What Happened to the Revolutionary Youth after the January 25th Revolution? – A Comparative Study on Egyptian Youth Groups
“Youth are the heroes” became a common statement activists, academics, and public discourse use to describe the role of youth in the 25th of January Revolution in Egypt. Indeed, youth have played a very substantial and important role in toppling Hosni Mubarak. The youth which were believed to be lazy, uninterested in anything let alone politics took to the streets to demand “change, freedom, and social justice”. The first 18 days of the Revolution and Tahrir square in specific as the main focus for the protesters to demand their rights have changed the perspective on Egyptian youth dramatically. Having governed Tahrir square for almost eighteen days of the uprising by securing the entrances to the square, managing food and water supplies, treating the wounded in protected areas that were used as hospital spaces, and ensuring a common understanding of the demands of the protesters, the young people proved that they are capable to bring about political change (El Sharnouby, 20121). Toppling Hosni Mubarak came as a surprise to the population at large and the romanticized picture about youth as the heroes who have done the impossible remained for some time. While youth are hopeful to play a leading and decisive role in the political sphere, it is still unclear how youth will enter that space in specific and how that space itself will be and is being reconfigured. Yet youth’s political participation especially after the revolution is very important firstly to have young people’s demands included in political change and secondly to negotiate power relations. New opportunities are unfolding to many political actors, especially the youth groups. Having imposed their political inclusion as a new form of expressing their youthfulness, this research aims to answer what happened to the revolutionary youth?
First Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Cilja Harders
Second Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Gudrun Krämer