Two years after thousands of Egyptians filled Tahrir Square, sparking the revolution that led to the toppling of Hosni Mubarak, riots took place on the day of the second anniversary to demand change and highlight the country’s deep economic problems. It appeared that Egyptians were not as united as they were two years ago. They rightly see that their country is still not showing clear signs of progress and are unsure whether Egypt is being driven in the right direction.
On the very next day of the anniversary, at least 32 people were killed, including police officers, during protests after a court handed out 21 death sentences in connection with last year’s deadly football riot in Port Said. Many Egyptians felt the court’s decision was politically-motivated and designed to please a particular section of the society.
The latest deaths on Egyptian streets must be condemned. They could have been avoided with better security and more vigilance by the government. Egypt should have been well on its path to stability and even prosperity by now, but the current events highlight serious problems at hand. There is a lack of trust in President Mohammad Mursi’s leadership skills and Egyptians continue to show frustration at the fact that little or nothing has improved since Hosni Mubarak’s ousting. Some even argue that things are worse today than during Mubarak’s time in office.
Mursi has a duty towards his people to restore calm and work on the day-to-day issues that Egyptians are complaining about. Egypt is the heart of the Middle East and its internal affairs certainly affect the rest of the region. There is an urgent need to get Egypt back on track, particularly in financial terms, in order for the transition period to properly kick off. Also, Egypt’s current government has to make a more conscious effort to sit with the opposition and work out a plan going forward that appeals to all sides. Two years on, Egypt should be moving ahead from the Mubarak era of injustice and poor economic management. The emphasis has to be on people’s woes and rightful demands. Otherwise, it is likely to see more riots and more deaths on the streets.