The Revolution - 1 Year On

Please register or login

Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

Benefits of registering include

  • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
  • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
  • You can make this box go away

Joining is quick and easy. Log in or Register now!

Crowley

Master Instructor
Scuba Instructor
Messages
1,832
Reaction score
451
Location
Planet Crowley
# of dives
I'm a Fish!
So - unless you've had your head buried in the sand for the last year - you'll probably remember that there was a Revolution in Egypt last year - and today, January 25th, marks the anniversary of the first staged protest.

I'm not really sure what to think at this exact moment - the crowds are gathering in Tahrier Square again, with one news report suggesting that already there are more people in the square than on the biggest days last year. That could be an underestimation - or even wishful thinking - but it's not possible to say from the TV pictures I'm seeing.

As it stands, the former president and his sons are on trial, and the elections have just finished, with the first day of parliament taking place yesterday. The goverment is overwhelmingly occupied by Islamists to the tune of around 70%, with the majority of that being the Freedom and Justice Party (the newly formed political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood) and a significant showing from the Al-Nour party, the political arm of the Salafists, who practice a more conservative version of Islam than their MB colleagues.

It's early afternoon and so far everything is peaceful, albeit chaotic and rather noisy, but it was the same at this time last year - it didn't get bloody until Friday 28th. Friday is the Muslim Holy day and day of rest, and yet on a Wednesday afternoon, which is a day of work, already we have crowds that are reported to be larger than the busiest days in the square last year, which are always Fridays. Some people are calling for the removal of the army, as in, the immediate removal of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), and they are saying that they won't leave Tahrier Square until the SCAF step down. Presidential Elections, at which point the SCAF are supposed to relinquish power, are not due for another 6 months.

The problem is that this is *exactly* how it started last year. At this point in time a lot of people thought it was just shouting in the wake of the overthrow of the Tunisian government. Some colleagues were saying it would come to nothing, and didn't take it all very seriously until the planes stopped flying. For some reason, one or two - of those who are still left, that is - are saying the same thing. Nobody expected the carnage that was to follow and so therefore, to be honest, yes, I am a little bit nervous about the future at the moment.

I am not in fear for my safety, not at all, but I've had a lingering worry that any large gathering in Tahrier Square will result in fighting which will further destabilise the country, it's economy, and therefore leave me without a job. It doesn't matter if Sharm eventually recovers, it won't happen quickly enough for me, and therefore my time here would be at an end. Last year it came down to a case of "one more month or one-way 'plane ticket" and I'm not prepared to go through that again.

So far, protests have remained relatively stable, but the military did show willing to use force against civilians when 40 people were killed and up to 1000 wounded during the run-up to the parliamentary elections. Last time, the Military formed an imposing barrier between the Secret Police of the former regime and the civilian demonstrators - this time, there's nobody in the middle. It's people vs. the Army.

I know some of you are visiting next week, and people were still arriving during the fighting last year, so direct flights to Sharm should be unaffected, but there may be delays in Cairo and I'd certainly recommend that the holiday is insured - as in, you can be re-routed or refunded should there be a cancellation.

I hope I'm worrying unnecessarily, as I have been all year long, and the gathering in Tahrier Square will be a big party to welcome in the new era of democracy, and I will still have a job when I get back from my holiday in February. As always, I'd like to hear other people's thoughts on the subject.... Thanks for reading - kinda had to get that off my chest, actually!

Cheers

C.
 

Solly

Contributor
Scuba Instructor
Messages
514
Reaction score
25
Location
Grenoble - France
# of dives
200 - 499
nice presentation Crowley, indeed no one can predict what is to come ... most of the people agree on several demands and see that the new parliament is the way to fulfill them but still some still think of staying in the square ... we will see how it will go.

One more thing, true Wednesday is a work day but today it was a holiday for celebrating both police day and the revolution day :)
 
OP
Crowley

Crowley

Master Instructor
Scuba Instructor
Messages
1,832
Reaction score
451
Location
Planet Crowley
# of dives
I'm a Fish!
One more thing, true Wednesday is a work day but today it was a holiday for celebrating both police day and the revolution day :)

Thanks for reminding me Solly... I did know that, but since I was working, sort of forgot! :D

Cheers

C.
 

MatD

Registered
Messages
19
Reaction score
3
Location
Essex, England
# of dives
25 - 49
I also hope you are worrying unnecessarily Crowley, as it would be a tragic shame to see Egypt become a no fly zone for the tour operators if things get worse and they stop flights when people choose to take the safe options for thier vacations. For now, several UK operators are still flying and seats are still getting filled.
My fear however, is that I can easily see this as the start of a long process. If the protester and general population don't like their newly elected parliament and president later this year, will they again be standing in Tahrir Square? When does it stop? Surely not everyone will be happy with every decision.

I look forward to chatting to you over a Sakara or two next week and very much hope this wont be our last visit to Egypt. I wish you guys that have stayed in Egypt and your fellow local colleagues the very best of luck for the future and are very gratefull to have had the opportunity to dive with you guys.

MatD
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/swift/

Top Bottom