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"Tahrir," My Revolution

[Protesters gather in Tahrir Square on 29 July 2011. Photo by Hossam el-Hamalawy] [Protesters gather in Tahrir Square on 29 July 2011. Photo by Hossam el-Hamalawy]

Two years ago, Egyptians took to the streets to demand “bread, freedom, and social justice.” The first demonstrations, which took place on 25 January 2011, rapidly turned into massive protests against Hosni Mubarak and an eighteen-day uprising that led to the Egyptian dictator’s resignation on 11 February.

Two years after, what is left of the January 25 Revolution?

This series of eight videos made by SAMAR MEDIA (click here to find out more) reflects on the events that have been shaking up Egypt since January 2011. Egyptians from diverse backgrounds and with different political orientations give their recollection of “their” revolution and how it impacted Egypt as a whole and also each one of them individually.

They discuss their understanding of the achievements and shortcomings of the “revolution,” and share their struggles, suffering, as well as their hopes and aspirations for their country.

The video featured below shows the first of eight episodes of a series titled “'Tahrir,' My Revolution.” Committed to activism against the Mubarak regime and its abuses well before the eighteen-day uprising, Yasser, a twenty-nine year old member of the April 6 Movement, recounts the protest he led with fifty people on 25 January 2011.

This native of Giza and father of two, Yasser goes over the circumstances that led to the election of Mohamed Morsi as the President of Egypt. He explains how the revolution was taken over by the Muslim Brotherhood and regrets what he views as their attempt at establishing an Islamic State.

[Below the video is a description of the seven remaining episodes, along with their respective airing dates.]


Episode 2- SAMEH (28 January)

Abdin, Cairo
Age: Forty-five

A shopkeeper and a coach for a local football team, Sameh is one of the few residents in his neighborhood who supported the 2011 uprising.

A member of Hosni Mubarak's National Democratic Party until 2000, he later became close to the Muslim Brotherhood. He is satisfied with the results of the presidential elections and some important gains since the revolution. However, he regrets the chaos and the impatience of the Egyptians and the erring ways of some of the youth who, according to him, were ruined by Mubarak’s regime.

Episode 3- RANA (30 January)

A Former employee of a Tourist Agency
October 6 City, Giza
Age: Twenty-four

Rana lost her job as an employee in a Tourist Agency in the aftermath of the eighteen-day uprising, but she does not regret for one moment the time she spent in Tahrir and the feeling of unity that prevailed among all Egyptians there. Since then, she has been fighting against the attempts of disruptive division by those in power, and the manipulation of religion by the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists who, she claims, do not hesitate to call their political rivals "infidels" in order to discredit them.

Episode 4- MARIAM (1 February)

Research Assistant in an NGO
Heliopolis, Cairo
Age: Twenty-two

At twenty-two, Mariam is a feminist and passionate advocate of human rights. She explains how the revolution broke her fear barrier and made her realize that millions of Egyptians have the same aspirations as she does. During the protests, she says, differences disappear and man and women are equal before the revolution.

Episode 5-AMR (4 February)

Computer engineer
Heliopolis, Cairo
Age: Thirty-one

Born in a politically oriented family (his father was a Gamal Abdel Nasser sympathizer and an Arab nationalist), Amr describes himself as very religious. He was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. He left them however in 2009 when he realized the group’s reluctance to confront the Hosni Mubarak regime, and its incapacity to devise a new program for change in Egypt. He lost faith in the old guard of the Muslim Brotherhood. He says that his experience in Tahrir continues to transform him daily and he now counts on the Egyptian Youth to redress the country.

Episode 6- NESSMA (6 February)

Student at a Graphic Design school
El Hawamdya, Cairo
Age: Nineteen

A great admirer for many years of the very popular Egyptian TV preacher, Amr Khalid, the young Nessma juggles her studies of Graphic Design and her activities in the heart of the community. In spite of the disruptions and the wandering caused by the Arab uprisings and the Egyptian revolution, she perceives these events as a blessing that will someday lead to a positive outcome. In spite of her young age, she has some clear ideas on the place of religion in her life and the role of women in family and society.

Episode 7- NIHAL (8 February)

Co- founder of Bassma Movement
Dokki, Giza
Age: Twenty-six

Inspired by her family heritage and her faith, Nihal has been socially active in her community since she was a teenager. She explains how the revolution impacted her way of life and her way of thinking. She has since founded a movement made up of volunteers called "Bassma" and that works against sexual harassment in Cairo. She denounces the attitude of the new government led by the Muslim Brotherhood. She adds that the new ruling Party has an obvious problem: "Women."

Episode 8- Shahira (11 February)

Maadi, Cairo
Age: Fifty-three

A former anchor of the English-speaking program of the Egyptian State television (Nile TV), Shahira resigned during the eighteen-day uprising in protest against the Government censorship and joined the revolutionaries. Now, two years after these events, she takes us on a general tour of the situation in Egypt. In spite of the frustrations and the suffering of the moment, she notes the gains that were made by the revolution: the taste of freedom, the elections, and the revolution in the media. 

Jadaliyya Features

Egypt Map and Stats

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Population(July 2016 est.): 94,666,993
GDP($US trillions, 2016 est.)$1.105 
Unemployment: 13.1% (2016 est.); Youth Unemployment (ages 15-24): 34.3% (2013 est.)
Internet Users (/million, 2015)31.767 (35.9%)
Exchange Rate(2016 est.)$342.8 billion 
GDP Growth Rate(2016 est.)2.51% 
Military Expenditures(2015)1.73% of GDP 
Health Expenditures (/GDP, 2014)5.6% 
Population Growth Rate (2016 est.):  2.51%
Age Structure (2016 est.)0-14 years: 33.21%; 15-24 years: 19.24%; 25-54 years: 37.47%; 55-64 years: 5.91%; 65 years and over: 4.17% 
Literacy (2016 est.): 73.8%