israel, Germany, and others. We have our own arms, our independence, and more foreign currency reserves in the Central Bank of Egypt. Residents of the slums now live in better conditions, and millions of them have moved to live in more formal housing.
Furthermore, the number of roads and bridges that have been constructed surpass those constructed in half a century, and the quality of this infrastructure has also improved. Politically and economically, Egypt’s standing is better now. Then why we don’t celebrate this qualitative leap? Do we avoid talk of the revolution and Mubarak’s ouster and declare our hate for the revolution and the revolutionaries? How do you see Mubarak’s fall today, after nine years? Do you see it as the best day in Egypt’s history, or the worst?
Do we still remember the face of General Omar Soliman as he announced Mubarak’s statement on stepping down after thirty years in power? Was Soliman himself aware at the time of our destiny or how the situation would come to evolve in Egypt? Were we hit by the confusion on the face of the spy chief during the announcement, especially when he said: only Allah blesses and helps? Shall we rejoice getting rid of the Muslim Brotherhood and the succession scheme and move to the future, with national projects being launched at unprecedented rates?!
Finally, is the day of Mubarak’s ouster a day of pride for Egyptians, or is it a day that the people should shy away from? In other words, should we celebrate February 11 officially or reject it?
Image: Protesters perform evening prayers in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on February 8, 2011