The Meedan Blog Archive

Protests signal the end of Egypt's 'Pharaoh complex' - Meedani's article on Guardian

Meedan's Riham Ibrahim today has an article featured on the homepage of the Guardian website.

The Egyptian people's demonstrations have not only broken the barrier of silence but have also driven the first nail into the coffin of the "Pharaoh complex" deeply rooted within the Egyptian psyche.

We Egyptians have always seen our ruler as a faultless deity – or as the late President Anwar al-Sadat described himself, a Pharaoh. We have long thought it was inevitable that Hosni Mubarak would rule for life. At school, we had to write essays about the achievements of our beloved president and how his was an era of prolific development. It was a recurring question in Arabic composition. There was always only one right answer: there could be no one better than him to be in power and shoulder the responsibility.

Things haven't changed much in the past 30 years (that's eight years more than I have been alive), at least not until this week. The protesters who took to the streets on 25 January have undoubtedly proved that the Egyptian mentality has changed – or rather has been forced to.

For the first time, we see protesters demanding that Mubarak not run for the presidency again. The more daring are demanding that he step down and leave the country right now. Over the past three decades, no one has dared to make these demands. We could never have imagined protests like these.