Egypt: The People Victorious

Friday, February 11, 2011

From earlier today, the headline on Al Jazeera's Arabic broadcast reads, "Egypt: The People Have Won" and below, "Live: Celebrations unite the Arab world from the Atlantic to the Gulf at the fall of the Mubarak regime."
This morning I heard an NPR story on the Egyptian protests' reverberations in Iraq, in which a group of Iraqi activists expressed perfectly what so many ordinary citizens across the Arab world have felt for years: "We are like camels. We carry the gold, but we only get to eat the grass."

Today the people of Egypt have finally thrown off their load, refusing to be beasts of burden any longer. The joy of the crowds in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez, and elsewhere is infectious. In just 18 days, they have managed to wrench their nation—and perhaps the Arab world at large—onto a new historical course.

Tomorrow the real work will begin, and Egyptians will have to grapple with the power vacuum left in the revolution's wake. But tonight is a time for jubilation.

The Arab Street's Moment Lives On (To Be Continued...)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tune in to Al Jazeera's free streaming coverage of events in Egypt here.
When I last wrote ten days ago of the swelling fervor in Egypt and the Arab world at large, Egypt's streets were filled with protesters.

In the days that followed, President Mubarak responded by unleashing violent thugs on his own people. (Many were security forces out of uniform, while others were ordinary citizens paid a few bucks to attack their compatriots—which says much about the depths of Egyptians' poverty.) The attacks dimmed many Egyptians' hopes for change at just the moment when many began to fear for their economic security. The need to put food on the table began to take a toll and, though the nucleus of the crowds remained in Tahrir Square, many Egyptians returned to work.

Earlier this week (after two weeks of protests now) the release of detained online activist Wael Ghonim—and his emotional interview that followed—breathed new life into the demonstrations.