Egypt revolution: Holding on to that Tahrir feeling
I'm still trying to untangle the emotions and impact of the Egyptian revolution in my own mind, and hope to post some substantial pieces later today. For me, the contagious euphoria of Friday and Saturday has been replaced by a Sunday morning letdown. Last night, as I made my way through "liberated" Tahrir Square in Cairo, I was overcome by sadness.
There were signs of organized political actors muscling in on a popular movement whose unity was thanks in part to the beautiful simplicity of their demands. Give us freedom, rid us of Mubarak, let the Egyptian people tend to their own problems. By 10 last night, the first few cars had appeared in the square. Amid the sweeping up, the hugs and congratulations, It oddly felt like an era is over.
But this video by a member of the Egyptian folk-rock band Wust al Balad (Downtown) put a huge smile back on my face. I'll note that before the revolution, you needed a permit to do any kind of filming on the streets of Cairo -- something that would almost never be issued for something so overtly political in the Mubarak era. The Voice of Freedom reflects the spirit of Tahrir. Here's hoping that Egypt can hang on to it in the politically complicated and difficult days ahead. (H/T Ursula Lindsey at the always fascinating Arabist site).