Saturday, 12 February 2011


i don't think i'm able to completely comprehend why the story of egypt's revolution and the victory of the people is so captivating. i have been watching this last month as the entire middle east/northern africa region is moved by the voice of the people. from the student who set himself on fire in the beautiful town of sidi bou said (where i spent some really fun times) to the ouster of the tunisian government, which then inspired the young people across the region to rise up.

Bye Bye Mubarak from Ramy Rizkallah on Vimeo.

watching the video above makes me cry, and remember the night president obama was elected . why is it that these big revolutions of the people capture our imaginations and tap into something within each of us that reminds us all that we have so much more in common than we typically remember? the night president obama was elected, friends from around the world sent me notes of congratulations and all echoed a common refrain "we are all americans tonight".

i am proud to feel like we are all egyptians! i congratulate all those who stood in protest and stayed peaceful. what a wonderful example of the teachings of islam and a counter to so many false ideas touted by conspiring xenophobic people. islam is a faith of peace. eqypt and tunisia taught us that explicitly. peaceful revolutions are hard to come by, and with literally 100s of thousands of people (most muslim), egypt did it. tunisia did it. who will do it next?

i have often complained about the amount of military investment in egypt (they are the 2nd largest recipient of US foreign assistance. israel is first.) but now, i'm so happy my country was able to help the eqyptian military become one that protects and serve the people even when their chief commander commands otherwise.

tunisia is still struggling to create peace. i hope that the power vacuum is filled with democracy loving leadership. i'm surprised at how hard it is to get current information on what is happening there, and also that the press (at least in the US) have really dropped that story. they way tunisia turns out might actually have more influence on the rest of the region than egypt. egypt is LARGE with heaps of close ties to the US and other western governments. they have a bit more of a foundation for democracy. for yemen and other oppressed middle eastern countries to really believe they too can make change, i think they need to be able to see the effective change to democracy in tunisia, tunisia just is a bit more like them.

it should also be noted, that while all of the stuff in eqypt took place, the jordanian government also was ousted. which would have been massive headline news if the most populous middle eastern country wasn't about to topple.

it just feels like this is the beginning of a whole new world order. i have been thinking of the similar seismic revolutions that have taken place in my lifetime. thankfully rachel maddow was thinking along my same lines and her show put together this BEAUTIFUL retro/fore-spective. please watch it (though i will admit, they overdue advertising themselves in the piece . . .)

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

our country was, arguably, the first to stand up against such powers. we had enough of being taxed without representation and having our work degraded. we (our forefathers/mothers) chucked tea into a harbor and told the silly king george we were no longer willing to play his games, and then shot a "shot heard around the world". it was the first time the common folks stood against a state power and won. it created in all those who have known the story of the american revolution, that matter how nascent the movement or the system, change can come. the voice of the people can be more powerful than the voice of the oppressors. i guess there is just something wonderful about breaking the chains of oppression and the horrible messages those that oppress spread.

i believe it is the voice of the oppressors that try to stimulate all the hate and malice that groups of people can feel towards each other. when we can recognize each other as good and as agents for good, we can find what we have in common, work towards common goals, and improve the lives of those around us. which is why i find the tea party so offensive. they have bastardized one of the single greatest moments in world history and morphed it into a gross justification for spreading fear and hate (which successful revolutionaries for democracy don't do)

it will be interesting and exciting to see how all of this boils down. but at least for now, if feels really good to be inspired by the people. good governance is a SLOW process, but each of these BIG changes leads us closer and closer to a world of peace. thanks eqypt for reminding us what is possible and what it really means to be alive!

(this is an interesting prognostication of which 11 countries are likely to have similar revolutions)

also, if you are craving a moment in crazy, you gotta check this out. i mean, when bill o'reilly is the voice of reason, you know something has gone off the edge somewhere

i checked out as glenn suggests, it is a website circa 1997 that seems to have its last posting somewhere around march 2002. its a website dedicated to making sure all american children learn english
"and end bilingual education nationwide." its a stupid outdated site. seriously, who is this guy talking to? who is believing this insane rhetoric? and why is he not being called to the mat more for his misinformation. even this crazy site that is supposed to link you to a conglomeration of unions, communist, and socialist ideals . . . and its actually another crazy right-wing cause . . . i mean, is the guy not required to function in reality?

1 comment:

Josh said...

Great Post! I got a little choked up too. Hard not to. Truly historic watching what has occurred in Egypt over the past few weeks. Greater strides towards real democracy in the Middle East than violent US intervention in th Middle East during the past 9 years.