A few days ago, in a desperate, practically suicidal act, a brave young Egyptian female student, Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, placed nude photos of herself on her Internet blog in protest of the oppression of women in Egyptian society. Large amounts of hate mail and threats on her life swiftly followed. She will be lucky to survive this rebellious act and judging by her haunted eyes she knows that.
Aliaa is but one of hundreds of thousands of well educated, freedom seeking, secular young Egyptians who earlier this year rolled the Arab Spring protest from Facebook onto the streets and squares of Cairo. They were looking for a real, liberating change but now realise they will not get it.
Egypt is still ruled by a Military Council headed by Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi who is in no hurry to relinquish power. This council is made of men who once served under President Hosni Mubarak but have now put him on trial, accusing him of ordering the shooting of protestors, something they themselves are doing now on a daily basis.
The coming elections, if and when they eventually take place, will see the rise to power of the Muslim Brotherhood – a fundamental religious and political organisation promoting the establishment of Sharia law and the annulment of the Camp David peace agreement with Israel. They are also the ideological backers of the Hammas terror organisation ruling the Gaza strip.
The resulting regime will be based on some form of compromise and cooperation between the Brotherhood and the Army – no side will be able to rule without the other’s support. As for the real, democratic, secular, free future that young protestors like Aliaa were ready to fight for and die for – this will have to wait for better times.