Saturday, July 23, 2011

two articles about the Egyptian Revolution

"It is an exercise fraught with difficulties, particularly at a time when the question of who gets to speak for the revolution is being bitterly contested on the streets of Cairo and elsewhere. 'Documenting the revolution sounded like an easy thing, but what is the revolution?' asks Fahmy. 'When did it start? When did it end? What constitutes participation in the revolution – is it only those who went down to Tahrir, or is it also the doctors who worked extra-long hours in their hospitals to treat the wounded? What about a police officer who fought the protesters – is he a part of the revolution or not?'"

This is a great article about Egyptians trying to figure out how to preserve the history of their revolution.  Should Facebook and twitter posts be included?  Stay tuned...

"Are Egypt’s pro-democracy activists finally starting to realize that social media are no substitute for grass roots organization?  
Facebook and Twitter helped galvanize the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, writes Yasmine Saleh, but activists are 'starting to wonder whether faith in social media as the key to Egypt’s democratic future might be a little overdone.'"

I view the revolution as one thing, and organizing the country for political pluralism as another. I don't think you can tackle both in the same way. The revolution was essentially leaderless, but by definition you can't have a leaderless government.  So there are differences, and I really think these two things should not be seen as a seemless whole. They are separate, both in their goals and methods. That is not to say that ICA is not useful at this stage. It just cannot be at the forefront.

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