Watching the turn of events in Egypt, I can only be amazed. It seems a new way to overthrow leaders who have held their grip on power for so long has been discovered. Everyday as I watched the news, I held my breath and prayed that the protest would not slide into uncontrolled violence among the protesters or just as bad- that the government would retaliate mercilessly, tired of having its power challenged.
But even after small battles between pro and anti Mubarak protesters, the overwhelming tide of the desire for change swept through Egypt and won. It's truly amazing to me. Now that Mubarak has stepped down, my prayer is that as people are rejoicing, their joy is not turned to sadness. Peace is what is needed, no matter what. I pray that Egypt stabilizes and the next rulers of Egypt rule the country with justice and respect for the desires of the Egyptian people.
One of my friends posted a status on Facebook saying that if Nigerians knew that they could oust a president through protesting, they would have brought an end to Ibrahim Babangida's regime. It's an interesting thought. But the victory for Egyptians came because of a combination of things, including the president's unwillingness to unleash violence on his citizens and a multitude of international media attention and pressure on Mubarak. Would the rest of the world care as much if it was a country like Nigeria? There are crises all over Africa, but look at how little coverage they get in western media. Also, so many governments are willing to use harsh violence against their citizens, which is a quick way to put down a revolution of people who are poor and have little to fight with.
Still, it leaves me wondering if this is a new pattern that will be continued across the world in places where people are unsatisfied with their government. We shall see...
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