Although the 1952 Revolution marked its 60th anniversary a few days ago, commentators have continued to analyse the occasion and its relation to the January 2011 Revolution. Despite President Morsy’s surprise move in appointing Hesham Qandil as Egypt’s new premier, op-ed pages across the Egyptian press did not comment strongly on the subject.
On the 60th commemoration of the July 23 1952 Revolution, Ibrahim Mansour traces the roots of the 25 January 2011 Revolution to its July predecessor. Mansour recalls what he considers a historical 28 January confrontation between the Giza revolutionaries and the police forces on Kasr al-Nil bridge, where he met with several renowned legal consultants, judges, cinema editors, actors, journalists, doctors, accountants, among a wide spectrum of professionals.
Mansour condones that such middle class professionals are the direct outcome of the educational reform policy introduced in the aftermath of the July 23 Revolution. He suggests that even president Morsy benefited from free education, even during his educational sojourn in the United States. Mansour deplores Mubarak’s educational policies, which have gradually transformed the sector into a mere private business run by unqualified capitalists.
This has further extended to land ownership. While the 23 July Revolution succeeded in creating a just system for the ownership of agricultural land by virtue of its land confiscation and redistribution policies; Mubarak and his sons systematically sold the state’s lands to businessmen almost for nothing.
Mansour sees that Mubarak’s policies have eradicated the middle class created by the July 1952, whose survivors miraculously succeeded at last to raise their voice demanding for social justice, and democracy.
Ahmed Mansour praises President Morsy’s decision to appoint Hesham Qandil to the post of prime minister. He considers the selection appropriate as it assigns the cabinet leadership to a young professional who is relatively experienced with government and state administrative procedures, having served as Minister of Irrigation in the successive cabinets of EssamSharaf and Kamal Al-Ganzouri.
Despite this, Mansour is remains critical of the lengthy period that elapsed while Mosrsy made the decision. In view of this, Mansour wonders how long it might take for the President and his Prime Minister to select their ministers, and calls upon an immediate rearrangement of priorities by those in power with the sole aim of restoring stability.
He observes that Morsy, who is hardly acquainted with presidency, has become overwhelmed with ceremonial proceedings, which, are an integral part of presidential life, but should not drag the president away from his core mission.
In Mansour’s estimation the President’s priority should be the prompt selection of ministers, as this will be the only guarantee to restore the state’s position, and will put an end to the security crisis in the street.
Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper
In his column, Amr Al-Shobaki considers the different ways in which Egyptians reacted to the death of the former Vice-President Omar Suleiman. While some people called for a boycott of funeral being, as the deceased was part of the former ousted regime, others were more inclined to mourn Suleiman as one who once ‘served’ the country. Analysing some Egyptian’s sympathy at the announcement of his death, Al-Shobaki estimates that the feeling is more a reaction to calls to boycott the funeral and the mourning than genuine sympathy. It cannot, however, be said that whoever sympathised with the news is loyal to the old regime, the writer asserts.
The reality is that Egyptians have always been in a search for a leader to look up to. These figures have materialised in military figures like Gamal Abdel Nasser and Ahmed Oraby who, Egyptians have considered, a representation of the true patriotic spirit. However, the same should not necessarily apply to Suleiman. It is always important not to speak ill of the dead, but delving deeper into Suleiman’s history and what he gave to Egypt, Al-Shobaki stresses that the role of Egypt’s investigative authorities have been minimised during Suleiman’s tenure.
Emad Al-Din Hussein
After July 1952 has marked its 60th anniversary a few days ago, Emad Al-Din Hussein chides those who sparked conflicting comparisons between the coup d’état and the 2011 revolution. Criticizing many who have been popping up in TV talk shows and writing commentaries in different newspaper, the writer asserts that falling in the trap of comparing which is the better revolution, or a proper manifestation of escaping from the past serves only to overwhelm ourselves with useless discussion about two events that already have taken place. In Hussein’s estimation, every revolution is an extension of the previous one with attempts to straighten its path and erase rectify its errors. The 1952 revolution came to affirm the goals of the 1919, and similarly the 2011 revolution is a sequel to of its mother revolution 60 years ago.
Confirming his viewpoint once again, Hussein writes that there is absolutely no point in dissecting the 1952 revolution. With regard to the comparison between the two revolutions, Hussein asserts that conflict between the military and the Muslim Brotherhood remain a manifestation of the contradictions in both. The question still persists as to whether Nasser made a fatal mistake when he started his crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood figures and arrested them, or was it the group to be blamed because they attempted to hijack the military revolution. Regardless of the answer to this question, the writer affirms that every side will remain steadfast in its opinion, but that these issues should be left to the historians.
Recalling the festivities that took place in Tahrir Square in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the July 1952 Revolution, Salmawi narrates his experience with a group in the square holding banner of late President, Gamal Abdel Nasser. The writer was surrounded by a group of Egyptians who seemed unhappy with the many commentaries attacking the July 1952 revolution. Salmawi was surprised when onc of the people asked him: ‘do they think they are sugarcoating January 2011 by attacking the mother revolution?’ Another reveller answered stressing that those who celebrate the anniversary of the 1952 revolution are united in the same goals as those who protested in 2011 for bread, freedom and social justice.
Salmawi affirms that some of those rejoicing the anniversary of the 1952 Revolution believe that its detractors are sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood. Salmawi quotes some of the people as saying; ‘The 1952 revolution has put them in prison while the 2011 uprising called for a civilian state’. The analysis surprised the writer but he lauded those around him for their awareness of the thorns placed by many while exploring the issues of 1952 and 2011 revolutions. Salmawi continued to celebrate the anniversary with the people in the square and recalls how Hamdeen Sabahy commemorated the occasion on the other side of the place.