Who would have thought?
I, for one, never would’ve believe it. A few weeks ago, the population of a Arabic country did what no one thought was possible: mass protests led to the president of Tunisia being ousted of his own country. Today, Jan. 25, 2011, thousands of Egyptians, energized by this Tunisian effect, came out in droves to protest in the streets against decades of totalitarian regime at the hands of President Hosny Mubarak. Live updates can be found here.
Protests are nothing new in the streets of Egypt. One could even say that they are a daily occurance. However, the major difference between all other protests and today’s manifestation is the sheer number of people who poured into the streets. We’re talking hundreds of thousands here, in cities across the country such as in Alexandria, Tanta, Ismailya and, of course, Cairo. Protests in Egypt are usually monitored very closely by police, and protestors are quite often thrown in jail. Thus, manifestations tend to attract handfuls of people and fizzle out rather rapidly.
Today’s protests have been going on for hours, and show no signs of letting up anytime soon. This is the beginning of something in Egypt – finally, people are standing up and saying “enough is enough.” Up until very recently, I never believed that what happened in Tunisia could have the same impact in Egypt. Now I know I was wrong. I strongly believe that the current government has taken notice, and proof of that is that communic
ations have been cut off late this afternoon: Egyptians had no access to Twitter, cell phones were down, and other types of communications have been touch-and-go at best. This means the government has taken notice that the world is watching. The Egyptian government is now scared, which is a breakthrough in my books.
As a Canadian of Egyptian origin, I must say that I am extremely proud of my Egyptian brothers and sisters. Egyptians have had to suffer through horrific things over the past decades, including government corruption, rising food prices, vast unemployment and sectarian violence. The latter has been heating up over the past few weeks and came to a head on Jan. 1 when an explosion killed 23 and injured 70 others at a Coptic church Alexandria.
Enough IS enough. Egyptians deserve to live in true democracy, and let’s all hope that today’s protests will help Egypt become a better and more peaceful country for all.