Tag Archives: Hosni Mubarak

Egypt and President Mohammed Morsi: A Democracy in its Infancy

We all know that infants aren’t born walking. First, they learn to crawl. And eventually, they’ll learn to walk. During this time, they’ll fall down. And get back up again. All of this is part of the process. It might be a little frustrating to watch, but you know in the end, they’ll be fine. When I think about Egyptians and what they’re going through right now, I think about those babies learning to walk.

The recent events show their progress through this struggle. They are protesting in Tahrir Square again. This time, it’s against their new president, Mohammed Morsi. President Morsi seems to be pulling a “Mubarak” with a power grab. Last week, he issued an edict to dissolve their judiciary. It happens to be the branch of government that he doesn’t control. Man, that takes some balls.

They’re are fighting this with everything they have as the crowds are just as big as when they protested Mubarak last year. I love what one protester said:

“It’s like a wife whose husband was beating her and then she divorces him and becomes free. If she remarries she’ll never accept another day of abuse.”

I hope they are able to kick him out or at least stop his dictatorial power grab.

I’ve heard from Conservative pundits that the Arab Spring was not a positive thing. They were afraid that radical Islamists would take over the governments of these countries. When Mohammed Morsi was elected, the pundits were quick to point out that he is a part of the Muslim Brotherhood.

My response to that was, “So?” The Arab Spring was about citizens finding their voices and striving for democracy in a region that is conducive to neither. Egyptians could vote for whoever they wanted, and they voted for Mohammed Morsi. Was that a mistake? Maybe. The point is that they finally had a say in who was to lead them. That’s huge considering a dictator ruled over them for so long. They might be regretting their choice, but because they have found their voices, they are fighting back.

I will always see the Arab Spring as a good thing. Egyptians have been crawling since last year, and are slowly trying to walk. They will learn a lot as they fall down and get up again – over and over. The first thing they’re learning is that democracy is messy. They might not see it now, but a lot of already know. It will take time, but they will be fine.

The Initial Spark Reignites: Wael Ghonim

Wael Ghonim Interview on Dream TV

I couldn’t get the video with the English subtitles embedded – only the Arabic was showing up. I hope you will click on the link above and watch it. It’s very moving and only about 3 minutes long.

Mubarak refuses to step down. This battle is becoming one of sheer will. I feared that the Egyptian democracy movement was losing that will as protesters were growing physically and emotionally weary. Then, Wael Ghonim, the Google executive by day and passionate activist by night, was released by the Egyptian government. Right after he was freed, he granted an interview with Dream TV, an Egyptian “entertainment and lifestyle” television station.

I watched the interview with English subtitles. In that last part of the interview, the host shows pictures of the protesters who were killed during the protest. Ghonim breaks down and sobs. For 12 days, the Egyptian government held him captive, blindfolded the entire time. He did not hear about what had happened after his arrest kidnapping. He was literally kept in the dark, but interrogated about his role in the movement.

Apparently, this interview reignited the protests. The demonstration after his release rivaled the first one in numbers. Housewives, professors, laborers, young and old gathered again. What they saw in Ghonim was an Egyptian with a deep love for his country and fellow citizens. Using technology, he was the initial spark that set Egypt’s desire for democracy ablaze. And his voice helped fan the flames that were dying down.

I was extremely moved by his commitment to his country. Alive in Egypt has done a wonderful service and is true to its mission, Transcribing the Voices of Egypt. The entire interview can be found on its site, divided into 5 parts. It’s lengthy, but worth it.