?How did the Egyptian farmers start the second phase of the Egyptian Revolution

The first phase of the Egyptian Revolution ended in February 2011 with Mubarak stepping down. It started in Cairo and other big cities all over the country.

Youth started the revolution, and most social classes and political forces joined afterwards. Yet farmers were excluded from the process, as they remained mere passive recipients of TV news reports.

In most cases, Egyptian farmers have an opinion of their own regarding major events. Or they have their own goals and tools whatever movement they take part in.


Here is the story in brief:

In Behaira Governorate at west Nile delta, Emaria village, farmers retrieved their land ( 21 feddans) which had been stolen by a General at the State Security Investigation Service. Farmers resisted an attack by men –armed with Kalashnikov— associated with the mentioned general in Damanhour. Moreover, farmers started a counter attack that ended by burning the General’s palace erected on the land he had confiscated from the farmers.

Five kilometer away from Emaria, farmers of Barnougy village retrieved 50 feddans which had been confiscated from them on 1986 by the heirs of former feudalists.

One thousand and five hundred meters away Emaria village, farmers in Ezbet Aakef retrieved five feddans confiscated from them by one of the powerful figures at the area.

At Ma’moura region, east to Alexandria, farmers retrieved about 20 feddans that had been confiscated from them by force.

In 2008, the Endowments Authority ” Awkaf “ (a government affiliation) soled some 66 feddans to a group of police officers and judges to build clubs and houses. After two weeks the farmers retrieved the rest of the area which are sold  by Awkaf  to these groups.

On the other eastern side of the Delta, at Dakahlia governorate, Baklia village, farmers retrieved about 40 feddans confiscated from them eight years ago. Farmers from seven villages in the same area made two demonstrations (in which 3000-9000 took place) in Mansoura (the Governorate’s capital) in one week.

The farmers’ demands focused on the incessant rises of land and house rents due to the Endowments Authority’s “ Awkaf “ illegal decisions.

In an area neighboring the Suez Canal, thousands of farmers from Sharqia & Ismailia governorates organized two demonstrations for similar reasons.

On Sundy 14 Marsh 2011, farmers from three governorates (Alexandria,  Behaira and Dakahlia) organized a demonstration in front in Cairo for similar reasons.

But the more excited event was in Tosson region in east Alexandria, near to Ma,amoura ,where the people suffered from destroying their houses by the bulldozers of Alex governorate on May 2008, while their children were sleeping or studying.

In the mean time, the people followed all possible measures to solve the problem, but it was all to no avail. Although the court ruled that they get back their land, the Endowments Authority “ Awkaf “ and Alexandria Governorate refused to put the court ruling into action.

Therefore, they went on 28 January 2011 to their land and warned security company that they should leave in 30 minutes.

After twenty minutes the guards (63) left the area , and Tosson people organized demonstration march and performed their Friday prayers.

On the following day, they started the work on building their houses .

After three weeks % 20 from them finished building and % 50 are still building but %30 have not build.

Tosson people said to the leaders of the security (guarding) company: We will execute  ” the final court decision ” because we have not find any responsible man who can execute it.

Basheer Sakr

Member of  Peasant Solidarity Committee – Egypt     18 of Marsh 2011