February 11, marks five years of the fall of Hosni Mubarak. Activists who fought for social justice at the Tahrir Square recount the memories on that day.
This was after days of mass demonstrations which brought all activities in the country to a halt.The former Egyptian President was defiant but just before sunset, the army took over the reins of power: Mubarak has resigned.
“I was ecstatic,” recalls Mona Seif, a famous Human Rights activist who was in Tahrir Square. “We knew that the road would be long, but we worked hard,” she said.
It is not only that the situation is bad now, but especially the fact we created an opening, that forced the political space to open up...That's why it's so hard to accept
“It was one of the highlights of my life, I was never so happy. I’m 48, I have been a journalist for 30 years, and I was never so happy. Definitely this is not a personal matter, it is the victory of the people’s will,” Khaled Dawoud, an opposition figure said.
“February 11 was a historic day. Nobody can forget it because it is the day on which you realized all your dreams. You could not dream and did not even have the right to dream to change the destiny of our friends, our family and our country,” Heba Morayef, Human Rights activist also said.
But these activists say not much has changed since Hosni Mubarak was toppled.
There are more activists behind bars than there were under Mubarak.
“We have worked in the field of human rights under Mubarak and we continue our work, but I can tell you clearly that the current situation is much worse,” Seif said.
“Under Mubarak, there was not much hope. But at the same time, we had not lived a buoyant time of so much hope,” Seif added.
Timothy Kaldas, from the Tahrir institute for Middle East Policy, expressed the same sentiment.
“It is not only that the situation is bad now, but especially the fact we created an opening, that forced the political space to open up…That’s why it’s so hard to accept.”