As a human rights defender, Hossam Bahgat has been fighting the Egyptian regime for years. The director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, he was optimistic when Mubarak was toppled nearly a year ago that the hardest battles were nearing their end.
“I was one of those who believed in February when we unseated a dictator who had been in power for 30 years that no challenge was insurmountable,” he says.
He hadn’t yet realized the road to democracy would be even more difficult.
“Obviously, a year later, we are nowhere near where we thought we would be,” he says. “The human rights situation in many ways was is worse than it was under Mubarak. We’re all exhausted and frustrated, but we know that this is our historic window, and we know we have no choice but to persevere until we win or this window closes.”