“Revolutions are not made; they come.” – Wendy Phillips
Revolution is in the air. While skeptics thought it was impossible for ordinary Egyptians to rise up after decades of a stifling regime, well, it’s time to learn that people can only take so much. Egypt is a massive country, plagued with social ills, many of which stem from a crippling government, unemployment and poverty.
Ordinary Egyptians, inspired by recent events in Tunis have risen. Change is in the air, and what is happening in Egypt is unprecedented in this 30 year “emergency rule” regime (you would think that somewhere within these 30 years the emergency would be over). People want to see a better future and have been empowered by the success of ordinary Tunisians to oust their own leader.
What’s happening now?
It’s a struggle between wills at this point. Ordinary Egyptians are demanding political regime change. While thousands of protestors are out on the streets demanding for political change, Mubarak unwaveringly stated that he would completely overhaul his cabinet, but would not give up his own power. This is a stance that is unsustainable. Doesn’t the guy turn on the TV; is he still warped in his own mind that he can remain in power after such a shift in the Egyptian psyche? The people have been empowered, and turning back now would be devastating.
At this point, Egyptians will set the tone for generations to come. It is up to them to shape the future of the entire region and very possible much further (China has blocked the social media trending of “Egypt” on social sites).
Reinvest billions of dollars
While demonstrators across Cairo carried tear gas canisters imprinted with “made in U.S.A.” , presumably from the billions of dollars in aid Egypt receives from the U.S., it was clear that weapons are not enough to repress a passionate and empowered people. Instead of spending this kind of money on military to repress the anger and frustration of a nation, it’s now time to invest this money to eliminate the root causes of this anger and frustration. Education, jobs, economic stability, freedom of expression and life, all basic rights that mean so much to the ordinary person, are the basis for this movement.
No turning back
If this uprising fails, and Mubarak stays in power, this would be a travesty not only for Egypt but for other countries aspiring for freedom and change. On the ground, beyond those who have already given their lives for this revolution, those who have been arrested will see frightful days. Move forward Egypt in a dignified manner and set the tone for all nations struggling for personal freedom and economic security.
Thank you Tunis for setting in motion a refreshing era of social change across the Middle East.
Photo via Collin David Anderson