The Coming of a New Egypt

With family in Cairo and Alexandria, I am very well attuned to the goings on in Egypt at the current moment. After speaking with uncles and cousins via landlines (all other communication is shut down in Egypt) I have begun to understand the complexity and severity of the issue.

I have been asked by many people, why is this happening and what caused this? In response, this is an issue of a corrupt government. Close to half of Egyptians are living off less than $1 a day and the citizens simply expect basic human rights and their inalienable right to freedom. Despite the stereotype of the Middle East, religion has not played a part in the protests…yet.

All of this was compounded with the brutal police killing of Khaled Mohamed Said in June 2010. This killing of a man in his twenties ignited a spark against the government. What is more amazing about this, is the impact that Facebook has had in changing the environment in the Middle East. After the brutal killing of Said, a message on a Facebook page dedicated to Said talked about a protest that would happen on the national holiday celebrating the efforts of the police force in Egypt. The date was January 25, 2011.  After hearing about the protest, Mubarak’s response surrounded the theme of ‘well let the children do what they wish’. Not knowing how upset the people were and how much of an issue for change this would become, the police force was unequipped which bolstered the protesters.

As of 6:00 pm EST on January 28, 2011, President Mubarak spoke to the people promising to remove his ministers but remained bold in his belief that he should stay in power. This will not happen. Protesters are upset with the Parliament in Egypt but they are more forceful with their words and actions as it relates to President Mubarak and his corruption.

What does this mean for Egypt going forward? Egyptians must make it known quickly that they want a moderate in power. If this does not happen then the Muslim Brotherhood will find itself in power, despite what others believe. Egyptians’ best choice at the present time is Mohammed ElBaradei, though seen as an outsider and unaware of Egyptians concerns; he gives Egypt the greatest opportunity to remain credible in the Middle East. Other names like Amr Moussa (former Minister of Foreign Affairs) have come to the surface as a potential replacement. However member of Mubarak’s ministry is an unlikely choice.

The protests right now are focused on all the right things: corruption, human rights, and freedom. If however, the Muslim Brotherhood gains power it would make this protest about religion. If this does happen, it is over for Egypt. What would that mean for the rest of the Middle East? With similar revolutions happening in Tunisia, Algiers, Jordan, and Yemen; what happens in Egypt will likely control how the citizens in other countries decide to elect their leaders.

If we look at the Israeli/Palestinian conflict as an example for how countries under this type of rule act, we see irrationality in foreign affairs. Fault is absolutely on both sides. However, many of the demands from the Palestinians are so dramatic that Israel has to deny them. They are dramatic because if there is peace there would not be a need for Hamas or the PLO. If these types of regimes take over the Middle East, you can expect the same irrationality (or rationality whichever way you think). Also, if this type of regime took over, what would happen to the economy of Egypt? Despite what others believe, Egypt is not as oil rich as their neighbors and a large portion of the economy is driven by the tourism of the history rich nation. However, if the Muslim Brotherhood takes over, you would see a decline in tourism revenue resulting in even greater poverty.

It is very crucial for Egyptians to continue to fight for the right things, freedom from an authoritarian and a corrupt government and human rights. It must be stated that in this fight, Egyptians must not lose sight of a better Egypt, an Egypt that is credible around the world and a beacon for true freedom for other Arabs to see.

Make the right decision Egyptians, the world is watching!

Comments

9 Responses to “The Coming of a New Egypt”
  1. Ryan says:

    As a person completely ignorant to the social and religious implications of this event, I find your opinions insightful. Please continue to inform my group (non Egyptians, and uninformed.) I will rely on your posts to further understand this growing issue and how it will affect the American position in the Middle East.

  2. Bill Boykin says:

    good post Will. I pray cooler heads will prevail and that there is a peaceful way to oust the current corrupt leader.

  3. Cullen says:

    Will,
    Valid and well informed points; you bring a different view that isn’t often taken into account by most domestic news networks, what is best for the Egyptian people (and the fact that this can be synonomous with what’s best for the US). I completely agree that as Americans we need to hope this remains as a rights issue both for the our own good and for the greater Middle East as a whole…whether it does so will certainly have serious ramifications for the entire region.

  4. jmhoffer says:

    This is going EXACTLY how the revolution in Iran went. Grassroots support that took a few months to conclude, but ending with an Islamist takeover. This will not end well unless an outside military force is sent in to destroy The Brotherhood. Since this won’t happen, The Brotherhood, the only organized opposition force in Egypt, will be the ones to take over, just as the Islamists did in Iran. Mubarak is the only man standing in the way of this outcome. Should The Brotherhood take control, they will quickly ally themselves with Iran and Syria, meaning there will be no counterforce to Iran in the Middle East. This will lead to another war of extermination against Israel. Mubarak is the only man standing in the way of this outcome and must be supported to prevent this from occurring. The election of The Brotherhood would be like the election of Hitler. It WILL be a total disaster. Support Mubarak, or support a new Holocaust!

    http://www.jpost.com/Features/InThespotlight/Article.aspx?id=205799

    http://www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=205796

    • You make a strong point, however, there is not a chance any longer to support Mubarak. It must not rely on becoming allies with the ideologies that we so preach, human rights and freedom. The youth in Egypt are leading this because they want their freedoms and they want jobs. There is no hope for the youth in Egypt. Mubarak will be out soon. I will be writing a post on what I am hearing about the “neighborhood watches”. This situation will not cease until Mubarak is out, just as the looting will not cease until this happens as well. Egypt needs an interim leader that is not connected to Mubarak’s regime for about six months. This interim president will have to be a thought leader, able to see a better future for Egyptians, and able to change the constitution to reflect this progress of a great people.

      However, like you I am worried of the Muslim Brotherhood and what impact it would have in the middle east. Yet I do not think it is Mubarak or Brotherhood. It is too late to support Mubarak and hopefully the support of a corrupt, oppressive leader was never an option…at this point at least.

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  2. [...] From a guy with family in-country: With family in Cairo and Alexandria, I am very well attuned to the goings on in Egypt at the current moment. After speaking with uncles and cousins via landlines (all other communication is shut down in Egypt) I have begun to understand the complexity and severity of the issue. [...]