Egypt marked the first anniversary of the ouster of Hosni Mubarak yesterday, February 12th, 2012, with a poor turnout for a strike called by activists to protest the snail pace of change from military rule to a veritable people power. This half-hearted protest exposed the country's ambivalence towards the progress made since that fateful day February 11th a year ago. Or perhaps the people of Egypt were suffering protest fatigue.
The general 'strike', another form of protest, called people to demand the immediate departure of the military council SCAF that replaced Mubarak, but failed to cause major crowds or disruption to business. It was not backed by religious figures and political groups, nor the the Islamists who now dominate parliament. It certainly did not cause enough of a hullabuloo to drag our eyes away from Syria's still-leading family, who stubbornly refuse to bow to a people in fierce opposition.
As we take a look at Egypt's long-leading family, the Mubaraks, since the dramatic ouster, a year ago, we can barely conceal the apathy and disinterest felt toward this dictator clan as the world speculates over another dictator family still bent on beating down the people, Syria's Assads.Even news that both husband, wife and son have threatened to kill themselves was not enough to inspire interest yesterday in the Mubarak's news. The invitation to strike and protest on the 11th was mostly ignored by people who were perhaps feeling a little protested out, lost in the lines of when the first protested started and when the last one ended.
Egypt's anniversary for their booted out Mubarak was really monopolised by the Assad slaughter on Homs that attracted alarmed concern this weekend. The rising interest in Assad's family leaves no one asking questions on the status of the Mubaraks.
Mubarak is currently being held at a military hospital on the outskirts of Cairo. The ousted dictator asked his lawyer to lodge a 'complaint' against the decision to transfer him to a prison hospital. This move may be taken to appease an Egyptian protest long-brewing for why SCAF has spared Mubarak the humiliation of prison time.
The 83-year-old former dictator who was forced to step down on February 11, 2011 after 18 days of popular revolution, ending 30 years of rule and transferring temporary power to a military lead, now faces a continued trial in 'farcical' installments, for authorizing the use of force that resulted in the deaths of over 800 pro-democracy protesters during the revolution. Mubarak has been the first Arab ruler to stand trial in person since the wave of popular uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa kicked off in 2011 (or end of 2010 to be technical).