Egyptians have already toppled former president Hosni Mubarak, who's now under arrest at a Sharm el-Sheikh hospital. Now they're confronting another formidable challenge: How do you topple Mubarak's legacy--a legacy branded on the national consciousness over the course of 30 years? News reports today discuss a number of the approaches Egyptians are taking:
Remove Mubarak Name From Public Places A Cairo court ordered on Thursday that the names of Mubarak and his wife, Suzanne be removed from public squares, parks, sports fields, streets, libraries, and schools across Egypt. Implementing the ruling, however, will be a major undertaking; there are 388 "Hosni Mubarak" schools and 160 "Suzanne Mubarak" schools, and almost every city in Egypt has a "Mubarak Street," according to The New York Times. The government is considering renaming the Mubarak metro station in Cairo to something revolution-themed like "25 January" or "The Martyrs," Egypt's Al-Masry Al-Youm reports, a change protesters already made in a scrappy fashion by plastering homemade banners over the Mubarak station signs. One Facebook campaign is calling for Suzanne Mubarak's name to be replaced with the names of mothers of Egyptians who were killed during the revolution, Al Arabiya adds.
Remove Mubarak Images From Public Places The court also ruled that all pictures of of Mubarak and his wife be removed, a process that had already begun in public institutions across the country. Again, it will be a daunting task. There's a Mubarak portrait in every government building and in almost every public or private classroom, the Times points out.
Manipulate Mubarak Images The Egyptian artist Ali Ali has created an exhibit called "Thirty Hosnis" in which he juxtaposes photographs of the former president with pop culture figures like Darth Vader and Pac Man. "At a time when images of Hosni Mubarak are being taken down all over the country, there has never been a better time to put them up," the exhibition blurb reads. But not everyone agrees. One show attendee told the Times that she found the pictures upsetting: "When I look at him I remember humiliation, I remember unemployment, I remember inflation, I remember corruption, I remember the country's bad reputation abroad."
Remove Mubarak Chapters From Egyptian Textbooks A Ministry of Education committee has recommended that chapters inaccurately praising the Mubarak regime and its political reforms be stripped from elementary and junior high school history textbooks, Al Arabiya notes, and that a reference to Suzanne Mubarak as the most influential female figure in Egyptian history be removed (Cleopatra, we imagine, would support the move). The ministry will also add a chapter on the January 25 Revolution and correct other long-standing historical falsifications, such as the claim that Gamal Abdul Nasser was Egypt's first president after the monarchy fell in 1952 (it was Mohamed Naguib).
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