OpEd: Mubarak’s Last Speech

Mohamed Harfoush | Contributor

Tahrir square was bursting with more than three million people dancing, cheering, and chanting joyfully. Other people in adjacent streets, were honking car horns in a happy rhythm and fireworks lit up the dark winter sky of Cairo. It was an intense joy Egyptians had not experienced in centuries. It was a mix of joy and disbelief that they were able to oust President Hosni Mubarak, who they believed despised them even more than any occupier in their collective memory.

Joyous celebrations in Tahrir square on Friday, February 18th 2011. ( Photo by writer)

Just a day before Mubarak’s resignation, the Supreme Council of Egyptian Armed Forces said it would take measures on behalf of the country and the protesters. But Mubarak, by midnight of the same day, gave a speech that didn’t differ much from his previous two speeches since the revolution began on Jan.25 . The speech had the same arrogance of a tyrant and oblivious ruler from the  middle-ages who is detached from his people. It enraged thousands of protestors, and even some Egyptians who ostensibly supported Mubarak.

Needless to say the speech infuriated the protestors in the famous square because it was another slap in the face. It also angered some political powers with interests in ending the Mubarak regime because they felt frustrated, especially after the army generals hinted, just hours before, that Mubarak would resign very soon.

The best outcome of the January 2th revolution is that it made millions of Egyptians overcome their fears by taking part in massive demonstrations and defying a suppressive, criminal and corrupt regime. Egyptians endured ages of authoritative, suppressive, and horrible systems that instilled fear in them. There is always, in any nation, a complex of fear and love towards authoritative leaders. Many people in that situation unconsciously turn fear of their tyrant rulers into love. It is a psychological defensive way to achieve some sort of  hypocritical harmony in your country.

In my view, some people kept supporting Mubarak until his last speech because they feared power and whoever holds it. So, they simply moved their fear-love complex from Mubarak to the army generals when they became  the power holders. This is also why many people are still supporting them although they are convinced, rationally not emotionally, that it has the same mentality of Mubarak regime. But, with the massive political awareness that takes place in Egypt, I hope more Egyptians would overcome the fear-love complex, once and for all.

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