Tangi Salaün is a French journalist. He is the correspondant of the french newspapers and magazines "Le Figaro" and "L'Express" and the French radio "RTL".

How do you see the Egyptian Revolution? What are your comments?

First of all, I have never expected this revolution to happen after having covered dozens of events that never gathered more than a few hundred people....Yet in my reports for over years i talkek about the degradation of living conditions for the majority of the population (rising prices, youth unemployment, deteriorating health system, education, growth of informal settlements (ashwayets) victims of water shortages and electricity, repeated accidents in transportation, pollution, etc...). I also talked about the rise of frustration with a locked political system, the anger against police abuse, corruption, inequality...I was wondering by what "miracle" the Egyptians had not yet exploded... When January 25th came, I was nevertheless surprised by the determination of the protesters, despite the violence of repression, and by their ability to remain mobilized on Tahrir and also to maintain their sense of humor even in the most dramatic moments. I was surprised by the fact that they were freed of their fear of saying loudly what they were thinking for years without daring to express it. I was also amazed by their ability to pursue a common goal with no difference of religion, gender, age, social class ... Finally, I was impressed by the pride found at the end of the revolution, this feeling of liberation that could be felt everywhere.

Tangui1What are the most important moments that have inspired you on Tahrir Square?

The arrival of the tanks and the first scenes of "brotherhood" on january 29th, which showed that the intervention of the army was not the end but the beginning of something, the conferences gave by people like Alaa el-Aswany at nights to support the demonstrators who were sleeping there, the violence of the "battle of the camels", the first millioneya where i have seen plenty of people who came for the first time on the place, when i realized that the majority of public opinion had swung in the direction of the revolution, the scenes of hope, disappointment and joy from the last Mubarak speech on February 10th and the day after his departure on February 12th.

You live in Egypt for over 10 years...what is the difference between Egypt before January 25th and Egypt after the revolution?

For the moment, the biggest difference is in the speech and attitudes of people who are not afraid to say what they think, to claim their rights. But for the rest, it will take time and it is difficult to draw conclusions until the country has not established its new institutions (parliament, government, president, constitution).

How do you see the cultural life in Egypt after the revolution?

I think, at the short term, it is the part that can benefit the most from the liberation of minds and creativity. We see this already with the music, graffiti on walls, cinema, free radio, exhibitions around the revolution...Here too, the revolution gives young people who were rejected (or marginalized) the opportunity to get a place on the front of the stage.

You have just published "Egypt Tahrir". Where does the idea of your work? When did you work on this book?

The project to make a book of journalists (means for the public) is old, since there was virtually no French book on the contemporary Egypt. The idea became clear when Mubarak was hospitalized in Germany in March 2010 and it seemed that he would likely not remain much longer in power. The idea was to make a "ray" of Egyptian society to explain to the French people what kind of Egypt Mubarak would leave to his successor, what are its problems, its strengths, its challenges..etc. All off this through reports, meetings, testimonies of the Egyptians themselves...We had started writing the book at the end of 2010. Of course, the revolution has changed all.