EGYPT - The uprisings in the Arab world have been one of the headlines of the news for months. Especially the developments in Egypt - the most populous and important Arab country - are closely followed. Especially now, when the first free and open elections are in full swing. The question everyone is asking is: will Egypt finally, after decades of dictatorship, get a democratic and civil government?

In the beginning, many western media seemed to believe so. They were quite optimistic about the direction the Arab uprisings were taking. That hopeful expectation in the reporting did not miss its effect. Journalists, opinion and policymakers and ordinary Flemish people like to use words like Arab Spring, Revolution, post-Revolution and democracy. As if it had already been acquired.

That hope was premature. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) clearly has no intention of simply transferring power. And through cynical and tactical manoeuvres it is trying to put the protests in a bad light. Another painful observation is that the pro-democracy and young Tahrir activists may be the biggest losers of the Egyptian uprising. For although they started the mass popular uprising, it will probably be the Islamists - the Muslim Brotherhood and the ultra-orthodox Salafists - who will dominate the political arena.

It is clear: a robust, bourgeois and liberal democracy is certainly not within reach. But the battle for Egypt's future is not yet over. The revolution continues. With the support of the Pascal Decroos Fund, Chams Eddine Zaougui wants to paint a more complete and realistic picture of the direction Egypt will take in the coming months. He travels to Egypt to speak with Egyptians who live far away from Tahrir Square, and exchanges opinions with local experts and journalists.

Team members

Chams Eddine Zaougui

Chams Eddine Zaougui (°1978) studied Arabic Studies in Ghent and Cairo. He frequently writes about the Arabic world for De Standaard, Knack and de Groene Amsterdammer.

€ 2.000 allocated on 28/11/2011.

MAGAZINE (in Dutch)

  • Volgt de ene dictator de andere op?, Knack, 11/01/2012.



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