Persistence is crucial. Yet blood is not cheap and Egypt’s economy is hurting to the tune of 300+ million dollars a day.
However, evidence proves that everyday the demonstrations persist in Egypt, actual progress is made. Mubarak has long sacked the old government and replaced it with a new–albeit unsatisfactory–one. Baradei is free; as is Wa’il Ghonim now. The case is gradually building up against former minister of the interior–Habib al-Adili–for his part in the brutal repression of demonstrators and–perhaps–the New Year’s eve bombing of an Alexandria church. Sustained demonstrations (as well as the army presence) have spread–en masse–to block both houses of parliament. Labor Unions are now backing the opposition. The Arabic news–mainly al-Jazeera–is abuzz today with discussing expedited constitutional reforms. This is to say nothing of the reforms, talks and reverberations this revolution has caused in Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Yemen and other Arab countries.
More than two weeks have passed. Yet the people are surprisingly more tolerant of the new VP–O. Suleiman–than expected. Likewise, the army remains tolerant of both the outgoing government and the people; but the statement made earlier by the Foreign Minister–al-Gheit–namely that the army could step in for any national security risk, might be indicative of cracks forming. Furthermore, some opposition sympathizers are suffering from fatigue and beginning to worry about the power vacuum, the prospects of an even greater police state or something like that. Plus sporadic violence and fatalities have been reported until today, even outside Cairo. School-time is being delayed further.
However, one thing is for sure, all the pontificating pundits have been wrong about this revolution–both as it started and through its development. So, once the media–especially in the US–has tired from swelling the ranks of everyday Egyptian men, women and children into a grand but fictitious movement of the Muslim Brotherhood (more outmoded than people realize), a new and unpredictable system in Egypt will have taken over. No one knows–still–exactly what shall ultimately become.
I recall, whenever I see the struggle and sacrifice of my kindred in Egypt, the great wisdom of the modern and ancient world:
“But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in Egypt” (Exodus 7:3)
“How sweet and fitting it is to die for one’s country” (Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori; Horace, Ode 3:2:13)
And Abu al-Qasim al-Shabi’s poem entitled, “Oh you Wicked Despot!”
ألا أيها الظَّالمُ المستبدُ حَبيبُ الظَّلامِ، عَدوُّ الحياهْ
سَخَرْتَ بأنّاتِ شَعْبٍ ضَعيفٍ وكفُّكَ مخضوبة ُ من دِماهُ
وَسِرْتَ تُشَوِّه سِحْرَ الوجودِ وتبذرُ شوكَ الأسى في رُباهُ
رُوَيدَكَ! لا يخدعنْك الربيعُ وصحوُ الفَضاءِ، وضوءُ الصباحْ
ففي الأفُق الرحب هولُ الظلام وقصفُ الرُّعودِ، وعَصْفُ الرِّياحْ
حذارِ! فتحت الرّمادِ اللهيبُ ومَن يَبْذُرِ الشَّوكَ يَجْنِ الجراحْ
تأملْ! هنالِكَ.. أنّى حَصَدْتَ رؤوسَ الورى ، وزهورَ الأمَلْ
ورَوَيَّت بالدَّم قَلْبَ التُّرابِ وأشْربتَه الدَّمعَ، حتَّى ثَمِلْ
سيجرفُكَ السيلُ، سيلُ الدماء ويأكلُك العاصفُ المشتعِلْ