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Egypt presses Ctrl-Alt-Del

On » Saturday, February 12, 2011 //
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First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
February 11th, 2011... 1102-2011... an interesting date when literally a crowd close to a few millions of young, spirited and determined youths turned the tide of their destiny back, just like the date, to start a new beginning to their future. By the time I write this post, the Egyptian Revolution that started much earlier than January 25th had resulted in ousting their President Hosni Mubarak who ruled them for 30 long years. (Phew!)

(Courtesy: Internet)
While writing this blog, I admit, before January 25th, I hardly knew anything about Egypt except about Giza, the Suez Canal and well of course the famous photoshop gimick about Hosni Mubarak. As a non-Egyptian, I guess that was the only thing I ever knew Hosni Mubarak for. And I assume there were millions others like me around the world who never particularly knew much about Egypt and its people except for the Pyramids. But as history would have it, the perception of the world towards this country with a sharp right angled boundary, changed so dramatically over the last 18 days. And no price for guessing who was responsible for that... it was the common middle class youth in his twenties, calling for their right to lead a life they deserve.

The Egyptians proved the real power of 'We the people'. This uprising will be known for the non-violent and peaceful approach that the demonstrators used to make their voices heard. It will be remembered for giving a new meaning to the word, 'Internet Revolution'. The protestors showed no sign of backing away at any time from their key demand about Mubarak stepping down.

The most important thing that came out of this revolution or uprising was that people not only in the middle-east but the whole world witnessed one's faith in humanity's spirit and its aspirations. Though there was so much to fight against - the government, the thugs, the police, yet the demonstrators remained admirably peaceful while defending themselves. They didnt show a single sign of resorting to violent means while sticking to their core demand of installing democracy in their state. In Tahrir Square or 'Liberation square' as it is called, everyone saw this tremendous spirit of cooperation amongst the people themselves. They were so much determined and illustrative towards their goal while cleaning the streets after the clashes, protecting the Egyptian museum, setting up make-shift hospitals, distributing free food and water and protecting the journalists. The spirit of the people behind this uprising showed that autocracies cannot long survive the sharp and focused glare of their own people and community.

(courtesy: blog.aljazeera.net)
The slogans and the chants like "al sha'b yurid isqat al nizam!!!" (The people want the regime down!) and "Yascot Yascot Hosni Mubarak" will be rememberd forever in people's mind. These people were no one else but the educated middle or upper middle class, responding to other young activists and bloggers well versed with blogging and other social media like the Facebook and Twitter. Wael Ghonim started it on facebook, Asmaa Mahfouz posted one dramatic self-recorded video on youtube, and it spread like a wild fire bringing down a 30 year old regime. Al Jazeera played a massive role in this uprising. Despite the fact that it's license was revoked, it quickly had other alternatives like satellite phone calls, video uploading facility through creative commons, linking a live feed through Youtube, just to keep the spark of journalism alive. The internet shutdown flopped big time in its attempt to stop protesters from communicating and coordinating with each other. The crackdown on the foreign press made the resolve of the protesters even stronger. Information was relayed in 140 characters throughout the world, faster than one could believe. Twitter proved as a mini-broadcast medium giving out information to the world who was stuck to the television to witness a revolution, one of its kind. Citizen journalism was at the summit.

All the petty attempts by Mubarak to stay connected with the Egyptian politics finally failed when on 11th February 2011, Vice-President declared that the president fled to Sharm-el-Sheikh. I would like to congratulate and thank the people of Egypt for showcasing such beautiful spirit of determination and human aspirations. The road ahead may be bumpy for you, but rest assure, the world has no doubt today that you will scale it on your own successfully. Greetings from India...




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