• Identity crisis: how ideological and rhetorical failures cost Egyptians their revolution

      Abou Ghalioum, Ramzi; DeCaro, Peter; O'Donoghue, Brian (2019-05)
      The Egyptian uprising, which began on January 25, 2011, and ended on February 11, 2011, culminated in the ending of President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year reign as dictator. After free elections in which the Muslim Brotherhood ascended to power in the country, they were ousted in a military coup d'état only one year after their ascension to power and were replaced by former military general Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi. The symptoms which led the country to rise up against Mubarak continue to exist under el-Sisi today, indicating that no revolution really took place. This paper answers the question, "why did the revolution fail?", offering a rhetorical reason for the revolution's failure. The uprisings, which were billed as decentralized, offer unique opportunities for analysis of rhetorical strategy. This paper uses the reconstitutive-discourse model, a critical model which examines a rhetor's reconstitution of their audience's character, to examine the rhetoric of three different parties in the revolution. First, it examines the rhetoric of all protestors irrespective of source via Twitter and on the ground protestors; next it looks at the rhetoric of Wael Ghonim, who is credited with instigating the uprisings, and Mohammed ElBaradei, an influential figure who became interim vice-president in the aftermath of the uprisings. The study found that first, the uprisings were not really decentralized and indeed has leaders. Further, rhetorical failures on the part of its leaders caused the uprisings to fail in their goal of democratic revolution.