On January 25, 2011 Egyptians took to the streets demanding the reform, and finally the toppling, of the government of President Hosni Mubarak who had been in power since 1981. In Tahrir Square, protestors chanted “we want a new government, baqina ‘al hadida” a colloquial expression denoting extreme poverty and disenfranchisement (al-Watan, January 27 2011). Over the course of 18 days, protestors chanted for “bread, freedom, and social justice,” and of course, “down, down with Hosni Mubarak.” A mere 18 days after the outbreak of protests, vice president Omar Suleiman announced that Hosni Mubarak would be stepping down after thirty years in office (Al Jazeera Youtube Channel, February 11, 2011). Despite the miraculous success of what came to be known as the January 25 Revolution in Egypt, in the last four years, the nation has been incapable of enforcing many of the social democratic demands made during the 2011 protests. This paper will seek to explicate the declining importance of social democratic reforms in public discourse through an examination of the role of media commercialization in Egypt.
Published in Issue 21, Spring 2015