In the photo above, a protester rallies in front of the Press Syndicate in Cairo on June 1, 2014 in support of Al Jazeera journalists Abdullah al-Shami and Mohammed Sultan, who were detained by Egyptian authorities in. August of last year for providing information to the Muslim Brotherhood. The Sisi government has declared the Brotherhood a “terrorist group,” while the Brotherhood maintains that it is a peaceful organization.
February 11th marks eight years since the resignation of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. Following the resignation, celebrations erupted all over Egypt. Christians and Muslims alike celebrated in Cairo’s Liberation Square, with hope of a more secure future. Finally, they could see the end to Mubarak’s 30-year rule.
The Egyptian revolution brought hope to the Arab world, following the imprisonment of Hosni Mubarak and yet another overthrown ruler, Mohammed Morsi. But Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has been in the media spotlight this past week. With Sisi now in his fifth year as president, Egyptian parliamentarians have taken steps to change the 2014 constitution that would extend his presidency two additional terms, until 2034. The supporters of the change suggest that Sisi would have more time to fulfill his election promises.
With the General Committee of the Egyptian Parliament approving the motion of amendment on Tuesday, it appears that Sisi’s claim of not intending to run for a third term is a false one. Moreover, the celebrations of hope in Liberation Square in 2011 seem a distant dream. The Egyptian revolution has come full circle.
There is no doubt that the Egyptian situation has changed for the better since the 2014 election of Sisi. However, it is still not good, as daily life continues to deteriorate for Egyptian citizens. Inflation has resulted in unstable prices and unlivable wages for low-income families.
Additionally, Sisi’s claims of fighting terrorism and the Muslim Brotherhood in reality target normal citizens and journalists. Reporters Without Borders says that Egypt is the biggest prison in the world for journalists. Many reporters have faced unfair mass trials.
The shouts of hopeful Egyptian protesters echo in the eternal authoritarian spiral in which they find themselves.