The Two Souls of the Egyptian Revolution and Its Decline. A Socio-Political Perspective

Mattia Giampaolo

Ten years since the downfall of Hosni Mubarak, the protest movement which animated Tahrir Square has failed to create an alternative path towards democracy despite the great wave of mobilisation that engaged the country. The eruption of the revolution on 25 January 2011 did not happen overnight, but was the result of ten years of contentious politics taken on by two different souls: the social soul, represented by mobilisation of the workers of state-owned companies; and the political one, composed of political activists and youth movements alongside women’s defence groups and human rights defenders. Even with the great surge of activism, manifested through strikes, sit-ins and street protests, in the aftermath of the revolution these two souls rarely met. This, along with the lack of an organic political organisation, gave space to the more organised forces – the Muslim Brotherhood – and to the counterrevolutionary bloc led by the army.

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