Many claimed Egypt was a "stable" country simply because it did not declare war on the West, and namely on the state of Israel. However this impression of stability was not echoed by the people of Egypt.
The Egyptian economy was plummeting, unemployment was soaring and poverty was becoming unbearable. Egyptians weren't even allowed to have gatherings of more than a dozen people out for a night on the town. When it came to political views, no one could dare question decisions made in parliament otherwise they would be imprisoned without legal proceedings, or worse, tortured by electrical rods and raped by police apparatus if there was suspicion of activity that would threaten the regime's image.
While some political prisoners have been missing for more than five years without their family knowing of their whereabouts, others have survived the "torture chambers" of the State Security headquarters to tell the tail. One such man, Adel Reda, recalled his nine months detained:
"I saw people's nails being ripped out and people hung from the ceiling by their arms or legs... They would throw our food in sand before giving it to us and splash us with cold water day and night. Sometimes it was so dark you couldn't see your hands."When asked whether he was ever allowed access to an attorney, Reda raised his hands heavenward and replied: "My lawyer was God."
The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, an independent nonprofit organization, puts the number of political prisoners at around 17,000. Official government figures are much lower, an estimated 500.
A Guardian correspondent, Robert Tait, amidst the events of the revolution itself was detained, then later gave a detailed account of what the police were actually capable of doing:
"'Get the electric shocks ready. This lot are to be made to really suffer,' a guard said as a new batch of prisoners were brought in.'Why did you do this to your country?' a jailer screamed as he tormented his victim. 'You are not to speak in here, do you understand?' one prisoner was told. He did not reply. Thump. 'Do you understand?' Still no answer. More thumps. 'Do you understand?' Prisoner: 'Yes, I understand.' Torturer: 'I told you not to speak in here,' followed by a cascade of thumps, kicks, and electric shocks."During Mubarak's reign, the security forces would go as far as to imprison journalists of private news agencies if there were reports released of Mubarak's admission into hospital because of an illness. This was subsequent to his dramatic illness of March 2010 when people started questioning who his successor would be. The portrayal of his strength and his apparent immortality needed to be upheld at all cost.
The government even wanted to show the world its democratic capabilities by allowing an opposition leader, Ayman Nour, to run for election. The elections were rigged with 90% in favour of Mubarak, and Nour was later imprisoned.
During this regime, the US government sent financial aid to the Mubarak government which averaged just over $2 billion every year since 1979, according to a Congressional Research Service report. That was the year Egypt struck a peace treaty with Israel following the Camp David Peace Accords. This US foreign aid is the second largest in the world, only shadowed by the aid to their neighbouring state of Israel.
Military aid alone totalled over $1.3 billion annually in a stream of funding known as Foreign Military Financing, according to the State Department.
With this, the government was able to maintain a stronghold on its people with the elite businessmen of Egypt ruling the country alongside Mubarak.
The US government had kept this dictator as an ally for thirty years knowing that this financial aid was a large contributor to the sustained power that allowed the violation of human rights to continue.
What was obvious, however, was that this "friendly dictator" was no longer wanted by the Egyptians, and there was no price tag the US could offer against a people yearning for their freedom.
When these pro-democracy protesters went to the streets in numbers never seen before, they managed to maintain themselves well. They were out on the streets of Egypt handing out bread to those in need; they had been voluntarily picking up rubbish to keep their streets clean; and they had been self-appointing themselves police to protect the museum as well as religious places of worship.
The utmost care was taken to ensure that their beloved country would not be corrupted by their own revolution. They proved that the notion that revolution could only be carried out with violence was only just a myth.
These are the freedom fighters the West keep writing books on and making movies about, and yet this shining moment in Egyptian history wasn't in their best interest.
Today, while the people of Egypt rejoice, the US and Israel voice their concern about the "stability" of the region now that Mubarak is gone, claiming that "there had been peace because of Mubarak".
If "stability" is the silencing of millions of people so that they can turn a blind eye on the genocide occurring in their neighbouring state of Israel, then "convenience" is perhaps a more suitable word of choice.
But the convenience of one state cannot come at the expense of the livelihood of another.
The essence of democracy has been forgotten by the West. They have forgotten that democracy is for all, regardless of what they prefer for others.
And Egypt wasn't able to sustain itself in those dire circumstances any longer.