Sara Whitman

Egypt: We Should be Celebrating

Filed By Sara Whitman | February 10, 2011 8:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Media, Politics
Tags: America, Egypt, government, media, News, revolution, streets

Egypt is a multicultural, diverse population. It is one of the oldest cultures in our world today. EGYPT-REVOLUTION-2011.jpgEgyptian culture has six thousand years of recorded history. Egypt has the highest number of Nobel Laureates in Africa and the Arab world. Egypt is recognized as the cultural trendsetter for contemporary Arab culture - as its culture thousands of years ago influenced that of Europe.

Today, thousands of young people who are fed up have started a revolution. A peaceful, powerful, all-inclusive revolution.

A revolution. Remember when youth in this country started a revolution? Remember when we thought we could change the world? Small revolts, single shots, and finally, we were the United States of America. With a Bill of Rights and a Constitution that reads, "We the people...."

What happened? We are more focused on finding the right restaurant and the right flowers for Valentines Day - a "holiday" that came from a card company - than we are in supporting a huge democratic surge in Egypt.

Why?

I can understand the media images in the last few days feeding fear. Janet Napolitano has stated that the terror alert will be higher than it has been since 2001.

Really. Why am I not surprised?

Be afraid, is the message. Why? Why is it frightening that young people have taken the streets and are calling for a true democracy? Might the passion ignite other youth in other countries to do the same?

I'd like to say I don't understand, but I do. It is the fear of the unknown. Change is, by nature, difficult for people to go through. My son had a fit that the chairs that were always in the living room were switched with the chairs that were in the back room.

No reason, just wanted to change it up.

There is an amazing reason for the change in Egypt. It is about freedom, fairness and justice. It is about all the different voices being heard. Don't believe for one minute it is a singular voice. Expand what you read, look for other sources; listen to how you are being pushed.

I have been to many protests over the years, surrounded by clergy of many denominations. I joined hands with them, sang songs with them, shouted slogans with them.

I was and still am an atheist.

Look at the pictures being shown of people in prayer. How many are? How many are not? What is the wide-angle shot versus the close up?

Every Fourth of July, America celebrates a revolution. It was a bloody, violent revolution, a war that lasted years. Not so in Egypt.

But they are looking for the same thing.

It is time to stop the fear mongering and let freedom ring.


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I think it's more than a fear of change - the US has generally opposed democracy when it didn't think it could control the election results. Iraq is a good example. We said we went there for democracy, but before there were elections the national resources and companies were privatized by American forces with long-term contracts that the country would be forced to honor. One dictator to another, and then elections!

We're worried about several things if the people take over Egypt. First they might stop torturing people we send them. Second they might open the border with Gaza and send aide to the palestinian people. And third they might cause other wealthy middle eastern nations to turn democratic, and then we'd have to deal with self-respecting peoples when it comes to our oil needs instead of dictators more than willing to sell out their countries for a small fee.

We should be standing with these people, and most Americans are. Clinton and Obama are wishy-washy, knowing how impolite it'd be to come right out and say they love a dictator so long as he does what we want (have they called for him to step down yet? Almost a month after the revolution started?), and Republicans are being more honest and saying that he should stay in power.

We love democracy in Iraq, but not in Egypt!

I agree, we should be celebrating what is happening in Egypt. But this IS an LGBT site. Don't ya think we should mention, and be a bit mindful, about what these changes will mean to sexual minorities? The plight of gay people has not been good under Mubarek, but it remains a huge unknown what this revolution will mean for our fellow LGBT people. We can only hope that this revolt will pave the way for better lives for gay communities throughout the Muslim world.