A message to the revolutionaries of Egypt: you can no longer recognise your pre-2011 self.
To those who cast doubt on the success of the Egyptian revolution. Step back, look around you, and reflect for a moment. As a result of the revolution, your social relations have been dramatically reconfigured.
You have made new friends of strangers. You speak a new political language never known before. Your relationship to the state and public has been redefined. You have been involved in an unprecedented archival culture that narrates everything that has been happening.
For every document, photograph and video will aid the next generation in resuming where you have finished off. For you cannot move forward without defining your relationship to the past.
Every document, photograph and video will aid the next generation in resuming where you have finished off.
Your understanding of history has been permanently altered. The 2011 revolution ruptured the political and social timeline giving you a new source of historical legitimacy.
It gave you a critical juncture that emits a wave of vivid memories of sacrifices, victories, and betrayals of your hopes. The 2011 revolution gave you a new validity to hold onto, and to rival any previous validity.
No longer do you live in vain waiting for a future democratic “paradise”, you now realise that such a paradise needs to be shifted from the future to the present, from a goal to a process, to be instigated in small doses to the best of your human capacity.
The revolution in effect destroyed the previous dominant situation and cannot consolidate the new dominant situation, which can easily be clouded by the smokescreen of arrests and crackdowns.
That is what the revolution achieved. It did not arrive to give you a choice of regimes. It arrived to initiate a new beginning, one that is already on its course.
You, among many, have been given a shared fundamental worldview that will determine the course of events when the climate is ripe in your favour.
In a marvellous transformation, you can no longer recognise your pre-2011 self.
This piece was first published on Amro Ali: Writing on Egypt, Middle East and other peaceful places.