February 4, 2010
At the moment, as I am writing this, one almost does not need more proof; the pro-democracy protestors' victory is closer than ever, with millions of Egyptians from all of walks of life gathering throughout Cairo and Alexandria in a festive atmosphere calling in unison “Down with Mubarak!” Clearly, the “Day of Departure” has brought the victory so close that from Tahrir Square all the way to the other side of the world, we all can smell and taste its sweetness.
President Hosni Mubarak last night in a non-televised interview with ABC’s Christine Amanpour sent out a message that he himself was “fed-up” and that he is not stepping down because he is afraid of Egypt falling into chaos. Vice President Omar Suleiman also aired an interview confirming the tired President’s words, and also reiterated that the Egyptian government will not use the army against the protestors. And, this was the case today with the Egyptian army which worked together with protestors and has ensured their security. Truly, Mubarak should recognize that it is he who is causing chaos and that for the first time he needs to trust his own people, and not the other way around.
It is imperative that the government and the protestors come to a compromise which will bring the immediate resignation of Mubarak, in order to ensure that the “New Egypt” will not fall into a state of absolute chaos and violence. However, for now we can still remain upbeat. The anti-Mubarak campaign has shown their utmost respect for order, and inclusiveness; in short, a true democratic revolution. Egypt has always been a leader in the Middle East and their citizens have given the world a lesson in how to hold massive peaceful demonstrations without falling into the trappings of a regime which up until yesterday did everything to light flames and to incite violence.
Today with the government taking the backseat,the pro-democratic forces have ushered in a new beginning for Egypt. Once Mubarak resigns, the real test will be for the New Egypt to show their citizens (and the world) that after the Mubarak regime a true democracy based on a liberal democratic system will ensue, promising a place for all to live in freedom and dignity. Otherwise, this will all have been in vain.
In conclusion, as I write from Tel Aviv, I put my trust in all of those protestors, who after a long day are slowly returning home to be with their families, unsure of what tomorrow will bring. They should be satisfied that, together with the Tunisians, they have set a new bar for democracy not only for the Middle East but also for the world.