Egyptian actor Khaled Abol Naga said during a December 31 interview with France 24 Arabic TV that the Arab Spring uprising that swept the Arab world was like a "huge wave of fresh seawater that came and shattered [the old] regimes." He said that although the Arab world is currently experiencing the "black wave" that usually occurs after revolutions, the ideals of the Arab Spring will ultimately succeed because of their nobility. He also said that freedom of speech is fundamental to Arabs' ability to change their countries for the better, and that it must be defended despite the disagreements that people have.
Khaled Abol Naga: "The Arab Spring was sparked in Tunisia. The people took to the streets in Egypt and in all the Arab countries. Even in places where people did not take to the streets, they hoped for change and constitutional reforms. I think this is an amazing thing, and we should always keep in mind. At the beginning of A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens writes: 'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.' The Arab Spring was like a tsunami – a huge wave of fresh seawater that came and shattered these regimes. We had a lot of problems living under these stagnant regimes, which did not fulfill the aspirations of the people. But after something like that, there is always a black wave.
Interviewer: "So you are saying that a revolution can succeed for a short period of time..."
Khaled Abol Naga: "It goes through those two waves, and we are currently experiencing the black wave, but let's wait and see what will happen after the black wave subsides. There is no doubt... History teaches us that the black wave always subsides, and the original wave succeeds by the virtue of its noble message – egalite, liberte, fraternite... Bread, freedom, and social justice.
"We must all defend our freedom of speech. This is the ABC of our ability to change our country and our lives for the better. We must all have freedom of speech. I must defend your right to free speech, regardless of our disagreements."