Egyptian revolution anniversary: 4 activists explain the work left
On the anniversary of the Egyptian uprising that swept former President Hosni Mubarak from power, many of those who protested are not celebrating.
Egyptians are left with the regime Mr. Mubarak built, and unelected military rulers who seem intent on preserving that regime. Instead of the freedom they hoped for, Egyptians have faced human rights abuses just as bad, if not worse, than under the previous government.
Here are four perspectives:
1. Ahmed Salah, activist
Ahmed Salah, like many in Egypt, didn’t think the protests called for Jan. 25, 2011, would be big. But he was wrong. As the protests turned into an uprising, he quit his job at Egypt’s stock exchange and devoted his time to the movement. Even after Mubarak was toppled, he kept coming to Tahrir Square. He helped form a group that has tried to unite the revolutionary forces. But the fight is still far from over, he says.
“I don’t think it’s an anniversary,” he says of Jan. 25. “An anniversary is for something that has ended. We started the revolution, but we’re still completing it.”
When Army tanks rolled into Cairo’s streets after the police force collapsed during the revolution, Salah says he feared the military would become the next dictator. “At the moment people said, 'The people and the Army are one hand,’ I knew the revolution would take a long time,” he said, referring to a popular slogan during the uprising.
Despite this, he’s optimistic that Egyptians – hundreds of whose fellow citizens lost their lives in the revolution – will eventually succeed. “I am a believer," he says. "I believe that God is fair.”