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Analysis of the Revolution: Art, Culture, Media and Intellectuals (guest Blogger)

Posted on the 16 March 2011 by Warigia @WarigiaBowman
The Revolution of the People
By Sara Sami
Although not all people agree, the fact remains that there were several tipping points that paved the way for the Egyptian uprising that started on the 25th of January, 2011. Starting from activist organizations the like of “6th of April” & “Kefaya”, and ending with the Tunisian revolution. It did not start as a revolution; rather, it started as demonstrations against the corrupt political system. However, after the extreme force that was used against protestors, the “Friday of Rage” was the true start of the uprising. The revolution took place all over the major Egyptian cities, including Cairo, Alexandria, Mansura, Tanta,, Aswan, Assiut , Mahala el Kobra, Al Menya and Suez [1].
Tipping points which touched off the revolution included the following:
• Escalating prices
• Unemployment
• Labor unrest
• Writers
• Movies
• Activists
• Dr. Mohamed ELBaradei
• Tunisian revolution
Egyptian economic unrest started in the late 1990’s after the flotation of the Egyptian Pound and the government’s privatization program started to take effect. It was said that these actions were taken for improvement of our economy, with the ultimate goal of upgrading the status of Egyptians living under poverty line. However by 2006, the UNDP human development index ranked Egypt as 111th out of 177 countries, with an estimate of 23% of population living below the poverty line [2]. Although the Egyptian economy showed development in terms of GDP growth, it was not directed as it should have been, rather, the group of business men controlling the economy was getting richer, while the poor were getting poorer.
With the rising prices coupled with unemployment rates, Egyptian labor unrest started to be clearly seen in 2007. In addition to the increasing population, Egyptians started to divert their attention to the corrupt political system [3] enforcing its powers using the notion of a Police State.
As per the direction of the former president Mubarak, the media stared to get bolder in addressing the corruption in all of its forms. Movies such as “Heya Fawda” started to shed light on the corrupt Egyptian police system which used dreadful conducts to terrify people in order to preserve order and to pursue its own agenda of domination. Mr. Khaled Youseff the famous movie director continued his work by providing us with a pure example of how the overall corrupt system tremendously affected the Egyptian society habits through his movie “Heen Maysara.” Along with the cinema industry, writers such as Ibrahim Eissa, Wael El Ibrashy and Hamdy Kandil started to batter the worsening conditions of Egypt. Talking not only about economic conditions, they stared to talking about all sorts of fraud staring from the business men domination over the economy, ending to the fraudulent elections. Moreover, Ibrahim Eissa started to talk about the president’s corruption, comparing him with pharos domination over their people.
Dr. Mohamed ELBaradei was one of the first Egyptians calling for a total regime change. Moreover, political activists started to capitalize on ElBaradei’s demands and talking about human rights, and required constitutional amendments, the end of Emergency Law, freedom of speech and justice. They used a new way of communication that was not supervised yet by the regime, which is the Internet.
As an example, Asmaa Mahfouz, a 25 year old Egyptian girl who had the courage to publicly ask Egyptians to join the protest of the 25th of Jan [4]. Asmaa is a leader who practiced Adaptive Leadership [5]; she challenged all Egyptians by publicly announcing that they should start taking action as those who went on revolutions in Tunisia or those who burnt themselves in Egypt yearning for people to express their disagreement against the current situation in the country. She knew how to stimulate the Egyptians by articulating the fact that not joining the protests shows that they will be responsible for all those who will go on the protests. She articulated the fact that each one of the Egyptians can make a difference, she was articulated each of the accuses that has always been made by the Egyptians as not to join in any protests such as there is no hope and that those girls who go on demonstration bluntly accusing all those who are not revolting against the regime are accepting to live as animals; she showed her disappointment that no one went on revolution will not join the protests of the 25th of Jan. are not doing their duty toward the country and that discussing the life all Egyptians are accepting without taking action and preferring to remain silent.
The Egyptian uprising was a peaceful revolution lead by the Egyptian youth, who believed in the change for better future. I believe that the Egyptian revolution should be taught to generations to come because it is fantastic how most of the Egyptians united against the regime in such a peaceful way, without having a single leader.
[5] Heifetz,Ron, and Martin Linsky, and Alexander Grashow (2009). The Practice of Adaptive leadership.

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