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Feb 4, 2011 - news    2 Comments

Egypt

There is SO MUCH I wish to say about what’s going on in Egypt right now. I just don’t know how to put it into words. For those of you who didn’t know, my sister and her husband are students there currently. They’ve been there for the last 3 years and I visited them there in 2008. This week has been very stressful and harrowing worrying about them and the people there. Alhamdulillah they did make it out of Egypt to Qatar and have finally come home to the US with their 2 year old who has survived his first revolution (iA)!

I know many ppl in the US have absolutely no idea what is going on. They really can’t understand where this wave of revolt and activism has come from. Just think of it like this… imagine if in 2001 after 9/11 George W. Bush enacted a special emergency law… a Patriot act on steroids of sorts, then he stayed in power for the next 30 YEARS. That’s still 20 years for us to go. During this time, he arrests, kills, tortures and jails any opposition. He squashes all rebellion with brutal police and worse people just disappear with his secret police never to be seen again. He censors and dictates state run media with propaganda to brainwash the masses. He amasses 25 BILLION dollars for himself and his family, while the daily life of Egyptians is abject poverty. 30 years of this and do you think you’d be happy to let Bush continue like this or groom his sons to be next? There are shanty cities in Egypt that have over 100,000 residents that are in horrible conditions. And believe me, I have seen the shanty towns in India and this rivals even those. Have you heard of Egypt’s famous “City of the Dead’? It’s a huge graveyard of tombs and people LIVE THERE because they have nothing else. Why in a country of such natural resources and strategic position, which collects 1.5 billion dollars in aid from the US every year, does this exist.  Every morning there are men yelling “bikya bikya, garbage garbage’ begging people for any garbage they have that they can repair and resell to make enough money to feed their families. Grinding poverty, systematic abuse and torture. Would you be fine with this for 30 years?

This is why the people have taken the inspiration of a neighboring country, communication tools that are difficult for the gov’t to censor and ran with it. They are trying to win democracy for their country and indeed change for the entire region. It is the irony of ironies that the rest of the world is just standing by watching.

I think this video says it all. She asks ‘WHAT ELSE DOES THE WORLD NEED’

I am so proud of these protesters. They have followed their hearts fighting injustice, wanting only freedom and democracy all the way into Tahrir Square. Even gov’t thugs riding in on horses and camels brandishing knives and shooting at them in the early hours of night can’t shake them. God bless them and I pray for them in their goals.

There are many good news sources I’ve been following to find out what’s going on:

  • AlJazeera English livestream - Aljazeera has definitely come into its own. People from Washington DC to Australia have been watching their blanket coverage on the ground live. Despite correspondents being arrested, bureaus shut down, and equipment confiscated they are still on the air making sure the truth gets out there.
  • We are all Khalid Said -  The Facebook group that started it all. Has continuing updates from Egypt.
  • Robert Fisk – Political analyst on the Middle East for years, he’s been writing a column daily. His column about Obama’s failure and missed opportunities is heartbreaking.
  • Democracy Now! – We know this as a radio show broadcasting about injustices in the US, but with a reporter on the ground they have had some excellent stories.
  • Nikolas Kristof - Blogging from Cairo at the New York Times.
  • and the good ole BBC news – Mostly to see what “other ppl” are saying.

I actually once this week attempted to watch Diane Sawyer’s world news and the main story was “How will the protests in Egypt affect us? Will gas prices rise (video of ppl at the pump with $3.02/gallon) Will we have to deal with more terrorism? (video of terrorists/9/11 etc)”. Yeah that was it. Nothing about what the protests were about, any political analysis, nothing. Pathetic.

Anyways, I, like the protesters in Tahrir square range from fear to hope on a daily basis. Fear that this uprising will end, so many will have died for nothing and Egypt and the rest of the Middle East will go back to its usual state of oppression. And hope, hope that a new day is dawning. A day where my brothers and sisters in the Middle East will begin new lives of dignity and freedom. Which one will it be?

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