It is normal for an individual, especially from the younger generations, to have a memory slate that involuntarily and regularly wipes itself clean. Unfortunately, I have one of those memories, leaving me sometimes unaware of things that happened not so long ago. On the other hand, it is abnormal for an entire nation of 83 million citizens to suffer from these memory blanks, yet I have a feeling that the Egyptian nation does.
The vast majority of protesters who have taken to the streets in their millions for the second time in less than three years are seemingly willing to once again throw their fates into the hands of an army forced to step in. They seem willing to once again abandon their protests in Tahrir Square and all the other gathering spots across the country the minute the army’s 48-hour ultimatum is up and the generals come out with their road map for resolving the current political stalemate.
Now, whether you’re a revolutionary or not, whether you’re a Mubarak fan or hater, whether or not you joined the 2011 protests, I don’t think you would disagree about how mistake-ridden these past two years have been. We all witnessed how both the previously-ruling Supreme Council for the Armed Forces and the Muslim Brotherhood imposed their wills on our nation.
And as terrible as my memory may be, I will never, ever, forget how I heard people lament that they left the square on 11 Feb 2011. Revolutionaries and even less active supporters of 2011 have beaten themselves up for ending their protests after the fall of Mubarak without guaranteeing that their demands are met.
It is truly a miracle that such a massive number of citizens have managed to find mutual ground to continue to stand upon after endless disputes over the past year and rifts that have developed. Let’s not forget the doomed referendum of 19 March 19 2011 and how painful it was to watch people use alarmist slogans to win points. Let’s not forget how many of the most beautiful young smiles were killed while chanting against SCAF. Let’s not forget the aggravation we all went through as we felt ourselves pulled further and further from that euphoric blooming world we were in on 11 Feb 2011.
I thereby beg you not to repeat the same mistake. I urge every single one of you to learn from previous our past mistakes: no one is ever as keen as you are to see your dreams a reality. And therefore, no matter how promising the army’s speech will be after the 48 hours are up: stay there, for the love of God, until they’re actually carried out, one by one until the end. Or we will find ourselves back to square one, like a recurring bad dream.