Street Classes Return to Cairo (and thus AbuTawil returns to the Blogosphere)
Three months have passed since the last post decrying the strong causal link between violence and blog posts. As Egyptian politics calmed, daily life accelerated. An internship was begun at Ashoka Arab World whose understaffed office began to demand increasingly more quantities of time (more on this at a later date;) long-forgotten queries remerged in the forms prompting the continuous revaluation of a worldview; refuge was sought in journaling and books adding further questions to the already troubling queries; a left-wrist was broken making daily-Egyptian life both an adventure and a frustration; college friends came and went leaving behind shared laughter and memories; Morocco was visited, photographed, and pondered (more on this at a later date); and finally summer and fall unknowns caused much panic before becoming tentatively planned. And in the midst of this chaos, the blog was forgotten, neglected, and abandoned.
Three months have passed since Egypt lasted witnessed sustained street violence. The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) selected a Constitutional Committee containing a total of eleven Christians and women that was subsequently struct down by the justice system for not being representative of Egyptian society. Failing in their multiple attempts to convince the Supreme Military Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) to dissolve the Kamal el-Ganzouri government, the FJP discovered that Parliament actually has no effective legislative power and thus reneged its promise and nominated its technocrat Khairat El-Shater for president. However, El-Shater, Hazim Abou Ismail and seven other candidates were found to have violated aspects of the election law approved in the March 2011 referendum (a political arrest in the case of el-Shater and a mother with American citizenship in the case of Abou Ismail.) These disqualifications, however, did not change binary nature of the presidential race (strong v. Islamist) as in their aftermath, Amir Mousa and Abdul Fatouh have emerged as front runners for the May 23-4, 2012 elections. (If no single candidate achieves a majority a runoff will be held on June 16-7, 2012.) Meanwhile, SCAF continues to insist that the constitution will be drafted before it surrenders executive powers to the new executive on July 1, 2012.
The storm surge of the Egyptian political hurricane has arrived. Vigilantism is on the rise as society reaches the breaking point; ordinary citizens have joined the thugs in attempting to violently break up the Abassiya Sit-in (photos) and off-the-cuff informal polls of cab drivers show an increased desire for a strongman president. Fearing marginalization by SCAF, the Muslim Brotherhood (rather than the liberals and leftists) now leads the call for Friday protests in Tahrir Square but like the liberals and leftists it lacks a coherent strategy (and mechanisms of escalation) to achieve its short term goals. And meanwhile, with presidential elections promising an end of to limelight (but not necessary and end to a monopoly on the reigns of power), SCAF looks for anyway to distract popular attention away from its blundering and buy itself two weeks’ worth of breathing room. And sadly, more innocent youths die in this process leaving behind mourning fathers, friends, mothers and siblings as well as countless stories that will forever remain untold.