Now that my wife (an expatriate) and I are back in the USA, we would like to express our personal impressions of the ‘25th of January Revolution.’ Both of us were eyewitnesses to the daily events from the beginning until the end in February 2011.
We were very happy to see how many millions of Egyptians crossed the barrier of fear to join the young generation’s protest movement. We were very proud and happy to see how the young people stood up and faced the brutality of the security forces of the Mubarak regime. Snipers and live bullets were used in addition to Molotov cocktail bombs, tear gas and water cannons, to force protestors to disperse. All of these violent tactics by the security forces made the protestors more determined to achieve their objective. I have seen trucks loaded with rocks that were brought to Tahrir Square to be used by trained security thugs in civilian clothing to scare the protestors. Some of the protestors covered their heads with plastic buckets to avoid being hit by the rocks. The young people’s determination and persistence day after day finally led to the collapse of the Mubarak regime.
For both of us it was an extraordinary life experience that we will cherish for the rest of our lives. It was an experience that we did not anticipate would take place during our visit to Cairo. However, in previous posts, I have focused on the problems and challenges facing the Arab world in general and Egypt in particular. These problems include political corruption, poverty, unemployment, the absence of democracy, transparency and accountability. All of these problems are factors that contributed to a political explosion.
The young people’s revolution opened a new chapter in the history of Egypt and advocated the establishment of new democratic institutions. These young people have never experienced living in a democratic society and have never been able to participate in free elections. Their political representatives were always imposed upon them by the authoritarian regime through fraudulent elections.
The heroic revolution of the young generation not only led to the collapse of the regime but also exposed the corrupt businessmen who were part of it. They stole the public wealth and transferred hundreds of billions of Egyptian pounds into foreign financial institutions during the past four decades. Many of those businessmen who were also government official are now prevented from leaving the country and their wealth has been frozen until they are investigated.
As time passes by, more corruption will appear thus exposing Hosni Mubarak and his regime ‘s criminality. There are discussion now in Egypt that Mubarak and his family will be investigated misuse of the nation’s wealth.
The young people’s revolution will be recorded in history books as a model that the whole world has never seen before. It has been viewed by many foreign observers and even heads of government as a white revolution and a model to be taught in schools. It has changed Egypt’s image worldwide and restored leadership in the Arab world in particular and the Middle East region in general. Not a single Arab state was able to escape the political tsunami that began to flow from Tunisia and Egypt in all directions in the region. Neither Egypt nor the rest of the Arab world will be the same again. The winds of democracy will continue to blow until the Arab population gets what they deserve: freedom from ruling tyrants.
One further important point should be recognized: the Egyptian military forces played a very important and constructive role by protecting the revolution and not siding with the Mubarak regime’s security forces. It is a tragedy to see the military forces of the madman of Libya using their weapons to slaughter their own people. A salute to the Egyptian military forces.