So we think we know the story at this point: man sets himself afire, Facebook group is started, protests against police begin, police turn on protesters, protesters turn on Mubarak, Mubarak is ousted. Such is the Egyptian Uprising.
But is that how it actually went down? Do we know the full story? What do Egyptians think of Mubarak? The inconvenient ones? Those outside Cairo? Those more difficult to access? And with ‘journalists’ being as lazy as they are, I wonder if we get the full story in the 60 second clips on the six o’clock news?
Throughout my days in Egypt I often found myself, where I often find myself, knee deep in political conversations with just about anyone I could find – taxi drivers, shop keepers, restaurant owners, university students, pretty much anyone who would talk to me.
And the story on Mubarak varied. One shop owner in Sharm felt Egypt was better with Mubarak than without. Said he wasn’t that bad; people were able to carry on with their own business without much bother.
A dive instructor in Dahab spoke about Mubarak’s ability to take care of relations with the neighboring nations but said he forgot his people.
I spent a week on a tour with a guide who was adamant that Mubarak had to be stopped; his unwillingness to protect – or even take care of – his people was his own downfall. Years of ignoring the very basic needs of every day Egyptians was more than enough reason to bring him down.
January 25th is/was national police day in Egypt. The original protesters rallied against police brutality and corruption. When the police turned on protesters and Mubarak did nothing to stop them, the protest turned on Mubarak.
Almost over night, Mubarak was enemy number one and then, shortly thereafter, was forced from his post. Some say for the better, some say for the worst. Only time will tell.