Viva Egypt! Viva Bouazizi! Viva the Egyptian 300+!

Posted: February 12, 2011 in April 6 Youth Movement, Arab people power, Barack Obama, Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, Jordan, Kefaya, Muslim Brotherhood, Non-violent politics, People power, Tahrir Square, Tunisia, Yemen

Jubilant Egyptians celebrating Mubarak's resignation (Getty Images)

Viva Egypt!

After 18 days of non-stop, non-violent protests, marches, and general strikes, former air force general and supreme leader of Egypt for the last 30 years, Hosni Mubarak, skedaddles to a Sinai peninsula resort town while his designated VP Omar Suleiman announced that Mubarak has resigned as Egypt’s president.

The chairman of the Grand Council of the Egyptian Armed Forces also went on TV announcing that the military was in control and that it will oversee the transition process.  While he paid tribute and praised Mubarak for his services to the nation in times of war and peace, he gave a snappy military salute to the more than 300 Egyptians who died in the last 18 days.

Egyptians in Meydan Tharir predictably exploded in a paroxysm of jubilation.  As of this writing, the celebration continues in Egypt and in other parts of the world such as London where there would be a sizable number of Egyptians.  Arabs in Jordan and the Gaza strip also join the festivities.

While PM David Cameron of the United Kingdom was quite cautious in his congratulatory message, German PM Angela Merkel was more sanguine calling the Egyptian phenom a great triumph.

For his part, US President Barack Obama praised the Egyptian people but stressed that the Egyptian military, who is in de facto control of the country, has a key and important role in ensuring the ‘orderly’ transition to democracy.

What is paramount in Obama’s mind is that exit of Mubarak should not upset the quadrilateral US-Egypt-Israel-Jordan partnership that has kept the peace in the Middle East (aka known as the absence of an international war pitting Israel against Arab states).

The last Arab-Israeli conflict, known as the Yom Kippur War, was fought in October 1973.  Even if Israel won the war, it remained worried about its security as it was surrounded by hostile Arab states.

The US stepped in and convinced Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat and Israeli PM Menachem Began to start talking peace through the Camp David process.  In March 1979, a peace treaty was signed between the two states and this meant that for the first time, an Arab state recognized the right of the Israeli state to exist.

In 1994, a similar treaty was signed between Israel and Jordan.

In my opinion, none of these considerations animated the millions of Egyptians mobilized in the last 18 days.  What united them is a burning desire to get rid of Hosni Mubarak and frustrate the plan to install son Gamal as his successor.

And they succeeded.

There may be others who are not satisfied since the Egyptian military, a key prop of the Mubarak dictatorship, is still in control.

This fact should not blind us to the more important fact that an important victory has been achieved.

The victory of the Egyptian people will serve as the base, the launching pad of the future struggles for full democracy in Egypt.

In conclusion, I call on my readers to pay tribute and pray for Mohamed Bouazizi, the Tunisian fruit vendor who started the Arab prairie fire for freedom from dictators.

Let’s us also pray and pay tribute to the more than 300 still-unnamed martyrs of the Egyptian revolution.

Let’s also praise the Egyptian military and urge them to continue listening to the aspirations of the Egyptian people.



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