Egypt’s three peoples

At the very beginning, prior to the revolution and the internet, Hosni Mubarak was sitting on the throne of political power and Islamists held onto social power; and while the National Democratic Party dominated politics, Islamists were in charge of the streets. No-one recalls this fact in Egypt right now. No longer do people remember the “Islamic
2015-03-20

Nael Eltoukhy

Egyptian Novelist and Translator


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At the very beginning, prior to the revolution and the internet, Hosni Mubarak was sitting on the throne of political power and Islamists held onto social power; and while the National Democratic Party dominated politics, Islamists were in charge of the streets. No-one recalls this fact in Egypt right now. No longer do people remember the “Islamic Awakening’s” penetration of Egyptian cities during the 1980s; nor do they remember the prevalence of Islamic dispensaries or the increase of Islamic televangelists. Satellite television preachers first emerged dressed in loose robes before being joined by suit-wearing televangelists, while women television preachers first showed up with the full veil but were later joined by those wearing fashionable headscarves and a bit of light make-up, too. This testifies to the ability of Islamic preaching during the 1990s to transform itself into a stylish, seductive notion capable of attracting the youth.
In the meantime, no-one thought of Mubarak as a debatable figure. There was a litany of controversial issues such as Israel, corruption, openness, privatization, and the U.S. Mubarak, however, was not among them. This remained the pattern during the 1990s and the beginnings of the current century.

 

 

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