Congratulations, Egypt, and Thank You
After weeks of resolute defiance, the Egyptian people have finally succeeded in forcing their corrupt leader Hosni Mubarak to step down, thus paving the way for an entirely new and hopefully more democratic government. Regardless of what happens next, this can only be seen as an overwhelmingly positive development on the world stage. I’m feeling more hopeful for humanity today than I have in a very long while, and there are a few words I’d like to direct towards the Egyptian people.
You did it. You decided that your collective lot in life was unacceptable and you banded together to do what was necessary to change it.
You didn’t wait around for your brutal dictator to die, just hoping that his son might be a slight improvement. You didn’t wait for any external force to come along and change things for you. You took matters into your own hands.
You refused to waver when your dictator unleashed his minions on you. While they rode in on their camels and slashed at you with their machetes, you held your ground. Let those who lost their lives to these last gasps of a desperate despot be remembered with honor. Take comfort in knowing that their lives were not lost in vain.
When your dictator tried to politically maneuver himself out of the corner you forced him into—first by firing those below him and then by promising not to run for re-election months from now—you refused to take the bait. You did not compromise your vision of victory by letting one despot merely pass the baton to another, and instead held fast to your demand for total surrender.
You did all of this on your own, with no need for any encouragement from the world’s other superpowers, including the United States. While Barack Obama seemed to waver on the ideals he so eloquently expressed in your capitol city two years ago, you held fast to them.
You proved to the world that democracy is not the exclusive property of one nation to bestow or withhold from others, but that it is available to anyone willing to fight for it.
I sincerely congratulate you on your historic victory, and thank you for what you’ve done. Whatever happens next, even if life gets worse in the short-term, nothing can erase what you’ve accomplished already. Let it be a spark of hope that ripples across the world and shows all people in all countries from the West to the Far East that real change is possible.
When history looks back on this event, let’s hope that it does so with reverence. Let’s hope that your revolution will be remembered as just one among many. What began in Tunisia was given an incredible surge of momentum by what you’ve accomplished, and let’s hope that momentum does not slow down.
Let’s hope that the 21st century will one day be known as “the century of revolution”.