Similarly, like it or hate it Egypt had a Nasser Era, a Sadat Era and a Mubarak Era and it will be up to historians with their many versions from their writing viewpoints to record it as I am sure many have already. Scrubbing out names will not eradicate it. It may be too soon now for some people to look at the latest era – the Mubarak era with impartiality and acknowledge the good of that time as well as the bad, and it is definitely not a popular time to do so! It was a 30 year era and it may take another 30 years for those who have never known life without Mubarak – 30 years of a different type of public and private existence for them to be able to look back and acknowledge there were good days as well as bad days, benefits as well as deprivations – and sometimes it is only the wisdom of age that can acknowledge the humanity, frailty and failings of the rest of the human race without judgement.
So please, don’t try to eradicate the impossible – use it to learn from, use it to improve, use it to move on. If you eradicate the names how can you tell your children of your crowning moment in history – you will have no evidence it ever existed. Build new institutions, make new streets, see if your constructions and your new visions can surpass and outnumber the old. And when your time is over you can point to your achievements and compare them in number, size and benefit to those that preceeded you. But let this be a reminder to you…….30 years from now in all probability your children will regard you and this time in a somewhat similar light as you now regard your parents’ youth, efforts, successes and failures. It is the way of progress, youth and human nature…so please, be gentle and maybe your children will treat you with gentleness and understanding also.
On a more practical and obvious note – in the West we have a custom that when a girl marries she takes her husband’s name so while a girl’s name is Caroline Murphy until she marries a man named John Smith and then changes her name to Caroline Smith. 30 years on if she change her name back to Caroline Murphy who will know anything she did during the 30 years she was called Caroline Murphy? In Luxor I live near a main street that has had it’s name changed 3 times – when you ask a taxi driver to take you there – he still checks if you want to go to the street it was originally called. We have a hotel that has changed it’s name 3 times in 9 years – nobody knows it under the new name – everyone still calls it the original name.
Save everyone from the confusion – leave the names alone. Egypt is confusing enough!