Some have a problem with the 25 January revolution or uprising or conspiracy, you name it. This I understand, because it was a major event that shook the whole community, whether positively to a step forward or negatively to a hundred steps back. But what I do not understand is those who condemn 25 January day and night and call the people who came out on that day as conspirators and traitors.
January 25 was but a moment of truth. It was a moment where we looked at ourselves in the mirror and saw ourselves ugly from corruption, nepotism, class differences, disease, ignorance and backwardness we have been living in. And when we were shocked at that truth, we decided to face it.
January 25 was a test that we all failed, including the young who led it, the old who missed it because they have become passive due to their marginalization by the successive regimes since 1952 and the state institutions who mismanaged it.
The Feast of the Goat, which is a magnificent novel by Nobel Prize Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa, tackles a difficult stage in the history of the Dominican Republic. It tells of Trujillo, a despot who ruled the country for 30 years through a repressive security system.
Llosa described the conditions of the people under that dictator very accurately and eloquently as to how they lived and died in fear until they killed him in the end.
But what was more important was what happened after they killed him. For his successors ran the country in the same way he did. They managed to direct the anger of the masses towards certain people they wanted to get rid of. In short, they used the same “scarecrow” slogan the dictator used:
Either me or chaos.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm