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The real meaning of democracy in Cairo

The reality is that there would be far too many dreadful consequences if Mubarak were allowed to stay in power, even for a few more months. First, he will undoubtedly arrest the protesters as soon as possible and throw them into his dark, unknown jails. Additionally, until the day he leaves office, he will exploit the old Western Islamophobia to attract more international support for himself. During this time, his supporters and corrupt officials in his government will have time to take their money and flee, leaving Egypt as a barren desert.
Mubarak would drive the country into ruin before he left power to give the illusion that Egypt was the Garden of Eden during his reign. His ego is the world to him – as a military man, he wants to step down as a hero for the history books. If he’s the “father” of Egypt as he claims to be, though, the Egyptian people ask: “Why did he kill 302 of his sons and injure thousands more in a couple of weeks?”
Despite Mubarak’s best efforts, however, democracy is growing in Egypt today like a baby still taking his first steps. “If you missed the miracle of Moses splitting the Red Sea,” the protesters say, “you can witness the miracle taking place in Egypt now.”
At Tahrir Square, you can see the well-educated people explaining to the illiterate and non-educated why the change in leadership is imperative, why Egypt should not be like a third world country, and how prosperous the country would be if there was less corruption in their government.

In a display of unwavering strength in their cause, I couldn’t help but laugh when I heard the Egyptians’ sense of humor about Mubarak’s refusal to leave office. “A new word was added to Oxford dictionary,” a protester joked. “Mubarak: to stick something or to glue something. Example: I will punch you and Mubarak you to the wall!” 

One thing is for sure: Nothing will prevent the Egyptian people from Mubaraking together throughout their brave journey into democracy.

Reda Saeed is an Institute for Education Fellow.


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