Late-ish last night bloody clashes between protesters and policemen began once again in Tahrir square, the focal point of the Revolution of Jan. 25 and also a place I pass through daily on my way to class. From what little I understand (and it is very little), some families were protesting and/or sitting outside some government building in rememberance of sons or daughters that had perished in the revolution. I think the police tried to dispel them by force and then the situation escalated from there.
All through the night the clashes continued, and over 1000 people were injured according to the most recent numbers I’ve seen, most of them from tear gas. Here’s an article about what happened. And here are pictures (not mine). Much of the action took place on the street that directly borders AUC and in some of the pictures you can see the building I usually attend classes in. Those classes were cancelled today of course due to the unrest and we’re still waiting to hear whether or not we have class tomorrow. Part of me hopes that we don’t since I’m not as prepared as I could be even though we had a snow day: there was a lot of facebooking, Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement watching, Moroccan food cooking, and Mohandiseen exploring to do today in addition to the homework I didn’t quite finish yesterday.
But the other part of me realizes I’m not fully comprehending the political situation here in Egypt. What else is new? It’s hard to appreciate the impact of the Egyptian Revolution on people who had been living under the Mubarak regime for 30 years and to feel the pain of people who suffered at the hand of the previous regime when I grew up in a society where most people have never been tortured, beaten, kidnapped, or killed for their political beliefs. And now, the slow pace of transition, the lack of clear change between the way the old regime dealt with people and the way the Supreme Council of Armed Forces is dealing with people, and the continuing economic crisis are all causing increasing levels of frustration especially among the original perpetrators of the revolution. Essentially the main causes of the revolution itself have not yet been addressed, and the clashes between the riot police and the demonstrators were just another example of the lack of change.
I’m no political scientist….just a mere college graduate with a penchant for 30 rock, but to me it seems that oftentimes a post-revolutionary community desires an unreasonable pace of change, leading to hastiness and unstable foundations for the future. Where is the balance between transition and meticulousness? How do you rebuild a society that has the same problems as it did 6 months ago or even worse because of the economic situation and security vacuum? Anyone with answers can sent them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How hard could it be to build a just society in Egypt?