Don't Worry, We're Happy!
Though the mission of Egypt's revolution is not yet complete, the return of the Egyptian identity that came with the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood is a step in the right direction, says Adam Mowafi.
If you are someone who spends time following the political Tweeps in Egypt, your state of mind is somewhere between a mental break down and a panic attack. Tweet after tweet, there’s nothing but negative commentary and links to American articles of how Egypt destroyed democracy, despite the big elephant in the room - that it was more like Islamic fascism to begin with. You would also think Egypt is teetering on the edge of disaster with millions of pro-Morsi protesters roaming the streets, proving a 50/50 split in the nation’s political views.
The reality is Egyptians are happy again. While the Muslim Brotherhood can bring out numbers by bussing them into Raba’a El Adaweya and Cairo University from across the country, the word “protest” was given a new meaning on June 30th when millions came out to show their dissonance for Morsi’s government. Frankly, people do not seem that bothered about the MB anymore as we are no longer intimidated by them or their ability to mobilise because June 30th outdid them without any busses. It's like a huge weight has been lifted off everyone's shoulders. Maybe the foreign correspondents do not get it because they just aren’t Egyptian, but the last year felt like a nightmare where the MB would blatantly lie to our faces and the rest of the world would accept their nonsense. It felt like we were in a parallel universe.
Despite the MB's best efforts to reform Egypt in their likeness, the state, the people, the poor and the rich were battling them every step of the way. While some people cite this as stubbornness on the Egyptian people’s part and a refusal of democratic principles, for the majority of Egyptians, the fight ceased to be about politics. We felt our identity was being threatened by an invading force. While it might seem odd to the outside world, most Egyptians have far more anger for Morsi than they did for Mubarak because of the perceived attack on our Egyptianess. Whether this perception is right or wrong, there’s a strong feeling that, although founded here, the Muslim Brotherhood just doesn’t care about Egypt.
This Egyptian identity has been ingrained into us and, as a civilisation which has lasted millennia, throughout countless occupations, it is all we have to fall back on when times are tough and it’s where our sense of pride stems from. It is also the reason that even though we were occupied by both the French and the English, unlike other colonies, by the time they left we had barely learnt a word of either language or changed our habits.
We also love our army and this is not something likely to change anytime soon. Frankly, I hope it doesn’t. I just want a slow reform process to happen from people we trust. The army has learnt a lot and, as an institution, has realised it must change to survive in the long run. What they did on June 30th should be commended; while wrong in the democracy book, it is what suits Egypt and Egypt's rule book. We might be the only case where democracy was achieved through a military coup. It is not definite but it is a possibility.
Anyone ruling Egypt will have to understand that whatever you do and how ever good your policies are, if we do not feel you are Egyptian, it just won’t fly. Today, as you walk down the streets, you’ll see people are happy again. The world will never get Egypt because there are three ways to do things: the right way, the wrong way and the Egyptian way.