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With 2011 coming to an end, Egypt is now left with the remains of a revolution that delivered mixed results. Like several Middle Eastern countries, Egypt has been through a lot, with the loss of many innocent lives and the lack of a stable government.
According to Egypt’s Ministry of Health, the death toll from the Qasr al-Aini street clashes between protesters and the military on December 22 left, at least, 17 dead. Reports emerged stating that family members of those killed were forced by the military and police to sign death certificates that falsified the true cause of death at the Zeinhom morgue in Cairo. Women protesters were also beaten and harassed by Cairo police recently.
“Tantawi stripped your women naked. Come join us!” the crowd chanted to passers-by, referring to Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, the head of the military council. “The daughters of Egypt are a red line,” they chanted.
In response, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces issued the following statement: “We express a strong regret to the great women of Egypt over transgressions that occurred during recent incidents in the protests outside the parliament and cabinet.”
Ever since January 25, the only constant has been the rising number of deaths. Protesters are filled with anger and grief that vengeance holds a free rein in the name of liberty, in such a way that may lead the best of men to misinterpret and misapply the fairest of laws that may eventually threaten the acquisition of liberty.
Protester Islam Mohammed, 22, said a friend, Shehab Abdullah, died from a live bullet fired by police.“I will avenge his death. We all will,” he said. “We are defending Tahrir square. If we sleep, police will attack us.”
However, Egyptian heroes did not die in vain. The first phase of elections for the People’s Assembly and Shura Council was launched on November 28 and will end on March 11 of next year. Egyptian people hope that this progress will end the transitional period and act as a stepping stone towards democracy. For the first time in Egypt’s history, citizens living abroad are given the right to vote through embassies and consulates. Egyptians hope that the election results will actually reflect the will of the people.
Nonetheless, the country still faces many questions. Will the elected Parliament take control of the transitional government? Will the drafting of the new constitution be conducted by the elected parliament or ruling military council? Will Egypt’s falling economy rise again?