"'I'm not into politics.' I used to say this all the time, reflexively, whenever the subject came up. It was a popular stance, shared by most Egyptians. It was the result of a deeply rooted culture of fear. Anyone who dared meddle in politics, in opposition to the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP), took a risk, with little hope of reaping any return. Most of us shied away, believing that we could not do anything to change the status quo.
The truth is, however, Egyptians have always expressed political opinions, but only passively. We complain about education, health care, the economy, unemployment, police brutality, bribery, and corruption, but that is as far as we once dared to go. Few would point fingers at the officials responsible, while most kept such thoughts to themselves."