The Rumors of Another Egyptian Revolution Are Greatly Exaggerated
On Wednesday night, thousands of demonstrators descended onto Tahrir Square to demand an end to military rule. It was the twentieth straight night of these protests, and the Muslim Brotherhood marked the occasion by calling on its hundreds of thousands of members nationwide to join an open-ended Tahrir Square sit-in and “complete the revolution.”
But from my apartment in Mohandessin, a neighborhood just three miles northwest of downtown Cairo, I couldn’t hear a thing. The streets were calm, the cafes were open, and there was nothing in sight that resembled a revolution. It is a stark contrast from a year-and-a-half ago, when Mohandessin was one of the epicenters of Egypt’s January 2011 uprising and its aftermath. Indeed, by the fifth day of the anti-Mubarak revolt, the neighborhood’s residents organized civil defense units to guard against armed thugs, who left few storefronts, and virtually no ATMs, untouched.
Last year, political unrest and fervor had spread throughout the country. That’s what happens during a revolution. And it’s precisely not what’s happening in Egypt right now.