History is made, and the future opens

February 16, 2011

Muslims and Christians, women and men, young and old, Egyptians came together to topple oppression and broken promises

Montreal Gazette

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/History+made+future+opens/4291385/story.html#ixzz1E7ndBdKL

Witnessing history in the making is an amazing experience. It is incredible to watch events you have been waiting for all your life. The 50-second speech announcing the departure of Hosni Mubarak from Egypt ended 30 years of oppression, deception, corruption and lack of rights and civil liberties.

The peaceful protest by the Egyptian people in Tahrir Square, and in many other cities, was a political earthquake that shook the pillars of corruption and oppression in Egypt and in many places around the world.

The peak of disappointment in that 18-day roller-coaster of protests was on Thursday night, Feb. 10. Everyone expected Mubarak to resign, but he continued to talk about what he would do to fix the country's problems, about his sacrifices and how he loves Egypt and its youth. Many people just stopped following the 17-minute speech with the ambiguous reference in the 14th minute about transferring powers to the vice-president he had just appointed, after failing to appoint one for 30 years.

To understand our disappointment, one has to look back at the history of promises made by Mubarak.

Soon after taking power, he promised to step down after one term. Yet he ended up doing everything to stay in power for life, and tried to get his son to inherit the state. He promised to hold accountable any corrupt person, including members of his family. Yet he ended up giving awards to some of the corrupt officials in Egypt.

For 30 years, Egyptians were terrified when they heard Mubarak's promises to fix any problem; he almost always ended up causing more damage instead. He weakened the already corrupted political system, the constitution, the education system, the environment, the health-care system, the economy (as he privatized it around his beneficiaries), and the agricultural sector. As he promised to fight corruption, he increased it, causing serious damage to the social life of Egyptians. And he blamed failures on anything except his regime's corruption.

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/History+made+future+opens/4291385/story.html#ixzz1E7oEXdOs