This has been a horrible week in Cairo.
More young people losing their lives on the streets of the post revolutionary capital. With more than 11 killed earlier this week, fighting between the army and protestors continued near the Ministry of Defence this weekend.
I have an article in this weekend’s The Sunday Business Post (Sunday 6th May) trying to make sense of some of the clashes.
But here today, I want to write about the political situation- which can be summed up simply.
Now I take a deep breath and go...
We are less than three weeks out from the first round of the historic Presidential election, but there is no constitution written yet describing the role of the President- thus it’s a race for a job, with no exact job description.
Added to that, significant doubt among revolutionaries and others, that the military leadership, will really submit themselves to civilian rule after the election.
13 candidates are on the ballot paper- although there were originally more, but they were deemed ineligible for a variety of reasons by the election commission.
Ok, back to the constitution.
The constitution is meant to be written by a committee established by the recently elected parliament. However that committee has proved highly controversial, with many accusing the Muslim Brotherhood with packing the committee with Islamists. So the committee is in limbo.
The parliament that picked that committee is currently on strike, because it wants the government (appointed by the military) to step down. However the parliament (with a Muslim Brotherhood-Islamist majority) may yet be dissolved by a future court ruling.
You still with me?
Added to this, riots on the streets following a deadly attack on protestors outside the Ministry of Defence, the attackers described in the local media as “unidentified thugs”. More than 11 are dead and hundreds are injured in the past few chaotic days in Cairo.
And it feels odd and unsettling living in a place where the army leadership has placed a curfew on part of the city.
The Egyptian revolution emerges onto to the world stage without a blueprint to follow and its people are trying, against some major odds, to build their revolution.
Recently I have conducted a series of interviews with young Egyptians for a long feature that should be published in Agenda Magazine (in The Sunday Business Post) on Sunday 20th, only days before the election.
These interviews have helped reinvigorate my enthusiasm for this country and this revolution. All these very different, but very impressive young people had their lives changed in different ways by the revolution. They, despite everything, remain positive about the medium to long term future.
Despite the horrific bloodshed on the streets in recent days and the setbacks suffered by the revolution in the political sphere- I still remain optimistic.
(There is not much natural beauty in Cairo- but Spring has brought out these beautiful purple trees, in the area around my flat)
PS. I also have an article about the media and revolution in Egypt in the most recent The Journalist Magazine
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