A brand new Papyrus | World | Times Crest
Popular on Times Crest
  • In This Section
  • Entire Website
  • Internet revolutionary
    July 6, 2013
    Wael Ghonim proves uprisings too can be 'liked, shared & tweeted'.
  • Taking a stand
    July 6, 2013
    The Standing Man of Taksim Square helped revive the spirit of Turkey protests.
  • Gun to the head
    June 29, 2013
    For Pakistan, it's time to harp on 'the Kashmir issue' again, this time with clear linkages to the mess in Afghanistan.
More in this Section
Leaving tiger watching to raise rice Ecologist Debal Deb, who did his post-doctoral research from IISc in…
The crorepati writer He's the man who gives Big B his lines. RD Tailang, the writer of KBC.
Chennai-Toronto express Review Raja is a Canadian enthusiast whose quirky video reviews of Tamil…
Don't parrot, perform Maestro Buddhadev Dasgupta will hold a masterclass on ragas.
A man's man Shivananda Khan spent his life speaking up for men who have sex with men.
Bhowmick and the first family of Indian football At first glance, it would be the craziest set-up in professional football.
From Times Blogs
The end of Detroit
Jobs in Detroit's car factories are moving to India.
Chidanand Rajghatta
How I love the word ‘dobaara’...
Can ‘bindaas’ or ‘jhakaas’ survive transliteration?
Shobhaa De
Anand marte nahin...
India's first superstar died almost a lonely life.
Robin Roy
'The caged pharaoh'

A brand new Papyrus


ARAB SPRING, EGYPTIAN SUMMER: The movement for democracy has culminated in Mubarak's prosecution and turned the people's attention from distractions like belly-dancing to nation-building.

The headlines of newspapers on sale in a subway station once called Mubarak, now renamed 'Martyrs', captured one of the most remarkable moments in modern Arab history: "The pharaoh in the cage of the accused. "

'The cage' is precisely how it sounds - a pen barricaded with metal bars. 'The pharaoh' is Hosni Mubarak, former war hero, president and strongman toppled by the epic protests that gathered in Tahrir Square in February, scheduled to face trial with his two sons, the former interior minister and six senior police officers. Anticipation rippled across Egypt where the revolution to overthrow him has proved far easier than building a new order.

In subway stations, libraries, schools and streets, there was awe and doubt at the trial of a figure whose power was once so distant and uncontested that a famous Egyptian novel simply called him the Big Man. "Who would have ever imagined that Mubarak would be tried?" asked Ahmed Abdullah, a mechanic, standing before a school once named after Mubarak, now bearing the name of Islam's first muezzin.
"Or his sons?" added a friend.
"It's so strange, " Abdullah replied.

Even the prospect of Mubarak's trial seemed to mark a new moment in the Arab world. Felled by a popular revolution, the scene of Mubarak standing before a judge may make revolts in Syria, Libya and Yemen more difficult to resolve, strongmen facing these uprisings more reluctant to leave. But few in Egypt, even those uneasy at an ailing 83-year-old man facing charges that carry the death penalty, worried about those implications. In a country long ruled by the arbitrary whims of the unaccountable, they felt something had changed. "We're a state of law and the law is being applied, " said Fathi, an architect.

About 600 people will be allowed into the courtroom guarded by 5, 000 soldiers, 50 tanks and armored vehicles. For the crowds outside, officials said they'd set up monitors to watch the proceedings, broadcast nationwide. Yet, the military council of 19 generals leading Egypt since the revolution seemed loath to put their former commander in a courtroom. Many speculated the generals hoped he might die before the date arrived. In a reflection of the frustration growing toward an opaque council, doubts remained that Mubarak would actually appear. "They'll keep delaying it, " said Afaf Ali, a student at the Egyptian Public Library - which once bore Mubarak's name. "No one in government wants to try him. " The prospect of the trial seemed to incarnate all the conflicting emotions about Egypt's revolution - that it had gone too far or not far enough. In Martyrs' Station, Ahmed Sayyid was reflective. His words were neither a cry for vengeance, nor justice. "The only reason we want to try him is so he can serve as an example for the person who follows him, " he said. "There is a limit to power. "

Other Times Group news sites
The Times of India | The Economic Times
इकनॉमिक टाइम्स | ઈકોનોમિક ટાઈમ્સ
Mumbai Mirror | Times Now
Indiatimes | नवभारत टाइम्स
महाराष्ट्र टाइम्स
Living and entertainment
Timescity | iDiva | Bollywood | Zoom
| Technoholik | MensXP.com


itimes | Dating & Chat | Email
Hot on the Web
Book print ads | Online shopping | Business solutions | Book domains | Web hosting
Business email | Free SMS | Free email | Website design | CRM | Tenders | Remit
Cheap air tickets | Matrimonial | Ringtones | Astrology | Jobs | Property | Buy car
Online Deals
About us | Advertise with us | Terms of Use and Grievance Redressal Policy | Privacy policy | Feedback
Copyright© 2010 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service