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Egypt's Journalists Should Be Celebrated On Tahrir Square Anniversary

Benjamin Gottlieb |
January 25, 2012 | 1:20 p.m. PST

Executive Editor

Exactly one year after revolution consumed Egypt, scores of Egyptians gathered in Tahrir Square -- the symbolic home of the Egyptian revolution -- to protest continuing corruption in their own government.

Despite the strides made in the country, including the nation's first, untampered parliamentary election in decades, Egypt's Military Council continues to cling to power. Comparing images from Cairo's Tahrir Square on the eve of protest to its anniversary proves that the Egyptains feel they yet to escape fully from tyranny.

There's no doubt that a revolution cannot happen overnight, and Egypt's situation is no different. But the country's current situation -- ruled by their most entrenched and, arguably, corrupt institution, the military -- is proving to be as complex as the nation's transition to democracy.

In the weeks leading up to the anniversary the inconic, nationwide protests, which led to the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's Military Council has tread carefully, issuing a mixture of promises and warnings to the Egyptian people.

Among them, military leaders have cautioned against "foreign hands" and "third party" intervention in Egypt's uncertain transitional period, whilst maintaining that they will continue their plans to release political prisoners and abolish the country's entrenched martial law, according to Bloomberg.

The tactic can only be interpreted at the Council's desire to stay in power as long as they can.

Nonetheless, Egyptians have much to celebrate. Egypt's struggle against tyranny was broadcast on television sets across the world and plastered on the Internet. Not enough can be said of the work that hundreds of professional and citizen journalists alike put into covering Egypt's revolution.

Below is an excerpt from an April 2011 conversation with Amr Ramadan, a journalist for Daily News Egypt, an English-language daily associated with the International Herald Tribune.

Ramadan tells his story during the first days of the protest. Ironically, many of his concerns are still relavant today.

Amr Ramadan, Journalist (mp3)

On this anniversary, let's take a moment to recognize not only the ongoing struggle in Egypt for self-determination, but also the resolve of Egypt's journalists, dedicated to the idea that freedom of information is essential to the region's future.


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