[Prelude: Read my post for background information about what happened during the Egyptian Revolution.]
Sunday, January 30th
“Dude it would be awesome if we went to Egypt right now.” Khalid told Hossam. Khalid leaned back against the kitchen counter, a crooked smile on his face. Khalid and Hossam were at their friends house for dinner. The conversation revolved around the Egyptian revolution of course. It was the only thing Arabs, and pretty much everyone else, spoke about these days.
I remember in my circle of friends, the Al Jazeera’s livestream from Tahrir Square was the permanent soundtrack of any gathering.
“Yo man, I’ll go if you go.” Hossam shrugged and replied in his deep, rumbling Canadian drawl. Khalid stared at Hossam. Neither one looked away. Neither one thought the other would go through with it and go to Egypt.
The Camp that Toppled a President
The revolutions sweeping the Middle East right now are attracting a lot of international attention. They are raising questions and creating platforms for debates and conversation. These revolutions are often compared to the Iranian revolution in 1979 that ousted the American-backed Shah, comparing him to Egypt’s Mubarak. Egyptians labeling him the US puppet in the Middle East. People are also drawing comparisons between these revolutions, bloodless as they were in Egypt with the French revolution, the American revolution and Western revolutions in general.
On January 25th 2011, Egyptian youth, adults, children, males and females took to the streets. After witnessing the success of the Tunisian revolution in ousting Ben Ali, Egyptians knew it was their turn. Egyptian’s had three basic demands: “عيش، حرية، عدالة اجتماعية” (bread, social equality and freedom). These three fundamental human rights soon became the revolution’s slogan.
The Revolution came as a surprise to many. It especially surprised President Hosni Mubarak who had been in power for 30 years and was planning his son, Gamal Mubarak’s ascension to the throne. This was among the reasons Egyptians revolted; they wanted to ensure their country did not become a monarchy, and they wouldn’t be forced to live the next 30 or more years under the same stifling and corrupt regime. Continue reading