Friday, October 24, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

The Egyptian revolution goes on, to where?

I went back to Tahrir Square today to see the continuing protests against the fact that the post-Mubarak government is still headed by and includes key members of the old Mubarak regime. Today the demo was still peaceful, but you can feel the protesters' frustration mounting toward the military council now ruling the country.

The Egyptian revolution goes on, to where?

I went back to Tahrir Square today to see the continuing protests against the fact that the post-Mubarak government is still headed by and includes key members of the old Mubarak regime. Today the demo was still peaceful, but you can feel the protesters’ frustration mounting toward the military council now ruling the country.

I had a unique vantage point, on the ninth floor of an apartment building overlooking the square. The apartment belongs to Pierre Sioufi, a large bear of a man with wild grey hair; he opened his large and winding flat during those historic eighteen days to the Facebook “kids’ who organized the protests, so they could rest and recover. The lucky journalists who got there could look down from his large balcony on the amazing sight of tens of thousands, or even millions gathered below.

The tens of thousands gathered today were chanting "Mubarak left the palace, but Shafiq still governs Egypt,” referring to Ahmad Shafiq, the former air force commander who is now prime minister. Shafiq was initially disdainful of the demonstrators who first gathered on Jan 25, saying he would send them bonbons and "let them have their Hyde Park.” In reality, the military is the real power now; a new standoff is developing between Egyptians who fear Shafiq (and the military) want to restore the old order and the generals in charge.

Sitting behind his desk and computer, flanked by jammed book shelves and chain-smoking, Sioufi told me, “We have to get rid of the remnants of the old regime. We have to close their opportunities to distribute money and favors, so they will lose support. The old dinosaurs of the regime are still there.”

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Trudy Rubin Inquirer Opinion Columnist
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About this blog

Trudy Rubin’s Worldview column runs on Thursdays and Sundays. In 2009-2011 she has made four lengthy trips to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Over the past seven years, she visited Iraq eleven times, and also wrote from Iran, Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, China, and South Korea.

She is the author of Willful Blindness: the Bush Administration and Iraq, a book of her columns from 2002-2004. In 2001 she was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in commentary and in 2008 she was awarded the Edward Weintal prize for international reporting. In 2010 she won the Arthur Ross award for international commentary from the Academy of American Diplomacy.

Reach Trudy at trubin@phillynews.com.

Trudy Rubin Inquirer Opinion Columnist
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