The Egyptians Rise Against Mubarak

   

Egypt, the biggest Arab country in the middle east, known for its Sahara Desert, treasures such as the mummies and pyramids, the famed River Nile that dates back to biblical times, the great cities of Alexandria, Luxor, and Cairo finds itself in a moment in history. The Egyptian people have been fed up for a long time under the 30 year rule of Hosni Mubarak, and today stand up in arms to call for change and reforms. Mubarak seems to have been caught off guard by this whole revolt, but frankly he should have seen this coming.

Why do these autocrats think it is justifiable or normal for them to stay in power for such a long time? And they do so generally at the expense of the very people that they are supposed to serve. As in most African countries, unemployment runs rampant in Egypt, and economic opportunities are far and few in between for the average educated individual. I have read stories of some citizens of Egypt who completed law school, yet make a living cleaning houses. Yet you see an elite few reaping the benefits of most of the available resources. One can only put up with this inequality for so long.

Mubarak to his credit has played vital roles on the world stage. After all, Egypt is one of only two Arab countries that has a peace agreement with Israel, they have consistently been a major player with the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and Mubarak has stood firmly against Iran’s clandestine nuclear program. It is puzzling because most of these autocrats come into power and have the people in mind as they rule, but somewhere along the road, things seem to change, and they lose touch with the same people they are supposed to serve. They forget why they were there in the first place, and as is the case with most dictators, embezzle the country for all the resources they can get while stifling and oppressing those who dare stand up to challenge them.

In today’s society, the world is becoming more progressive, even in the generally conservative Middle Eastern societies. The younger generation knows that the future is in their hands. They know that they are the face of Egypt; they are the caretakers of one another, and of their country. Just because there was no uprising in the last 10-15 years does not mean that the people of Egypt have always enjoyed this ride. They just needed a call to courage. A similar situation occurred in Iran fairly recently, but was unsustainable as the government brutally crushed the opposition. That may have given pause to Egyptians. However, the ousting of Tunisian dictator Zine al-Abidine Ben-Ali who had been in power for over 20 years within a month under similar protests showed the Egyptians what they really needed to do in order to effect change from their government. In Tunisia, it all started with a man setting himself ablaze in order to protest injustices by the government. While an extreme way to protest, it fed the Tunisians just enough courage and belief that their cause was just, that they would get the political and economic reforms they so highly sought.

The Egyptians saw this and soon followed suit. And in just 4 days, the Egyptian government has had to call in the army to help maintain order in the face of this revolt. Social media (twitter, Facebook, cell phones) spurred this revolt in ways that would not have been possible just 10 years ago. People came out in the masses to protest this 82-year-old Mubarak who has been in power for so long, jailing the opposition, prevailing in most cases through rigged elections, and maintaining a tight grip on the country’s political system.

By the time dictators realize what is going on, there is often already a revolt. In the immediate aftermath of the initial revolt, what was the Egyptian government’s response? SIMPLE: shut off social media, cut off communication in Egypt, expel some news corporations, and beat up protesters in an attempt to quell the demonstrations. But what they failed to understand was by doing so, they only fueled why the people were revolting in the first place. The Egyptian people have courage which they did not have before. Some of the protesters will give their lives in this process, because they know their cause is just, noble, and because they believe people have an inherent right to freedom(regardless of how you define it), dignity, and a government that can be trusted and has the confidence of the populace.

Mubarak does not get it. He has appointed Omar Suleiman as Vice President (which may not be a bad idea, as this could ensure a smooth transitional government without the chaos that typically occurs in such situations) and fired his entire cabinet; changes he hopes will show the people that he is listening to them. But this is not what the people want. This is not just about firing a cabinet. They want Mubarak to fire himself. This is about firing an ideology. This is about firing the government; this is about a new day, a new era.

There is no way Mubarak can survive this uproar. He is finished. He will not be able to ride this out, regardless of the types of changes he makes. He was slated to again run for president, but that cannot happen. If he somehow lasts until election time and puts his name on the ballots, he may not make it out of the country alive. Countries that have presidential term limits and/or fair elections tend to do well globally, as well as economically. Look at the United States; it is a beacon in that regard. You can always compare and contrast previous U.S. administrations, which is good for a country to have.

When you have as much power as a dictator, sometimes you feel you can get away with anything. The only problem is that in the end it all comes back to you and people forget the accomplishments you achieved to begin with. Not a way to leave the presidency, being run into exile or being forced to resign. Mubarak finds himself in just this situation.  Stepping down is just a matter of time, the people seem to have already won. And if the army does not come in to crush this protest {which they don’t seem to be doing thus far}, then Mubarak’s reign may be over. Dictators always stay in power because they have the loyalty of the army. Thus far the army has stayed neutral which can’t be good news for the Mubarak camp. This situation continues to evolve. Only time will tell what will ensue – so we wait.

                                                        “No one man should have all that power…

               …the clock’s ticking I’m just counting down the hours…”

                                                                                                 ~ Kanye West ~

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About refinedcolloquy

29 y/o male working in the rehab world of physical & occupational therapy. I started the blog to share my thoughts, and call things for what they are. I am a fair-minded person, and moderate in most of my views. While political topics will be the bulk of my postings(sure to offend conservatives & liberals), I will venture into more personal postings such as travel, and occasionally, sports & music. Refined Colloquy? Well, simple. I wanted something that had a simple sophistication to it. Enjoy.
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