Despite the January 2011 popular uprising that ultimately led to the ouster of former Egyptian ruler Hosni Mubarak, today US policy towards Egypt continues to be characterized by inconsistent efforts to promote democracy, while simultaneously supporting dictatorships in the region.
Nearly a year and a half before the initial uprising in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, I traveled to Egypt in the fall of 2009 to make a film about the fledgling democracy movement. The film, entitled, “We are Egypt”, was intended to document the efforts of the democracy movement and to explore how Egyptians perceived the longstanding US support for Mubarak’s military regime over the previous 30 years. At the time, neither I nor the subjects of the film had foreseen the massive outpouring of support for change that would unfold in Tahrir Square in 2011.
After Mubarak was forced to step down, the Egyptian military maintained its grip on power and ushered in what were ostensibly Egypt’s first democratic elections in 2012.… Read the rest