How America abandoned Egypt’s Arab Spring

Editor’s Note: Cynthia Schneider is a professor in the practice of diplomacy at Georgetown University, dean at the School of Diplomacy at Dubrovnik International University and a senior nonresident fellow at the Brookings Institution. She is also a former U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands.

Story highlights

"The Square" is filmmaker Jehane Noujaim's documentary about Egypt's revolutionaries

It's told through the eyes of three revolutionaries who meet in during the first protests

This is the Egypt the Obama administration has forgotten, says Cynthia Schneider

Schneider: Film should be a painful reminder to the U.S. of the military regime it backs

CNN  — 

Egyptian voters this month ratified a new constitution that enshrines the military, police and intelligence in positions of unprecedented power. Filmgoers elsewhere could watch “The Square,” Jehane Noujaim’s documentary about resilient revolutionaries – youth, intellectuals and Muslim Brotherhood – fighting for dignity, social justice, economic empowerment and freedom.

Which is the true Egypt? Both, but the second has been ignored by the Obama administration and much of the media.

In Washington as in Egypt, there are two narratives: 1) The army has brought back stability, and the revolution is over; 2) Egyptians have banished fear, if not the regime, and many who led and joined the revolution continue to fight for the same aspirations, while soberly acknowledging the challenges ahead.

Cynthia P. Schneider