Editorial: Tahrir II: The Energy Rebellion

Tim Haïdar


"When people lose everything, they have nothing left to lose, and they lose it"
-Gerald Celente (1946 - )

They are calling it Tahrir II, and like most movie sequels it will be bloodier, longer and less successful than its predecessor. A new birth of freedom in The Land of the Pharaohs lasted barely 30 months.

The first wave of tumult that became known as the Arab Spring would be blamed on the discontent sewn over decades by governments from Tunis to Tripoli. The protests surrounding Tahrir II confirm a different root cause underlying this Pan-Arab upwelling of malaise: economic depression.

In the past few months, the price of basic commodities, including electricity, water, gas and food have risen considerably. Prices of gasoline and cooking gas in particular have doubled, squeezing an already pinched middle and working class to the point of suffocation. Rolling power cuts and food shortages were straw that broke the camel’s back.

Although the current bloodshed in Egypt is masked by regional politics, it is underpinned by lack of access to two fundamental pillars of modern civilisation – a decent income and access to energy. And this, alarmingly, is a prospect that will transcend a thoroughfare at the heart of Cairo.