sennott1201_0.mp3

Four years ago, Cairo's Tahrir Square was electric with revolution. Brought together by social media, young people—by some accounts, millions of them—flooded the Square demanding free elections, free speech, and the end of then-President Hosni Mubarak's military regime.

Today, things look different. This week, all the charges against Mubarak—including murder charges for directing the killing of hundreds of protestors in those 2011 uprisings—were dropped by Egypt's current president, General Abdel Fatteh el-Sisi.

And according to Charles Sennott, co-founder of GlobalPost and head of The Ground Truth Project, today you'll find few traces of the fervor and optimism that toppled Mubarak in 2011. 

Sennott was on the ground in Cairo in 2011 reporting on the protests for GlobalPost and Frontline, where he met and trained many young Egyptian journalists. Today, nearly four years later, he says many of those same young people are tired of the violence and instability that has reigned in Egypt since the revolution.

"They're tired of the protests, tired of the violence, tired of the disarray, and want to move on," he said.

"They've realized they need to get back to building their economy, they need to get back to stability. They rely heavily on tourism, which has been crippled by violence and uncertainty in Egypt," Sennott continued.

Today, while Mubarak goes free, Mohammed Morsi—the first democratically elected leader in Egypt in three thousand years, who was ousted in a coup in 2013—sits in jail.

"The reversals in fortune that have happened in Egypt in the Arab Spring and the aftermath have continually surprised me," Sennott said. "I keep not seeing where it's going to go, because it keeps taking these dramatic turns."

"It's dizzying," he said.

Is the revolution over? With a military junta led by Sisi in charge of the country, Sennott it was unclear if the revolutionary spirit of 2011 will have any lasting impact.

"It's really hard to see anywhere where it's really succeeded, where we've really seen this hope that so many people expressed on the streets in toppling these dictatorships that had ruled over them for so long," he explained.

"The 'Facebook Revolution' definitely feels over on this Cyber Monday," Sennott said.   

To hear more from Charles Sennott, tune in to his full interview from Boston Public Radio with Jim Braude and Margery Eagan above.