I Am In Awe

18 days in Egypt…

The faces of a revolution…

It is awesome watching history being made.  Tom Friedman of the New York Times can tell you firsthand.

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About Gerry

I've been covering Connecticut news and sports since 1974. I know, I don't look that old.
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17 Responses to I Am In Awe

  1. Beckie says:

    My in-laws were in downtown Cairo, at the end of a trip to Egypt and Jordan, when all heck broke loose. THey were moved to a safer location near the airport and had a hard time getting home. We’ve seen a couple of their photos from the airport and outside their window there.
    I’m not sure “awesome” would be the word I’d use.

  2. Steve L says:

    Looks like a Tea Party convention. Looking for the same outcome here (through the electoral process of course).

  3. Kevin says:

    are you sure these aren’t photos from the Dave Mathews concert from a few years back?

  4. Li'l Em-Kel says:

    I’m going to wait a while to see how this whole thing shakes out. After all, not all revolutions are good.

  5. heather says:

    I’m with you, Gerry.

  6. Dave Hoss says:

    Hope. It’s all about Hope, and now they can realistically plan. The challenge is well begun but not anywhere near done. Amazing spontaneous Unity. I wish them well, and will be amazed for a long time.

    I hope it’s as contagious as it looks and oppressed peoples rise up and take back their birthrights to form free societies with equality and as much meeting of needs as possible.

  7. I’m going with this on a day to day basis. Yesterday was wonderful. Today the same folks who peacefully recalled a Pharoah were using brooms and mops to clean up the square. They’ve already formed their own Sanitation Department! If this good news holds, Egypt will have two Wonders of the World of which to be proud.

    I tend to be a skeptic about events like we’ve witnessed. But today, at least, I’m hopeful.

  8. Gene says:

    What Li’l Em-Kel said.

  9. James says:

    I continue to be astounded that this protest succeded. When the protests began I assumed they would last a day or two and run out of energy. So I was surprised when they continued. Later when the so-called “counter-protesters” arrived and started beating the protesters, I had visions of another Tiananmen Square.

    The true miracle here was that the Egyptian military both refused to be used as a tool of repression by Mubarak and his cronies and restrained its own power to create a Coup d’état. This leaves the military in a position of power, in favor with both the protesters in the street as well as the foreign powers who have been meddling in Egypt’s internal affairs for the past few centuries.

    And it is this “neutral” force that gives me a lot of optimism for the future of Egypt and its people. The creation of a democracy is an unweildy mess at best. The steadying force of the military just may provide the environment the Egyptian people need to nurture their own form of democracy, while holding the extremest forces (and the “well-meaning” foreign powers) at bay.

    There is also a lesson for the US in all of this. While outsiders can impose a dictatorship, they can’t impose a democracy on a country. Real democracy only comes from within, and until the people are ready and willing to put their lives on the line to get it, you end up with Iraqs and Afghanistans instead.

    At the end of WWII, the standards of living in South Korea and Egypt were about the same. That is certainly not the case today. Is the difference due to the intellegence or work ethic of the two peoples? I stongly doubt it. The difference, IMO, is in the quality (or lack thereof) of the political leaders over the past 50 or so years.

    So the revolution in Egypt isn’t over at this point. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, it isn’t even the beginning of the end of the revolution. But it is the end of the beginning of the revolution.

    People of good will can only hope & pray that the yearnings of the Egyptian people for both political and economic freedom are fully realized.

  10. Dave Hoss says:

    Sound reasoning, James, especially that democracy must come from within. There appears to be abundant enthusiasm for it, and more recently for justice in legally assessing overthrown leaders, prosecuting the criminals, and getting back funds that were embezzled or wandered off somehow.

    Churchill sounds about right on this one. While some keep reviewing the 18 days in reverse looking for the spark that started it, perhaps in futility, it seems likely and I heard at least one journalist state early on that the demonstrators promptly crossed a line of commitment to the cause and could not easily turn back, because we can imagine how likely it would have been that a lot of video was shot by the street and secret police to supplement what the media broadcast, and individuals would be gradually identified, stalked, and probably arrested at a minimum. There must have been some Thoreauvian *quiet desperation* throughout Tahrir square and beyond, knowing that they would be targeted if the demonstration did not succeed fully.

    *Tahrir* means *liberation* in Arabic. Of concern to me is that some demonstrators are reported to be scuffling with military personnel trying to clear the Square. In an interesting turning of the tables:

    *Hundreds of police descended on Tahrir Square Sunday afternoon, in an attempt to “make amends with the people of Egypt,” explained one officer, who wished to remain anonymous. “We want the people to see, and understand, that we are not the ones that attacked them. Only a minority of officers chose to follow [former Minister of Interior] Habib al-Adly’s orders, and we should not all be held responsible for their actions.”

    http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en/news/police-protest-tahrir-square-demanding-reconciliation-and-rights

    The images that made it here included citizens escorting uniformed police from the demonstration area, one such policeman with a baton in hand surrounded by unarmed and apparently unthreatening but insistent demonstrators.

    Your astonishment that the ouster and revolt worked, James, is shared almost universally, I’m sure, including by still-incredulous demonstrators. However, at every turn from now to a complete working government, much can go awry, and temptation will always be present for the military leaders who will have opportunities to seize and exercise undue power. If Egypt re-establishes itself with a legitimate elected government, without significant violence, corruption, or harm to the innocent, we will witness a genuine human miracle. It’s close to miraculous that so few casualties have been reported.

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