Coca-Cola Commercial – Lyrics: We have sworn to erase the impossible/ It should be
hope, or no other alternative/ No matter how long they say the night is/ There
is no sleep, when it is time for seriousness/ Make tomorrow better, with your
hands, you will defy the clouds/ Make tomorrow better, the sun rises
everyday. Source: YouTube
Selected links to recent articles and excerpts below:
As Egypt’s post-revolutionary politics oscillate between protest and politics, the uneven progress of change has led to widespread frustration and suspicion
that the remnants of the old regime are sabotaging efforts at fundamental change. While key individuals from the former regime have been removed from
their positions of authority with some facing the prospect of prosecution, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), the country’s ultimate ruling
authority until elections are held, has adopted a haphazard and opaque stance toward transition, including its approach to dealing with the former regime. (from Special Report: Why the Past is Crucial To Egypt’s Future, by Michael Wahid Hanna).
The role of the Internet is an aspect of the Egyptian revolution that Egyptians and outsiders alike have remarked on excessively. Yet I am determined not to fall into the trap of calling this a digital revolution. Too much blood was spilled in Tahrir; too much happened during those six days when the Internet was turned off by the government (January 27—February 2) for one to accept the account that pits the technologies of globalization against the “medieval” tactics of the Mubarak regime. BBC Arabic is pithy: “The revolution of laptops versus camels,” a phrase repeated by an Egyptian magazine in an article titled “The ‘LOL’ Revolution.” (The camel reference is to February 2—quickly dubbed “Black Wednesday”—when forces loyal to President Mubarak rode horses and camels into a crowded Tahrir Square, wielding whips and sticks, and beat demonstrators brutally.)
Putting the Internet in this privileged position, it seems to me, effaces or downplays the bravery and the spontaneous organization of Egyptian demonstrators by implicitly giving credit to the West for inventing technologies that created the wave of demonstrations in early 2011, from Casablanca to Damascus. In the several months before the Tahrir uprisings, mainstream American publications such as Foreign Affairs, the New Yorker, and the New York Times Magazine had variously discussed and debated the role of social networking media in effecting change, and reported on efforts within the US State Department to try to harness the power of these media. The winter and spring revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa seemed to confirm this technocentric understanding.
For 18 days, Tahrir Square served as an inspiring image of people committed, against all odds, to changing their country. But after a while, the crowds in
the square became emblematic of a difficult dilemma facing post-Mubarak Egypt’s new political actors. While Tahrir remained a focus for activists, the rest of Egypt—the masses whose votes the revolutionaries would someday need—was being ignored. At the same time, the revolutionaries feared that, if they stopped the demonstrations altogether, they would lose whatever leverage they still had against the counterrevolutionary force of the military government.
As USAID and its American NGO partners proceed with their democracy and governance programming in the run-up to the first legitimate elections in most Egyptians’ lifetimes, they must do so with an abundance of caution and sensitivity to people’s suspicions. Stephen McInerney, the executive director of the Project on Middle East Democracy, realizes that. “Training and support made available to all groups can avoid them being seen as trying to engineer elections,” McInerney says. Support must be provided to “the system,” rather than any individual actors.
Egyptian companies and multi-nationals are now using images of and references to the youth-led uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in advertisements to sell internet service, mobile phones, soft drinks, tourism and more. The marketing has sparked something of a backlash among young Egyptians and has contributed to a rise in politicized street art and graffiti. Some street artists hope to reclaim the message in the streets by breaking the taboo of criticizing Egypt’s military rulers.
Mobinil Commercial – From the song “Egypt is my mother,” by Afaf Rady
Lyrics: Egypt is my mother, its Nile is my blood/ Its sun is in my tanning, its
semblance is in my features/ Even my color is wheaten, the color of your
goodness/ Egypt, Egypt. Source: YouTube