Tribute to the youth of Egypt
In utter disbelief, the world is watching Egyptians strike back again. Many of these same tens of millions were amazed themselves at the energy and power they were radiating. They came from everywhere and filled the squares of freedom all over the country. They had transcended their fear; they were clear about what they didn’t want – and clearer on what they do want.
Once again, Egyptians took to the streets, this time in even bigger numbers than the start of their revolt for freedom and social justice in 2011. This time it was different. A revolution with a date and a place ended up with a 48-hour ultimatum from the army to bridge differences and ease a political deadlock. Egyptians held their breaths for a few hours in limbo. When the declaration finally came, it was ecstatic. Egypt rocked once again.
It took Egypt two-and-half-years of painful learning to once again celebrate the power of its people and to stand at the helm of its destiny. There could be no denying the will of the majority of its people. The only apparent state of denial once again came from its rulers. Egypt’s legitimately elected president, Mohamed Morsi, followed in the same footsteps of his predecessor, Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted, to be replaced by his appointed military council.
This time around, there should have been no surprise; the ousted president was even given a date for the revolt. The months before saw the birth of the latest movement of dissent. It called on all to Rebel. The more than 22 million who had signed a petition certainly announced their opposition loud and clear. Addressing the nation for the last time, Mohamed Morsi lost his last shred of possible legitimacy to rule Egypt. Those who imagined that 5 million plus votes buried in some electoral boxes could have stood against the avalanche of frustrated and determined Egyptians estimated to be 17 million and more made a grave mistake.
In the name of legitimacy, deposed president Morsi lost his last thin chance of saving his rule and that of his Muslim Brotherhood. Morsi and the brotherhood were not without followers; after all, he did ascend to the top of Egypt with a bare majority. Throughout a difficult year, Morsi and his brotherhood managed to gain more opposition instead of support. Did they set up themselves to fail as they quickly alienated even those who gave him their votes? Unfortunately for them, hanging onto the fragile ropes of bare legitimacy and ignoring the calls and warnings of the source of that legitimacy brought them down with a bang.
These are delicate times for Egypt and its people. All attempts to frame this dynamic process of change in a narrow definition will ultimately fail. As the world attempts to understand, as the weak continue to criticize and as the knowing continue to be patient, Egyptians must continue to learn how to build Egypt again in unity. This is no end of the road, merely a second chance to begin again. The path is surrounded with high walls to overcome. These are special times for Egypt’s real heroes, those who started the process, those who paid dearly by standing strong and determined, those who led by example and those who brought out Egypt’s true colors, the brilliant young women and men who continue to change the world for us and safeguard the future. Beware the youth of Egypt.