Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Egypt Goes A Tad Pyriform

Only a month ago it was all going so well.

I am watching wonderful and optimistic scenes on television of brave and cheering Egyptians in Tahrir Square. Eighteen days that shook the world where ordinary Egyptians faced down oppression and now Mubarak has GONE….. scuttled off to Sharm el-Sheikh. The Egyptian people have come so far and are an example for us all! Never give up!!

It marks the arrival onto the stage of history of the Arab masses as an actor rather than the passive and infantilised observers they had been for generations. The stranglehold of dictatorship has been broken from below. The Arab world shall never be the same.

I am writing this Sunday morning, February 6. For 12 days and nights now, millions of Egyptian women and men, Muslims and Christians, people of all ideologies and beliefs–the Egyptian people—have continued to unite under the banner of spontaneous popular revolution.
What particularly chuffed lefties over here was the apparent anti-Mubarak unity between Muslim and Christian, as well as the women protesters on the streets of Cairo.

The first little unpleasantness - the attack on CBS reporter Lara Logan in Tahrir Square on the evening of Mubarak's resignation. Then last Friday a Coptic Christian church was burned down after rioting over "a romantic relationship between a Christian man and a Muslim woman" - and local Muslims held prayers on the burned-out site.

The mob allegedly prevented the local fire brigade from entering the village. The priest of the small parish, and three deacons have been reported missing.

“Some of the Muslim mobs in the area took the land … and put a sign that it’s now a mosque,” Michael Meunier, President of the U.S. Copts Association, told Vatican Radio on March 8.

Christians protested at the attack in Cairo yesterday - and fighting broke out with Muslims in which 11 have died.

Meanwhile, in the centre of Cairo, at Tahrir Square they were celebrating International Women's Day.

More than 200 men charged on the women – forcing some to the ground, dragging others out of the crowd, groping and sexually harassing them as police and military figures stood by and failed to act.

Now one mustn't get too downhearted, early days yet and all that. But although Mubarak is gone and Cairo is off the front (and inside) pages, I don't get the impression that the power structures in Egypt have changed dramatically. The Army and police, secret and not so secret, haven't gone away AFAIK. And most importantly, I don't see anything telling me that the discontents so bravely voiced on the Cairo streets are likely to be satisfied soon. Young Egyptians remain over-educated and under-employed, a situation we're likely to see in the UK soon. I'm not sure that Mubarak's solution - "tight control, and tell them Israel is to blame for everything" will necessarily fly here, although it did well over 30 years for Mubarak.

It all feels a bit April 1917-ish from here. What rough beast or beasts (one is already resident) are yet to slouch their way to the Land of the Pharaohs ?


Anonymous said...

Try reminding the remaining jokers at Harry's Place. After banning the more colourful commentators that place is now an echo chamber.


Anonymous said...

Harrys Place!?

They are just a ridiculous neo-con joke over there.

Biased-BBC is well down that path as well.

Archibald said...

The blog as a format is now past its peak anyway. Most people have been sucked into Facebook and Twitter.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

"...over-educated and under-employed, a situation we're likely to see in the UK soon..."

Over-educated? In the UK?

Is this the same UK I live in, or is there another one somewhere?

Laban said...

Sorry. Over-educated in that they have qualifications which they'll have been told are the key to the good life. Whether the Egyptian qualifications are more meaningful than ours I don't know. Wouldn't surprise me.

Cyrus said...

Over-education doesn't mean they've learnt that much.

My fellow students feel the world owes them a job commensurate to the degree they have. A difficulty when so many have degrees and when so many degrees have been debased.

They've also seen the SWP at the front gates, gotten (lightly) politicised (by staff) and formed opinions of how the world ought to be.

Hence why the little bleeders like to gang up with inner-city youth and wreck Parliament square.

The same thing happened in West Germany and Italy in the Cold War. A shift to mass education, a lack of jobs for them/economic worries, exposure to radical politics, protests and then boom! Big problems.

Anonymous said...

Only useful and productive people get money. Education of course is only tangentially related to this.

Sgt Troy 11th Dragoons said...

ISn't it about time for some really serious victimisation of left-liberals?

They have after all sold us the most hideously deformed and monstrous pup

They are citizens of the world


They can go and live there then, but they can't live in England

Anonymous said...

LT: "Sorry. Over-educated in that they have qualifications which they'll have been told are the key to the good life. Whether the Egyptian qualifications are more meaningful than ours I don't know. Wouldn't surprise me."

Seems everyone but the teachers knows how shit the UK State education system is.

Trofim said...

Egypt adds 1 million new people to its population every nine months. It's going to be hard to find enough jobs to occupy 1.3 million new job seekers every year, irrespective of their qualifications. Still the third world can carry on, intensify, in fact, the most convenient method of disposing of its surplus population - sent em to Europe. Piece of cake.