The Egyptian online and social media communities together with their international counterparts were abuzz in November with heated debates, sharp comments varied between ridicule, encouragement, resentment and sarcasm, and even social media pages dedicated to support for or against two incidents.
Egypt’s Tahrir Square a few weekends ago was not full of scenes of jubilation, but rather those of screams, tears, blood and violent clashes between demonstrators and police. More than 1,800 young Egyptians were injured and the violence claimed 42 people across the country according to Egyptian officials.
On April 10, 2011, Hosni Mubarak gave his last speech (on one privately funded channel) while under house arrest claiming that he’d been deeply hurt and extremely disappointed by the unfair allegations and accusations which have surfaced in newspapers which not only smeared his reputation, but that of his family.
“But we don’t hear anything about your country anymore. We thought everything’s alright and that your demands were met once Mubarak was gone. The situation has gone back to normal. Right,” asked the German tour guide after he discovered I’m Egyptian while he was giving us a night tour in the city of Osnabrueck.
I believe that not only he and his fellow Germans, but people from other countries and nationalities as well, share this perspective. I have to admit that I’ve been hearing such comments for at least two months now, which came as no surprise.
“He should have seen it coming” was a comment I heard from a news anchor about Libyan president tyrant Mommar Gaddafi after the U.N. voted Thursday, March 18 to approve the resolution “to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack” – that is from an attack by their own president. The resolution, sponsored by the United Kingdom, France, Lebanon and the United States, passed with an abstention from Germany.
Choices have consequences. It’s a natural law that can’t be argued, but all too often someone is not willing to take responsibility for his or her choices. The previous Egyptian government dominated the decision making process. Whether the decisions they reached were right or wrong, it was we the citizens who suffered their consequences, even though we didn’t chose the government or needless to say actually participate in its decision making. In return, instead of taking matters into our own hands we used to blame the government for its bad decisions. AND THIS WENT ON AND ON UNTIL WE CHANGED IT!!!
On January, 15, 2011 – only one day after the Tunisian Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi announced on state television the ouster of FORMER president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and that he had taken control of the country – I received a message from one of my friends. It stated “Tunisia chose change and Egypt chose chips with shrimps”, a joke from a famous snack company’s advertising campaign expressing the state of frustration and cynicism our nation had reached after the dramatic events in Tunisia. The joke shows the humor we Egyptians used to express our real frustration and despair about what our country was going though. Once being a leader in the Middle East, we watched the Tunisian Revolution unfold with mixed feelings of happiness for their freedom, and also deep sadness that we were not the first to breakthrough the silence and indifference.