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 email@example.com.
Hot on Facebook
Jadalicious / جدلشس
"State violence—both structural and political—has been a staple feature of Egypt’s neoliberal governance, under both Mubarak and Morsi, and now under the military-controlled government. In its complicity, the United States has contributed to the structural obstacles Egyptians face in achieving the aims of the revolution."click | email | tweet
Latest EntriesView All Entries »
- تأملات في الجمالية والخطاب والتفاحة
- Syria Media Roundup (September 2)
- Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (September 2)
- September Culture Bouquet
- Khaled Takreti: Modern Life
- Samih al-Qasim: I Will Engrave Our Names on the Wind
- Samih al-Qasim: The Last Train
- Samih al-Qasim: Two Poems
- ABOUNADDARA’s Take on Images in the Syrian Revolution: A Conversation between Charif Kiwan and Akram Zaatari (Part Two)
- من إنجيل العراق الضائع
- Revolutionary Street Art: Complicating the Discourse
- Khalil Sweileh: from Barbarians' Paradise
- Djerba, Tunisia: Garbage Disposal, the Environmental Crisis, and the Awakening of Ecoconsciousness
- Last Week on Jadaliyya (August 25-31)
- On SJP’s Freedom to Organize: An Open Letter from CUNY Faculty
- New Texts (NEWTON) Compilation by Category For Fall Semester
- One Century after World War I and the Balfour Declaration: Palestine and Palestine Studies
- Italian-Palestinian Relations: What Went Wrong?
- From Containment to Counterinsurgency in the Gaza Strip
- Sharing the Nile Waters According to Needs
Jad NavigationView Full Map, Topics, and Countries »
Syria Media Roundup (September 2) http://t.co/jMPWuZH49S
14 hours ago
عبدالله البياري: تأملات في الجمالية والخطاب والتفاحة http://t.co/Oitt0vH2qq
15 hours ago
Syria Media Roundup (Sept 2) http://t.co/92HuCL9NxR
16 hours ago
16 hours ago
Syria Media Roundup (Sept 2) http://t.co/l9zRqfSuHR
16 hours ago