Mubarak's Death Commemorates January 25th Revolution
By: Tasnim Elnasharty/Arab America Contributing Writer
The nation has a mixed feeling regarding the death of Mubarak, as they remembered a political figure who was in their life for over 30 years, while at the same time they remember the struggles of their revolution.
Feb 25 – Death of Mubarak
Former Egyptian leader, Hosni Mubarak, passed away last week in Cairo at the age of 91. Mubarak came to power in October of 1981, following the assassination of President Anwar Sadat. He ruled the North African nation for nearly 30 years until his ousting in the 2011 Arab Spring.
The autocratic leader’s time in office was plagued by corruption and political repression. He spent six years in prison, until 2017, on various charges after his removal from power. After being released from prison, Mubarak spent the final years of his life in Cairo’s Heliopolis district but had recently been hospitalized for several weeks, following an operation to remove a stomach tumor.
Egypt held a military funeral for Mubarak and the government declared that there would be three days of public mourning (The National Interest Foundation).
The Genesis of the Force that Overthrew Mubarak
The protests were initiated by a small core of secular, liberal youth activists, organizing on the Internet who only a few months earlier, struggled to gather more than 100 demonstrators at a time. But their work through Facebook and other social network sites over the past few years built greater awareness and bitterness among Egyptians over issues like police abuse and corruption.
In the wake of the January 25th revolution, U.S. officials and many observers assumed that the Egyptian people expected the democratic experience to address what matters most to them. But after the roller-coaster of the past years, the term “democracy” has shifting meanings in the minds of Egypt’s politicians and the public.
The ballot box did not bring “living, freedom and social justice” from the demands at Tahrir Square. Instead, it brought constant conflict, uncertainty, and no relief from increasingly dire security and economic problems. “Like two ships passing in the night, western leaders continue to call for democratic transition in Egypt. Egyptians, on the other hand, increasingly wonder whether democracy can really get them what they want” (Kent Davis Packard).
Flashback To Tahrir Square 2011
The people grew tired of the ruling government’s abuse and corruption, and they demanded change. The moment we heard about Mubarak’s death, we remember the people who sacrificed their lives during the Egyptian revolution. During the demonstrations, the Egyptian security forces killed at least 840 protestors and injured numerous others according to an Amnesty report. The fatalities included deaths by snipers at the hands of Egyptian police.
“I expect a bright future. I trust in 80 million Egyptians” said Wael Gonam, who was arrested immediately after the protests began and held for 12 days, as told by The Associated Press. The revolution engaged a very broad range of Egyptians from different social backgrounds, gender, ages, and religions. Moreover, the 2011 revolution in Tahrir Square was significant because it has always historically been a place of revolution.
Overall, Mubarak’s death signals the end of an era in Egypt. He leaves behind a complicated legacy in which some Egyptians praise the stability that he provided for nearly three decades. However, many have rebuked his high levels of corruption and repression that plagued his time as the country’s leader.
Check out our Blog here!