Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Egyptian Revolution, Take Two

By Jessica Elsayed
Senior Reporter
GRANVILLE, Ohio, U.S.A. – You just don’t make the same movie twice, especially since you will know the ending.
Starting Friday, Nov. 18th till this very moment today on Tuesday, Nov. 22nd, the people of Egypt have once again taken to the streets, after much patience had slowly developed into much anger.
Many people don’t know about the protests that have taken place almost every other Friday after the January 25 revolution in Egypt as it is rarely televised in the United States. The demonstrations were also considerably non-violent on the side of the police.
Recently, however, the military and police have used more violence than ever, at least since the revolution ended, with the excuse of practicing restraint.
Hundreds of people were injured on Friday and Saturday and more than 25 people are dead. The warm neighborhoods of Cairo, Alexandria, Suwes and Ismaeleya have turned into what looks like a war zone.
More than a million people again took themselves to the squares in their cities and, more vital yet, the military headquarters, to protest against the Supreme Council for Armed Forces.
Now their chant is, “The people demand the removal of the Mosheer (the top general of SCAF).”
The people of Egypt are not frightened by death or plastic bullet injuries. Thousands suffered from the tear gas that was so abundant that it seeped from the streets into people’s homes.
The SCAF, like Mubarak “back in the day,” doesn’t understand.
Only a few moments ago, Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, the head of SCAF, addressed the people in the same aggravating way Mubarak used to do.
Ignoring completely the deaths and people in the streets, he told the country that all he wants is what’s good for them and that his own reputation and that of the military has been stained by outside forces.
If this is a repeated movie, we all know Tantawi has two more speeches and a few more days before the people once again prevail.
The government handed in its resignation, including the once hopeful but now disappointing Essam Sharaf, and Tantawi has accepted.
After Tantawi’s speech, people are now angrier and more united than ever.
Unlike other ‘mini’ post-revolution protests, this demonstration does not belong to one specific party, mentality or religion.
Instead, it is one by Egyptians – pure, brave, youth, women, children, men and elders who will not stand by to see what they worked so hard for destroyed.
The martyrs’ blood from last January and February will not go to waste – and neither will that spilled this November.
For the past four days, we’ve heard stories like that of Ahmad Harrah, a dentist, one of many January revolutionaries who lost his right eye from a bullet on Jan. 28 and now his left on Nov. 19.
Afterward, he said, “To live blind with dignity is better than living with sight and defeated.”
Stories like these made people who may have not been to the first revolution leave their homes in the midst of the danger and take to the streets in protest.
There are more people in the demonstration than ever before and they are ready to sacrifice anything and everything to keep their freedom.
There is no other solution or demand now except for the leaders of the armed forces to back down.
The people are not satisfied with Tantawi’s solution to simply have a referendum asking if the people want the SCAF to remain in control because they know the idea is meant to divide the people.
Once trusted, the SCAF initially fooled the people into believing that it was the guardian of the revolution, but it turned out to consist of power hungry hypocrites who do not care for the people of Egypt.
Despite being scared, insecure and living under constant tension, people can smell revolution in the air again and they are determined to prevail. Millions are still in the street and will stay there until their demands are met.
Revolution 2.0 has only just begun.
God bless the people of Egypt and keep them safe.
Jessica Elsayed, who is from Alexandria, Egypt, is a freshman at Denison University. 

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