The first anniversary of the counter-revolution in Egypt

The first anniversary of the counter-revolution in Egypt
Egyptian youths squabble over the spoils of the revolution.
4 min read
02 Jul, 2014
Graffiti saying "down with military rule" [A.F.P]

Members of the first regiment of the so-called “June 30th revolutionaries” conquering Tahrir Square were all dressed in the dazzling white of the Egyptian police’s summer uniform. We saw the oppressors carried high on their victims’ shoulders, and in front of the assembled masses were the interior ministers responsible for the Port Said and Mohamed Mahmoud massacres.

This was not the only surreal spectacle summarising the story of Egypt’s counter-revolution. There were other sights that would make Samuel Beckett hide in shame, as here the Theatre of the Absurd again played to packed audiences night after night.

Less than a week after the military coup came riding on the wave of the counter-revolution, the first dispute took place between youths who were helping the military in its crimes. The distribution of the spoils of war started early, and publicity trips sending some of these youths to the West were denounced as “military propaganda tourism”. Adly Mansour, the man temporarily made “president” by the military coup, announced that young people had been selected from among both supporters and critics of ousted President Mohamed Morsi as ambassadors for the new era.

This is when rebels supporting the June 30 revolution growled, believing they should be the ones travelling abroad, not the young people chosen. They expressed their anger through the media, and one of the men selected to be part of the programme reacted by threatening to reveal the secrets of their comrades-turned-critics.

“After some of my colleagues and I contacted the interim president to discuss the idea of travelling the world to explain Egypt’s revolution to Western countries, and to clarify that it was a popular extension of the 25 January revolution, we have been flooded with criticism and insults,” he emailed media outlets. “This is to be expected, because some of our colleagues are jealous and competitive, and want to lead the political process. However, what has prompted me to clarify this was [the leaders of the Tamarrod movement, which originally called for the ousting of Morsi] flooding us with false accusations that we were foreign agents and traitors, and that we had been attending secret meetings at the US embassy.”

He continued: “In response to those in Tamarrod attracted by the limelight, I say that everyone knows who Tamarrod’s agents are; they are those who cannot make a decision or attend an event without first consulting their masters at their offices in Nasr City, or at their hotels in al-Khalifa al-Mamoun Street. I will not hesitate to reveal the information I have about those meetings, including the names of the activists and officers who attended them, as well as details of the financial gains received by important members of Tamarrod’s campaign supporting the June 30 revolution.”

       People who live in glass houses should not throw stones

The revolutionary-turned-coup-supporter, who had supported both the January 25 revolution against Mubarak and the June 30 coup against Morsi, ended his warning message by addressing Tamarrod directly: “People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.”

A number of media outlets received this message, including the government-owned Middle East News Agency (MENA). However, young members of political groups on both sides were told by their leaders to stop fighting over who got to travel. As a result, the claimant took back everything he had said, accused the Muslim Brotherhood of hacking his email, and said Brotherhood members were trying to cause a rift between the Tamarrod comrades.

That message was only a sub-section in a much larger piece entitled: “How to cook up a counter-revolution in the kitchen of the ‘deep state’ using revolutionary tools and ingredients.” Subtitled: “How to manipulate those who revolted against you into revolting against their revolution.”

The former revolutionaries, the leading figures of the January 25 revolution, acted like a maiden who had been waiting for her knight in shining armour, only to be shocked when her white prince chose another beauty.

A large section of Egypt’s political elite declared their love for the revolution, but threw themselves into the arms of the coup; they expressed their loyalty to January, but became officially engaged to June.

Strangely enough, their first “anniversary” has passed, and we have not seen any congratulatory tweets or roses on the grave of a revolution buried alive at birth.

This is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.

Opinions expressed in this article remain those of the original author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Al Araby Al Jadeed, its editorial board or staff.