Despite the way that some traditional reporters have tried to picture the Egyptian revolution, there was no leader. Many, many Egyptians from all walks of life put in their bit in something the now famous Google executive Wael Ghoneim has labeled “Revolution 2.0”. His description is the same as the one for crowdsourcing, or open source, where everyone contributes their part where they see that help or improvement is needed.
Throughout the revolution, young people were abducted, partly a reason why nobody stepped forward, aside from the fact that it truly was a joint effort and no-one was to take credit.
Already on the 8th of February New York Times ran the story “A Quest for an opposition leader“, naming Ghoneim, ElBaradei, Ayman Nour, Ahmed Zewail and Mohammed Badie as potential candidates for the job. Weird, already back then, since such obvious names as Essam el Erian and Amr Moussa weren’t included. (Back then, people had already tweeted about the hugh cheers when Amr Moussa came down from the Arab League building and the week after an internet poll would give Amr Moussa 60% in a presidential election).
During the revolution different groups came together. Later on, the picture is different. Pro democracy-activists are trying to bring attention to restriction of civil liberties by the army (partly due to lack of experience in governance and the monopoly on force) but most Egyptians are trying to get on with their lives. On the other side the army are guarding their privileges and interests, the Muslim Brotherhood is not rocking the boat until elections (some even suspect a pact with the army), and the copts find that they might as well end protests such as the one in Maspiro, since nobody cares about their demands anyway.
There is no united voice anymore. Is it inevitable at the birth of democracy? Kind of. And at the same time I believe that a well-respected leader, that some saw in ElBaradei before the revolution, would be a stronger secular counter-balance to the army and MB in debates, on tv, the streets.
But who would that be? And who would the person speak for?