Mubarak's departure: Triumph of the citizen

Sceptics may dismiss the change as merely cosmetic but at least the citizens have spoken.

Gulraiz Khan February 12, 2011

Three Fridays, eighteen days. There is no greater testament to the power of people, ordinary people that is, than what the Egyptians have achieved yesterday.

Overthrowing Mubarak is historical, not just for the overthrowing of a deeply entrenched dictator, but because the revolution straddles both, the present and the future of the idea of social aggregation. Present in its ability to rid a society of autocracy and futuristic in its ability to do so without revolutionary leaders, this, and the Tunisian revolution, has shown the world that age-old notion of heroes rescuing troubled damsels in distress is just that – archaic.

Spurred online, and majorly sustained online, but manifested in real space, i.e. Tahrir square, through the ‘invisible hand’ of online social media, the revolution was a showdown between the might of traditional centre of power, the armed state, and the modern one, the online community.

The connectivity with the world gave strength to protestors on ground in Tahrir, as evidenced by one blogger who claimed she was afraid of the internet blackout, which was briefly imposed, because that would stifle the hope that the world is watching and supporting the Egyptians.

Of course, sceptics are already denouncing this as a cosmetic change. It’s just Mubarak that is gone, they cry, the entire state structure is still the same.

True, I say, but the shaking off of political apathy of a nation this significant is not a non-event. If anything, it is more probably significant than Mubarak’s physical departure.

Having a bastion of strength, a most potent symbol of stability crumble after eighteen days of street protests may not mean much if one talks about the end of Mubarak ‘regime’ but it certainly speaks volume of the ordinary citizens’ ability to challenge a well-funded, solid security state.

Of course if you claim that all these protestors were funded by the imperialist-Zionist forces, then I have nothing to argue against with you.

Gulraiz Khan A sub-editor on the business desk of The Express Tribune who is interested in visual journalism and hopes to turn newspapers in to works of art
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.