A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, December 1, 2014

Mubarak Likely to Be Freed Soon

A decision will be reached in the next 48 hours on whether to release former Egyptian President Husni Mubarak from prison. Despite his having charges dropped against him over the weekend, he is serving time under a separate three-year corruption sentence handed down earlier this year. Egyptian law, however counts time in prison prior to his sentencing as time served, and the authorities are now calculating how much time, if any, he still has to serve. He will likely go free.

Demonstrations against the verdict have rocked university campuses around the country. The state media tend to blame the Muslim Brotherhood for all demonstrations these days, but secular supporters of the 2011 uprising are also taking to the streets.

As I noted in my first reaction over the weekend, the growing sense that the last visible gains of the Arab Spring are disappearing one by one may mean that, if the economy continues to deteriorate and human rights violations remain unaddressed, there could be a new explosion. I fear that the government has a window of opportunity to show it is actually able to improve people's lives, restore Parliamentary life, and deliver on its other promises. That window is not unlimited.

I am reminded by a famous poem by the Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes, "A Dream Deferred":
What happens to a dream deferred?
      Does it dry up
      like a raisin in the sun?
      Or fester like a sore—
      And then run?
      Does it stink like rotten meat?
      Or crust and sugar over—
      like a syrupy sweet?

      Maybe it just sags
      like a heavy load.

      Or does it explode?

1 comment:

David Mack said...

Thanks for the verses from Langston Hughes. Barring some incredible good breaks, Abdelfattah Al Sisi may well be at the peak of his popularity.