The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Towards a second revolution?

Activists' efforts towards organizing a "second revolution" on the anniversary of the 25 January uprising are underway. The above video, titled "The confessions of Omar Suleiman", is the latest attempt to create a viral campaign. Below is the full press release about it, but do watch it.

Cairo, Egypt, January 3rd 2012

A video compiling the works and testimonies of numbers of activists has been released on January 1st 2012 on Youtube. It calls for a second revolution on January 25th 2012, and has gone viral.

Reception of the video

- The video encountered an instantaneous viral success, especially on Facebook (45,000 shares in the last 48 hours), on Twitter and blogs.

- It was reviewed and posted the day of its release by 3 national newspapers El Wafd, El Badil and Al Youm el 7.

- Youtube stats indicate it has been viewed over 100,000 times to this date.

- Comments and likes are in favor of a new mobilization of Egyptians on January 25th 2012 (1100 likes, 60 dislikes) 

Content and description of the video: "Omar Soliman's Confessions"

Mimicking the style of spoof viral videos, the video's contents are real, iconic and have been broadcast by local and international media.

The video begins with archival footage of Omar Soliman's famous February 11th speech in which he announced Mubarak's stepping down, and the transfer of power to the Supreme Council of Armed Forces "for the management of Egypt's national affairs". Initially, these words concluded Omar Soliman's original speech. In the attached video, a voice over, impersonating Soliman, begins a detailed account of what Egyptians endured since SCAF's take over.

Particularities of this story - Fighting State controlled media: from the street to the Web, and back

This video reflects how -- without formal concertation, organization or funding -- citizens, activists and collectives put their efforts in common to combat State controlled media and sustained anti-democracy propaganda. Both amateurs and professionals act as footage producers or footage collectors while other proxies — mainly popular individuals in social networks -- act as authoritative professionals in their fields, information providers and disseminators. Independent collectives such as Mosireen ( are committed to systematically cover, archive and disseminate the information that State media censors and hides. Both Mosireen and, recently, the Askar Kazeboon Campaign also organize regular street projections, exposing eye-opening material to an often dumbfounded audience.

The video focuses on:

- Military violence and killing of peaceful protesters at the very early stages of the revolution and all through out 2011.

- The infamous "virginity tests" and Samira Ibrahim's lonely legal battle against the Supreme Council of Armed Forces.

- The corruption of the judicial system (Mubarak family trial, acquittal of officers accused of murdering protestors).

- Smear campaigns and crackdowns on Human rights NGOs and youth movements.

- The military trials of over 12,000 civilians, mostly protestors, accused of "thuggery" or "spreading lies", such as Maikel Nabil.

- Full empowerment of islamist movements and systematic destruction of pro-democracy movements and public figures.

- Sustained media propaganda, intimidation, and disinformation campaigns.

- Hideous beating and stomping of female protestors.

- Televised instigation of sectarian strifes.


Link to the original video in Arabic

Link to the video with English subtitles