Egypt’s Revolutionary Spirit across Time

Belal Fadl and Maissaa Almustafa

All roads led into the mire in my time.

My tongue betrayed me to the butchers.

There was little I could do. But those in power Sat safer without me: that was my hope.

So passed my time

Which had been given to me on earth Our forces were slight. Our goal Lay far in the distance It was clearly visible, though I myself Was unlikely to reach it.

So passed my time

Which had been given to me on earth. . . .

—Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956)

Throughout modern Egyptian history, the goals of justice, freedom, and dignity have inspired people to break out into the streets, protesting against those in power and demanding recognition of their own rights. The path to revolution is not always an easy one. However, with the goal of a better future in mind, many people have been able to continue their fight against repressive regimes. This chapter is an attempt to revive our memories of historical circumstances that have taken place in several societies that have witnessed political revolutions. It then compares the development of these revolutions to the revolution of January 25, 2011, in Egypt. An examination of the political, economic, and social crises in Egyptian history will also demonstrate that the Egyptian population currently faces similar challenges, and that the root causes of these crises remain the same.

 
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