|Protesters in Amsterdam on Saturday
Photo by Caroline Nelissen
ALEXANDRIA, Egypt — It is now two weeks since the Egyptian people’s revolution began, but time has only made the efforts by youth stronger than they were earlier.This is not what the government expected in its attempt to use time as a way to tire protesters into giving up and going home.
This revolution gave birth to a new attitude in the Egyptian people.
They are no longer tricked into believing the government’s faulty promises and they are not going to settle for the ultimate minimum the government wants to provide.
The demands of the people are clear and nothing will make those dedicated to make them a reality back down.
Over the past few days, the newly appointed vice president, Omar Sulieman, has had talks with the opposition, including the Muslim Brotherhood.
But we all know what these talks really are – mere attempts to convey to the public and to the media that the government has taken steps to reform and that demands have been met.
So-called respected Egyptian figures appear on late night talk shows to express their astonishment that demonstrations continue to take place.
They find every possible way to explain why the demands cannot be met by law and by constitution, believing they can easily discourage youth.
So far the tangible changes from the 25th of January have been Mubarak reshuffling the government and appointing a vice president, merely replacing faces and names from other figures from the same old regime.
In addition, Jamal Mubarak, policy head of the pro-Mubarak National Democratic Party, and NDP Secretary General Safwat ElSherif have been replaced by Hosam Badrawy.
Creating the illusion of reform, the Shora Council also promised to look into two articles of the constitution related to presidential elections.
But the chant by protesters for the last 14 days is clear: “The people want the removal of the regime.”
Yet still Mubarak fails to comprehend it.
The removal of the regime means the resignation of the president.
It means ending the state of emergency.
It means the dissolution of the forged People’s Assembly and Shora Council.
It means the formation of a national transitional government.
It means the amendment if not the entire reconstruction of the constitution to allow for fair and transparent presidential elections.
It means the immediate prosecution of those responsible of the deaths of revolutionaries, including Mubarak and former Interior minister Habib El Adly whose hands are stained with the pure blood of 300 martyrs.
It means the immediate prosecution of the corrupt and those who the robbed the country of its wealth.
Some of the people camped at Tahrir Square slept under tanks to ensure that they would not enter the square to empty it.
Today several symbolic funerals were held for the martyrs of Tahrir Square.
Events that initially seemed surreal are now a reality for everyone in Egypt.
And I know that this is only just the beginning.
Youth Journalism International’s annual journalism contest is underway. See www.YouthJournalism.org for details.