Saturday, April 9, 2011

1,001 Nights of Revolution?

Egyptian protesters face the Egyptian Army

The world was stunned and inspired by how fast countries like Egypt and Tunisia were able to oust dictators who have been in power for decades. Egypt was able to remove Hosni Mubarak from 40 years of power in 18 days, and yet the revolution is not over.

Removing Hosni Mubarak from power was only the first step of the revolution, as many remnants of regime still hold power. The Egyptian Army and the protesters have a turbulent relationship, with many ups and downs. From chants of unity stating, "the army and people on one hand" in Tahrir Square days and hours before Mubarak fell, to the Army's violent crackdown on protesters on Friday April 8, 2011.
Below is a picture of the bloodshed that resulted from the Army's brutality.

Picture taken by Egyptian protester of blood of protesters attacked by the Egyptian army. (from @salmasaid)

The Arab revolutions are showing no signs of slowing down, but neither are the tyrants. Gaddafi still refuses to step down even with a bombing campaign against him and the total loss of his legitimacy. Yemeni dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh is also refusing to accept the loss of his legitimacy among his people. The Gulf monarchs are taking extreme preventative measures to pacify their people, such as mass murders and unjust arrests as in Bahrain, or mass bribery as in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

This leads me to wonder if the Arab revolutions, that some thought would swiftly take hold of the region, will end up being as long as Shahrezade's stories in the Arabian tale of 1,001 Nights.

One thing that gives me hope is the dedication of the Arab youth who will refuse to allow their government to fall back onto old habits of violent oppression and corruption. To be honest, I was always skeptical of the Egyptian army and always thought that one day they will turn on the protesters, and yesterday they did just that.

Arab youth need to realize that no one will give them their rights, they must take them. We cannot count on anyone but ourselves, do not trust the people who stood with the tyrants and then abandoned ship when they saw the power of the youth, for they sway where the wind takes them and we stand firm and strong in our place, demanding our rights.

Freedom and Peace in the Middle East!

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