From the Editors
On February 15th at 9:45 AM a comment was posted on the wall of the Kullina Khalid Sa’id Facebook page, administered by the now very famous Wael Ghoneim, referring to a news item reporting that European governments were under pressure to freeze bank accounts of recently deposed members of the Mubarak regime. The comment said: “Excellent news … we do not want to take revenge on anyone … it is the right of all of us to hold to account any person who has wronged this nation. By law we want the nation’s money that has been stolen … because this is the money of Egyptians, 40% of whom live below the poverty line.” By the time I unpacked this thread of conversation twenty-one hours later, 5,999 people had clicked the “like” button, and about 5,500 had left comments. I have not attempted the herculean task of reading all five thousand odd comments (and no doubt more are being added as I write), but a fairly lengthy survey left no doubt that most of the comments were made by people who clicked the “like” icon on the Facebook page. There were also a few by regime supporters, and others by people who dislike the personality cult that has emerged around Mr. Ghoneim.
This Facebook thread is symptomatic of the moment. Now that the Mubarak regime has fallen, an urge to account for its crimes and to identify its accomplices has come to the fore. The chants, songs, and poetry performed in Midan al-Tahrir always contained an element of anger against haramiyya (thieves) who benefited from regime corruption. Now lists of regime supporters are circulating in the press and blogosphere. Mubarak and his closest relatives (sons Gamal and ‘Ala’) are always at the head of these lists. Articles on their personal wealth give figures as low as $2-3 billion to as high as $70 billion (the higher number was repeated on many protesters’ signs). Ahmad ‘Izz, the General Secretary of the deposed National Democratic Party and the largest steel magnate in the Middle East, is supposed to be worth $18 billion; Zohayr Garana, former Minister of Tourism, $13 billion; Ahmad al-Maghrabi, former Minister of Housing, $11 billion; former Minister of Interior Habib Adli, much hated for his supervision of an incredibly abusive police state, also managed to amass $8 billion — not bad for a lifetime civil servant. Such figures may prove to be inaccurate. They may be too low, or maybe too high, and we may never know precisely because much of the money is outside of Egypt, and foreign governments will only investigate the financial dealings of Mubarak regime members if the Egyptian government makes a formal request for them to do so. Whatever the true numbers, the corruption of the Mubarak regime is not in doubt. The lowest figure quoted (in the New York Times) for Mubarak’s personal wealth, of “only” $2-3 billion, is damning enough for a man who entered the air force in 1950 at the age of twenty-two, embarking on a sixty-year career in “public service.”
This article is now featured in Jadaliyya's edited volume entitled Dawn of the Arab Uprisings: End of An Old Order? (Pluto Press, 2012). The volume documents the first six months of the Arab uprisings, explaining the backgrounds and trajectories of these popular movements. It also archives the range of responses that emanated from activists, scholars, and analysts as they sought to make sense of the rapidly unfolding events. Click here to access the full article by ordering your copy of Dawn of the Arab Uprisings from Amazon, or use the link below to purchase from the publisher.
5 comments for "The Revolution Against Neoliberalism "
If you prefer, email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hot on Facebook
"This, as I tell my students, is the beauty and the horror of the passive tense: it represents the grammatical power to dodge responsibility."click | email | tweet
Jad NavigationView Full Map, Topics, and Countries »
Jadalicious / جدلشس
On the Road: An Exhibition by Paul Ayoub Geday http://t.co/TIbB4tMNGk
10 hours ago
Event: Angela Davis and Jadaliyya Co-Editor Noura Erakat on Mass Incarceration in the United States http://t.co/t7ruqokD6U
13 hours ago
Syria Media Roundup (April 16) http://t.co/JtSpY91QjJ via @jadaliyya
14 hours ago
DARS Media Roundup (April 16) http://t.co/p2uVSO4alj
18 hours ago
O.I.L. Media Roundup (16 April) http://t.co/d5RMjjiFqW
18 hours ago
Latest EntriesView All Entries »
- On the Road: An Exhibition by Paul Ayoub Geday
- Event: Angela Davis and Jadaliyya Co-Editor Noura Erakat on Mass Incarceration in the United States and Palestine (19 April, Evergreen State College)
- DARS Media Roundup (April 16)
- New Texts Out Now: Valeska Huber, Channelling Mobilities: Migration and Globalisation in the Suez Canal Region and Beyond
- O.I.L. Media Roundup (16 April)
- Syria Media Roundup (April 16)
- Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (April 15)
- Turkey Media Roundup (April 15)
- The Strands of the Military Opposition in Syria: An Interview with Yasser Munif (Part 2)
- Adunis, Mistranslated (Part One)
- Last Week on Jadaliyya April (7-13)
- Egypt Media Roundup (April 14)
- Tartus in the Present Crisis: A Mirror of the Syrian Regime
- Good Faith or Good Tactics? How Some Anti-Divestment Groups Manipulate Public Discourse and Smear SJP
- بيروت.. أول مرّة
- Devletlesen AKP, Degismeyen Devlet?
- Reports Roundup (April 12)
- قصائد رلى الجردي
- O.I.L. Monthly Edition (March 2014)