Mariam Abuhaideri speaks to a group of fresh graduates at a local cafe in Downtown Cairo about the challenges ahead. Some of their strongest ideas were “Islam with Democracy”; “neither Sisi nor the Ikhwan”; “any president who comes will not care for Egypt”; “There are no jobs”; “we want to do something for our country”. Following the conversation, they listened attentively to my ideas on youth empowerment and youth-led development in Egypt. There biggest challenge now, is to fight unemployment and a mentality that status quo is fine when it is anything but that! Sexual Harassment, poor personal hygiene, an educational system that need immediate revamping, and anger management are some of the most pressing issues!
In this second part of the 3-part interview series with one of the 15 founders of Tamarod, the founder speaks of the movements aspirations for the future of Egypt and also their views on the current developments within the country. Despite explicit mention of the movements support for the army, the movement is sufficiently aligned with the military. Tamarod- a youth led movement was pivotal in the ouster of Egypt’s first democratically elected president. Part 1 of the series contains background information about the movement.
In the final part of the 3-part interview series with one of the 15 founders of Tamarod, the founder speaks of the polarization that has engulfed the country and also about what is next for the movement. The movement is against any foreign intervention in their affairs. Any attempt by the US to even “comment” on the developments may be construed as interference. Tamarod- a youth led movement was pivotal in the ouster of Egypt’s first democratically elected president. Part 1 of the series contains background information about the movement; Part 2 highlights the movements aspirations for the country.
In this 3-part series, Mariam Abuhaideri interviews Tamarod founding member Karim Abdel Hafez. Part 1 sheds light on background information about the movement that played a pivotal role in the ouster of Mohammed Morsi.
With translator Adel Maged Nour and Karim Abdel Hafiz, the 26-year old Lawyer and founder of Tamarod.
The Interviewer and Interviewee
One of the founding members of Tamarod-Karim Abdel Hafiz
Venue: Groppi Cafe, Downtown Cairo
Photo credit: Michelle Aimee
Photo by Mariam Abuhaideri
An Egyptian youth reads “Gandhi” at a local cafe in Downtown Cairo. There seems to be some hope for the youth of a country whose adults seem to have lost track of self restraint and non-violence.
Gandhi once said, “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.” Egypt is on its way to permanent blindness, if the youth are ignored and if the violence doesn’t cease. The youth are the future of Egypt, the adults will soon perish leaving behind nothing but dust.
He also went on to say, “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. We need not wait to see what others do.”
These sayings are so befitting for the current developments in Egypt, and hope that every youth reads a copy of Gandhi and applies some of his teachings into the future of what will hopefully become an independent and prosperous Egypt.
So as has been the case with any paranoid government during a conflict, the Egyptian security forces have found their online victims. There are rumors that police have started cracking down on people online who post anti-army or pro-Morsi/ anti-coup updates and information on their Facebook and Twitter walls. An Egyptian has reported that his internet was blocked and a message from the Egyptian police popped up as he tried to log into his computer. The message which was in Arabic read that his internet has been blocked and that he would have to pay an undisclosed amount in fine.
Others believe that it is only a rumor and that the Egyptian army would never resort to such measures. Given that Sisi had ordered the closure of many pro-Morsi Islamists media stations following the events of June 30th that saw the ousting of President Mohamed Morsi, I would disagree with them. Yet there are others who believe that it could be a hacker posing as the Egyptian Government. Historically, a government that seeks power would resort to any measure in desperation to be maintain control over dissemination of information.
If these reports of online crack down are confirmed, is it that they would also track me down considering I am posting live from Cairo? What I’d like to know is if this the government that Egyptians would like to live under, why didn’t they just let Morsi complete his term?