Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Faces and Names of the Price of Freedom

Egypt Remembers

They're Baaack! 2012 Presidential Elections, of course.

What goes around comes around, and here we go again.  The 2012 presidential election season has already started.  And we now have a blog to record our comments for posterity.

So, are ya ready for some football...I mean...Political Discourse?!  Looking forward to your contributions.

The Egyptian Revolution

Revolution will be and has been televised!  Congratulations and Glory to the People of Egypt!!!  Remember the date for the history lessons:  February 11, 2011.  The people of the world will refer to it as "2/11", and what ironic juxtaposition and extreme ends of the spectrum it is as it invokes inevitable connotations and reference to 9/11, and on so many levels!

The 18-day protest in Cairo's Tahrir "Liberation" Square has been nothing short of the most incredible history-making display of a people's movement that forced a monumental change in an Arab nation.  "People united can never be defeated!"  It had all the ups and downs, twists and turns of the newest and state-of-the-art thrill ride.  Such liberation, freedom, hope and opportunity for the future of Egypt.  And o so many questions, speculations, and topics to debate, to analyze and to discuss, so many things to say and to express as a mere observer of current events and world history.  It cannot be overstated that the Arab world has rarely seen this type of protests for freedom and have succeeded.

I want to share in the celebration and the exuberance of the Egyptian people, but history does teach us to be cautious and humble observers, as all revolutions have been followed by hardships, shattered dreams and even cruelty.  The French Revolution, the Revolutions of 1848, the Russian Revolution, the Iranian Revolution, Tienanmen Square, the 2009 democratic protest in Tehran.  Even the American Revolution could not avoid a war to gain independence for the Thirteen Colonies.  One had to wonder if Tahrir might become another Tienanmen (interesting to note that the word "Tahrir" keeps getting flagged by the Blogger editor as a misspelled word as it has not yet entered our common vernacular but that will change quite soon).  And let us not forget that there were people who gave their lives and endured bodily harm in the early days of this revolution to bring this change to fruition.

All indications are that this was a true people's uprising in Egypt, not some extremist or subversive group, that demanded Hosni Mubarak to resign, but what now?  Will Egypt become a democratic republic after nearly 60 years of dictatorship by military leaders?  It is reassuring that the military has publicly stated its support for a lawful transition of power and for keeping the peace treaty with Israel.  One can only hope to watch and pray for  peaceful and non-violent events toward the building of a new democratic political infrastructure and governance. The saga continues...and next stop, Algeria!?

Tunisia Gloria! Onward to Egypt...

Are we witnessing the dawning of a new age of democracy in the Arab-Muslim world, or will this wave of protest tip the scales and hand the balance of power to the radical Islamic fundamentalist movement?

The land of Hannibal and its people who fought three glorious wars against the Romans entered the limelight of the world stage!  Glory to Tunisia that ushered in reform and a new government by the people protesting in the streets and sacrificing themselves in order to break free from 50 years of dictatorial rule.  I must confess my ignorance to this fact.  While they filmed "The Life of Brian", the Tunisian people were suffering under oppression.  For a pop-culture nut like me, that puts things into perspective the fat and comfortable lives we enjoy in America.

And to think that it all began because of a desperate street vendor who resorted to self-immolation after he was stripped of his livelihood and dignity by the police state.  To refer to his act as a "spark" would be an insult and a defamation of the man whose name I don't even know, not just a terrible and inappropriate pun.  It appears now that this Tunisian Revolution may go down in history as the touchstone of Arab democratic revolt in the 21st century, in the same vein as the fall of the Berlin Wall brought down the Soviet Union and the Iron Curtain of Eastern Europe in the waning years of the 20th.  This case is even more remarkable because there is almost no democratic tradition in the Arab world.

Who would have even thought that this type of protest would spread 11 days later to Egypt?  Is there any doubt that there are more demonstrations and protests to come?