Egypt: A Nation in Waiting

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Having ruled Egypt for 30 years, Hosni Mubarak is now 83 years old.

Mubarak, then vice-president, was the only candidate to succeed Anwar al-Sadat after the then Egyptian president was assasinated in 1981. He became the fourth president of the Republic; a president who would remain in power for over a quarter of a century. But during this period in Egypt, an important question had started to be asked: What has happened to the Egyptians?

With escalating prices, record levels of unemployment and a year of unprecedented labour unrest in 2007, the government has its hands full trying to quell the public’s growing unease. Promises of economic growth and a brighter future are no longer believed. And as the country’s population of more than 74 million continues to grow, the Egyptians have been turning their focus to the political system governing them which is unable to cover even their basic needs.

An age-old pact of peace between the Egyptians and their rulers was being broken and protesters receive a heavy-handed response by security forces, an army of the president.

The 21st century saw the first multi-candidate presidential elections in Egypt. But were these merely outward signs of democracy from a regime succumbing to external pressure for democratic reforms, or is Egypt truly experiencing a new era of freedom? In a special hour-long programme Al Jazeera travels to Egypt and meets journalists, politicians from the government and the opposition and ordinary Egyptians.

By tracing the major events of Mubarak’s years in power, the film explores why Egypt remains A Nation in Waiting.

- As of Feb. 11, 2011, history unfolds, and Mubarak has left the seat of power. The country is now controlled by the military. Demonstrators are cheering in Cairo’s streets, yet the country is steering into uncertain grounds. High unemployment rates and poverty still chains the Egyptian people and holds them down. The path to overcoming social problems is a long road. A new dawn rises, and without the corruption of the former government, will they be able to work together for their country? What happens now Egypt?

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