Egyptians look back 10 years after uprising

Arab Spring exiles look back 10 years after Egypt uprising
In this Jan. 25, 2012 file photo, people wave flags in Tahrir Square to mark the first anniversary of the popular uprising that led to the quick ouster of autocrat President Hosni Mubarak. Source: AP Photo
2 Min Read

Daily US Times: The Egyptians who took to the streets on January 25, 2011, knew what they were doing. The protesters knew risked arrest and worse. But as their numbers swelled in the capital Cairo’s central Tahrir Square, they tasted success.

Police forces backed off and former President Hosni Mubarak agreed to demands to step down within days.

But events did not turn out the way many of the protesters envisioned. A decade later, thousands of Egyptians are estimated to have fled the country to escape the government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi that is considered even more oppressive.

The significant loss of artists, journalists, academics and other intellectuals has, along with a climate of fear, hobbled any political opposition.

Dr. Mohamed Aboelgheit was among those jailed in the southern city of Assiut in 2011 after joining calls for revolt against police brutality and Presaident Mubarak. He spent part of the uprising in a cramped cell.

Released amid the chaos, he reveled in the atmosphere of political freedom in Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous country- working as a journalist, protesting and joining a campaign for a moderate presidential candidate. But it didn’t last.

Interim military rulers followed Mubarak. In 2012, Mohamed Morsi, a member of the country’s most powerful Islamist group, the Muslim Brotherhood, was elected as the first civilian president in Egypt’s history.

But Mr Morsi’s tenure proved divisive and amid massive protests in the country’s streets, the military-led by then-Defense Minister el-Sissi — removed Mr Morsi in 2013, dissolved parliament and eventually banned the Brotherhood as a “terrorist group.”

A crackdown on dissent ensued, and el-Sissi won two terms in elections that human rights groups criticized as undemocratic.

You may read: Biden plans to continue many of Trump’s foreign policies