‘Counter-Revolution’ Working Against Arab Spring, Saadawi Says

Posted on March 20, 2011


By Caroline Alexander – Mar 18, 2011 3:36 AM ET Thu Mar 17 16:36:23 GMT 2011

International communities must show solidarity with those rebelling against autocratic rule in the Middle East and North Africa because the tide is turning against the Arab Spring, said Nawal El Saadawi, an Egyptian political activist of more than four decades, in a conference call today organized by the Women’s Media Center.

On difficulties in Egypt:

“The Hosni Mubarak men and the military are trying to abort the revolution. Since Jan. 25, there are gangs, who are attacking the revolutionary people.”

Young men and women who visited me in my home “are angry with the military council, who established a council to revise the constitution with no women and no young men.”

These young men and women “are secular, they are for women’s rights, they are for a radical change of the constitution, item two that says Egypt is an Islamic state. The military doesn’t want that, the external powers don’t want that.”

“The counter-revolution is great. But I am still optimistic and I am still hopeful because I lived with the young women and men who initiated the revolution and who slept in Tahrir Square in the cold, night after night and persisted until Mubarak resigned.”

“It is a struggle and it is ongoing” and “the young people who carried out this revolution aren’t naïve.”

On aid:

“American aid to Egypt is disastrous. America should cut it. It doesn’t go to the poor classes; it goes to the ruling class. America should not give aid to any country. We need equality not aid.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Caroline Alexander in London at calexander1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net.