The year 2011 was one of revolutionary Arab dreams and the sanctification of squares. Tunisia’s Mohamed Bouazizi and his fruit cart became a symbol, as did the death of Egypt’s Khaled Said.
The tumult of sanctification spilled over into the squares of Sana’a and Benghazi. In Bahrain and Iraq they tried to reproduce that same atmosphere in their own squares, but they were not successful.
The following year was a harsh one for the dreamers. Beneath the noise of revolutionary chants could be heard the cries of the disciples of the Muslim Brotherhood’s founder, Hassan Al-Banna. The discourse of Sayyid Qutb, Ayman Al-Zawahiri and Osama Bin Laden was resurrected, and the dreamers were lost between the rock of the Brotherhood and the hard place of the state. The voices of the romantic dreamers faded away, but those who pounced on the “throne” of the king and the seat of the caliphate remained intact.
In 2013, the picture cleared up and the white thread of dawn appeared, distinct from the black thread of the night. The Muslim Brotherhood and its allies, the jihadists and Al-Qaeda supporters in Libya, Egypt and Yemen, showed their tough side. The revolutionaries swallowed their sorrow and were at a loss, and the supporters of the state were spurred on to square up to the advocates of the caliphate.
This year began as the year of determination and firmness. The features of the battle between the proponents of the group and the supporters of the state fell into place, and the revolutionaries were lost between lament and regret.
This is the year of the Egyptian army and the year of the Bushret Khair song that glorified the roadmap of Egypt’s political transition. It is also a year in which people will find relief and enjoy progress.
The Muslim Brotherhood is no longer able to hide behind cloudy revolutionary slogans in which their real voices are lost in the revolutionary noise about freedom, democracy, social justice and the revolutions of free people. It is the year of the fall of leaves, slogans and masks.
That is the meaning of the words of Egyptian presidential candidate former field marshal Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on how dangerous and tough the challenges Egypt must surmount in the next few years are. Particularly important was his emphasis on wanting Egyptians to “work hard” with him, as the burden is heavy. Tomorrow, we will see.
We are now before a clear turning point, a road between cloudy dreams and a bright reality. It is a year of moving from thin air to dry land, and every dreamer has to avoid clinging to the threadbare ropes of dreams.
Dreams can be a catalyst for solid work, as long as dreamers have their feet planted firmly on the ground and arms strong enough to handle the needs of people and grasp hold of reality. But if these things are not present, a dream becomes a sedative, and, if the dreamer acts on the fatal illusion, a destructive nightmare.
The mask has slipped, and the dawn has come.