The events of January 25, 2011 sparked a movement that changed the course of history in Egypt and the entire region. Exactly one year later, thousands of Egyptians who participated in the revolution that toppled President Hosni Mubarak filled Cairo's Tahrir Square. While some gathered in celebration, many others rallied in defiance of what they believe is an unfinished revolution. "I think anyone who intends to go and celebrate on January 25 needs to go and reconsider this choice because we still have a long way to go," recounts one protestor.
As revolutionaries reflect on the January 25 anniversary, for many, today is a grim reminder that despite the fall of Mubarak, not much has changed in Egypt. One journalist who has been covering events in Egypt all year described the revolution as "young and intoxicating…Mubarak was gone, and Egypt overflowed with hope and the invincibility of youth." But today, "one year later, the romanticism of the revolution has faded."
As bitter political division and a troubled economy still plague the country today, many wonder how long and what it will take for Egypt to bounce back. And, despite historic first round parliamentary elections, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) still remains largely in charge.
According to al-Alam TV, hundreds of thousands of protestors across the country today are demanding an end to military rule, the start of presidential elections, and the execution of deposed President Hosni Mubarak. They are also mourning the many Egyptians who have died since January 25, 2011.
Despite the unforeseen challenges since the fall of Mubarak, Egyptians are determined not to give up on the promise of the "Arab Spring." When the Guardian newspaper asked people on Twitter, "What does #Jan25 a year on mean to you?", many responses conveyed a sense of deep pride and hope for the future of Egypt. One person tweeted, "This year's #Jan25 is filled with hope of a better future 4 #Egypt even though it is still marred by a number uncertainties." Another wrote, " We breathe hope, we paid blood to get our freedom, my beloved Egypt is and will always be great.#JAN25"
Photo: A demonstrator carries an Egyptian flag near Tahrir Square where demonstrators are gathering to mark the first anniversary of Egypt's uprising, January 25, 2012. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih