Nothing has changed. Nothing will ever be the same again. Egypt, 2011
Writing about the Egyptian revolution in late 2011, Nasser Abourahme and May Jayyusi  ask what to make of a revolution that does not result in permanent change, the installation of a new regime that serves people better than the previous one. What was the value of an uprising, especially of such a duration and scale, if it did not stabilise itself into positive institutional, material change? If it only appeared to have added itself to the litany of attempts and failures to tackle the multi-fold inequalities it had set out, once more, to alleviate? If a short-lived promise – and concrete experience – of “directing the fate of [one’s] political lives” had returned everyone to their same place of deprivation, hopelessness, and despair?
Looking back from December 2011, over the past 12 months, and looking back from December 2011 over Egypt’s modern history, what could Abourahme and Jayyussi see, what could anyone really see, if not history, simply delivering its inevitable let-downs, infinitely?
“And yet,” the two authors continue, “even as we write these words of caution, can anyone contest that nothing will ever be the same again?
 Nasser Abourahme and May Jayyusi, “The Will to Revolt and the Spectre of the Real: Reflections on the Arab Moment,” City 15, no. 6 (December 2011): 625–30.