Egypt’s Young Activists Rouse Protests, but Leave Next Steps in Hands of Public
As happened once before, with the demonstrations that toppled the former president, Hosni Mubarak, the results ran far beyond the organizers’ expectations.
The campaign, called “tamarrod,” Arabic for “rebellion,” spawned branches across the country and rallied millions of Egyptians to join the protests this weekend that have infuriated the country’s Islamists, shaken Mr. Morsi’s grip on power and pushed the Egyptian military to threaten to once again take over the country.
The campaign’s success has made its originators — Mahmoud Badr, Mohammed Abdel-Aziz, Hassan Shahin, Mai Wahba and Mohammed Heikal, all 22 to 30 years old — heroes to those who oppose the Muslim Brotherhood. They are cheered at protests, hounded by journalists and sought after as guests on evening talk shows.
Their movement, however, underlines both the greatest strengths and the most glaring weaknesses of the youth groups that have driven many of Egypt’s most fundamental political transformations since the revolution, channeling public sentiment to political change but failing to transform it into sustainable organizations.