Tahrir is not just a square but the heart of a city that every day hosts more than thirty-six million souls. That square is the meeting point of Egyptian protesters who struggle to be recognized now, especially after the recent elections. People who voted for Shafiq, the Mubarak-era minister, said “yes” in the second round of election to the Salafi-Brotherhood constitution. On the other side, the revolutionaries, who voted for Morsi with the second ballot, curse that choice which transformed Tahrir from the hotbed of the Egyptian revolution into a hideout for Feloull, the faithful followers of Mubarak’s regime, also accused of being paid to create disorders. Everything changed and everything is the same.

Tahrir is almost deserted; the tents are becoming fewer, only the smoke plume of street vendors’ carts doesn’t disappear. The demonstrations looks tired and most entrances are no longer controlled. After the exodus to Tahadeja, the presidential palace in Cairo, Tahrir suffers humiliation for a strategy too static and easily repressed, considered unsuccessful by the new political actors. Those who embodied the movement and first helped to fill the square have slowly moved away from the streets. Now the political game has moved to the parliament election of upper chamber of Shaab. Tahrir is too narrow for the new generation born with the revolution. The great illusion of change has to cope with daily life in Egypt, and the public opinion appears to be stuck on a realpolitik debate about democracy.

There is also a strong interest from the international community to have a stable interlocutor and a politically influential partner like the Muslim Brotherhood, which is able to weaken the internal efforts.

“Only god can stop us”. This sentence, by the Muslim Brotherhood Ultras group is written on a wall along the road to King Vittorio Emanuele II square. It impressed me for its double meaning: maybe all the power which is no longer represented will be wiped out, but maybe religious fervor will take over the power, and then there is nothing to do. It’s just another president.

— Domenico d'Alessandro
Egypt in November 2012/ February 2013

Translation by Tonina Cioffi