During the past two days (Nov. 28 – 29), the Egyptian population experienced their first free democratic rights, which they have been deprived of for the last 6 or 7 decades.
It was an interesting experience to observe a huge number of people standing in line, which in many areas stretched for at least one to two km. People waited in an orderly way to get into the designated area to cast their votes.
It was also of interest to notice how calm the people were, even when they had to wait in many places for two to three hours to exercise their democratic rights. In some areas it was even raining.
I saw large numbers of women and men of different ages standing in two different lines with smiles and eager expressions on their faces, ready to fulfill their obligations and to satisfy their political desire for the first time in their lives. The cooperation of the public was amazing to observe. Help was given to the handicapped and to many of those who were too old to get to the voting booths.
I saw large numbers of women carrying their babies, waiting in line to fulfill their obligation. It was reported that at least 70% of the eligible voters (whose numbers may exceed 15 million) have participated in the first stage of the election.
It should be recognized that during the two days of voting, no significant problems were reported to discourage people from voting.
The last two days, Egyptians in general have shown their genuine national character, which the whole world has observed. The international press in general has given excellent reports reflecting on the smooth transitional stage of democracy. The voting proceeded into a smooth and peaceful manner. This reflects a complete and drastic change from previous forged parliamentary elections during previous decades when less than 20% of the public was involved. Such changes, politically and socially, are the result of the sacrifices of the younger Egyptian generation. They should not be forgotten. They have started a new trend in Egypt, where the blanket of fear of the ruling officials no longer is tolerated.
The first stage of voting has also set a pattern for the rest of Egyptians who will also exercise their voting rights during the second and third stages in December and January. Egypt is on its way to create a democratic institution and setting new trends for the rest of the Arab world to follow.