On Wednesday, an Egyptian court ordered Hosni Mubarak, the ousted Egyptian dictator, to be freed from prison, where he has been awaiting trial on a slew of charges related to abuses during his time in office.
Mubarak’s release, which could occur as early as today or tomorrow, threatens to inflame the bloody week-long standoff between the military-backed government and the Muslim Brotherhood. Serious analyses of the implications of Mubarak’s release for Egypt’s future and democratic aspirations are sure to come. But, for now, reaction to the news is piling up fast on Twitter, with users highlighting the absurdity of the situation. Two years after Mubarak’s ouster, the military is back in control, and the country’s democratically elected president is behind bars at an undisclosed location. That bleak reality is underscored by this depressing fact: a Facebook page created two days ago that promotes a potential Mubarak re-election campaign in 2014 has already racked up nearly 2,000 likes.
Here’s a snapshot of the disillusionment dominating the Twittersphere in the post-post-Mubarak era.
— Ikhwanweb (@Ikhwanweb) August 21, 2013
Mubarak for president! One of a number of banners on social media calling for his return to restore Egypt’s leverage pic.twitter.com/LB7ChvJH1j
— Quentin Sommerville (@sommervillebbc) August 21, 2013
— Jon Williams (@WilliamsJon) August 21, 2013
Thinking Mubarak might wait things out and run in 2022.
— Basil ????? (@basildabh) August 21, 2013
So Mubarak is currently both free and not free at the same time: Schroedinger’s President. (inspired by @Samforey)
— Bassem Sabry ???? (@Bassem_Sabry) August 21, 2013
Mubarak, Morsi, Sisi. The story of #Egypt‘s daddy issues
— Amro Ali (@_amroali) August 21, 2013
caption contest pic.twitter.com/VYmfOZldBH
— mostafa (@mostafa) August 21, 2013
Mubarak all over again… pic.twitter.com/QZ1veYNqOI
— Ahmet Yusuf Özdemir (@ayusufozdemir) August 21, 2013
— ???? (@BabbleMusic) August 21, 2013
— Mohamed Al Junaibi (@maljunaibi) August 21, 2013
So what did we miss? Leave your favorites in the comments.
Marc Lynch is associate professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University, where he is the director of the Institute for Middle East Studies and of the Project on Middle East Political Science. He is also a non-resident senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. He is the author of The Arab Uprising (March 2012, PublicAffairs).
He publishes frequently on the politics of the Middle East, with a particular focus on the Arab media and information technology, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, and Islamist movements.| Marc Lynch |