I have blogged a few times about the changes of names that have taken place throughout Egypt during the past few months. They have occurred on the Metro and at the university (though I recently learned that the name change to Suzanne Mubarak Hall just became “official” last week even though the sign itself had been removed a month ago). Well, the name Mubarak is now to be removed from all public places, due to a court decree that was handed down on Thursday, and is reported here in Al Jazeera.
This applies to Mubarak’s pictures which the attorney proposes replacing with the Egyptian flag. I like that the idea. Not only should Mubarak’s picture be taken down, but perhaps the idea of the Presidency in Egypt has been so transformed that, perhaps he or she (and Egypt has its first female candidate), should no longer lord over the state, symbolically or actually. Another lesson Egypt can teach the world.
Aesthetically at least, I appreciate the spirit and image of the name scratched out on subway maps, reflecting the democratic spirit of the revolution, much more so than a court order. Still I think this decision is pretty cool especially, when Jazeera reports:
The case had been filed by Samir Sabry, a lawyer, who had requested the court to have Mubarak's name replaced with the names of protesters who died during Egypt's popular uprising.
It is estimated that some 500 places in Egypt (mostly schools, but also parks and a public library near our home) bear, or bore, the Mubarak name. On the day before the court order was issued, a new count of those civilians killed during the revolution was released: 846. While it may be tempting to look at this number and compare it to the death toll of other revolutions (and there is a time and place for that sort of analysis) but 846 is 846 is 846. It gives me chills just typing. That is a lot of people.
And this, finally, leads to the math. Egypt can begin the process of renaming places for the martyrs of the revolution and, at the end of the day, will not have enough institutions for all 846.