The New York Times reports: In his years as a dissident, the book publisher had taken on Egypt’s autocratic government and its censors, aided revolutionaries during the uprising and protested in the streets to protect freedoms he thought he had helped the country win.
But like many other Egyptians these days, the publisher, Mohamed Hashem, says he feels defeated by the latest tragic turn, toward growing violence, repression and civil strife after the military ousted President Mohamed Morsi in July. Tired of waiting for better days, the publisher announced last week that he would emigrate, stunning his friends and a legion of young fans.
“I won’t postpone happiness until I die,” he said.
Egypt has surrendered citizens to more prosperous countries for generations, unable to provide much hope or opportunity at home. But like Mr. Hashem, many Egyptians who say they are joining a new exodus had been loath to give up on their country; some had postponed the urge to leave, hoping the uprising against President Hosni Mubarak in 2011 would pave the way to a better life.
Their change of heart signals a dark moment. Many people said they saw no end to the conflict between the military and its Islamist opponents, and no place for those who did not profess loyalty to either one.
Others lamented Egypt’s narrowing political horizons and what seemed like the growing likelihood that a military officer will become Egypt’s next leader. Some people said they were shocked at how cavalier their friends and neighbors had become about the rising level of bloodshed. [Continue reading…]