This is the first of a series of interviews with Egyptians speaking directly of their experiences within the revolution and ongoing struggles. I hope to cover some themes not covered by the traditonal/mainstream press, and allow space for Eygptians themselves to talk about aspects of the recent uprising they feel is important. The bias toward experiential knowledge is a conscious choice, simply because it is often the most neglected form of knowledge in political story telling. Ordinary voices are held as a poor sibling to powerful deterministic political forces and quickly subsumed into an unbending tide of formal history, which cannot speak to the lived experience of people themselves as agents of change and shapers of their own destiny.
On Thursday I interviewed Mohamed Abdelfattah, a freelance journalist and soon to graduate student from Alexandria, as he prepared to travel to Cairo to take part in yesterdays (Fridays) "Day of Cleaning", a day of nationwide protest calling for the end of all authoritarian rule and institutions that continue today after Mubarak's resignation.
One month after the Day of Rage, Mohamed speaks about the realtionships between the army, police and people, and how this revolution was leaderless in a real sense, something that the army and old guard was both unable to deal with and now tries to manipulate. We talk about the economic and social demands that lie at the heart of call for absolute and lasting political transformation, and about how many workers are now taking back their trade unions. We look at the role of US hegemony and how the movements are not just looking for liberty from a de facto dictators regime but also independence from the decades of post colonial meddling across the region. We also look what impact social media and internet tools has had for both informing and encouraging popular participation.
To listen to the interview please click here.