An Egypt I no longer recognise

An Egypt I no longer recognise
Comment: Egypt has been turned upside down by Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. But his rule is flawed and will not last forever, says Basheer al-Baker.
2 min read
31 Jan, 2015
Sisi is a symbol of a society that has rotted from the head down [AFP]

Nothing has been the same in Egypt since the coup by Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Politics, culture, the economy, art and the media have all been turned upside down. Egypt no longer resembles itself.

The judiciary system is collapsing, the country is mired in political turmoil, and the economy has gone from bad to worse.

An earth-shattering revolution was staged in 2011, bringing down the violent mummy, Hosni Mubarak, and claiming the lives of hundreds of people.

But it ended last year in a piece of theatre, when Mubarak and all those who plundered Egypt's wealth were cleared of all charges against them, as thousands of revolutionaries languished behind bars.

Apologies are now made for Mubarak, his two sons and the gang who destroyed Egypt, while free voices are muted with jail sentences and bullets.

Freedom, bread, social justice: Read al-Araby's coverage of the January 25 revolution

Egypt is on the brink of becoming a jungle, just like Syria under Assad's rule. Murder is now common on the street. Take for example female activist Shimaa el-Sabagh, shot dead as she marked the anniversary of the January 25 revolution.

Images of her dying in the arms of her husband spread across social media as the murderers stood but metres away, holding their rifles.

People were watching, unaffected by its severity, as if what was unfolding was a film clip.

Egypt has rotted from its head down and its problem lies in its political, military, economic and culture elites.

The cultural and educated elite in Egypt, a group which opposed the dictatorships of Mubarak and Anwar Sadat before him, now supports Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a career soldier who is not even as smart as Mubarak or Sadat.

     Egypt has rotted from its head down and its problem lies in its political, military, economic and culture elites.

Even though the Egyptian people will not restore the momentum of the January revolution any time soon, the current situation will not last long because it is flawed.

Sisi wanted rid of the Islamists' rule but he has offered nothing as an alternative. He will not be accepted by Egypt for merely changing his military uniform three times a day.

A lyric comes to mind from Build Your Palaces, a song by Sheikh Imam. Like the song's protagonist Sisi will never experience peace of mind, even if he "unleashes his dogs to attack the people, or build prisons instead of gardens".

This is an edited translation of the original Arabic.