Death destroys a man: the idea of Death saves him. Howards End
Egypt has stunned the world really. Selfishly, I’m a little sad, as I was supposed to be traveling to Egypt in a few days with some family that was coming over to visit, but I will definitely visit the country sometime before I leave!
Just listen to the crowd as Mubarak’s resignation is announced: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z06GVWJgTWU&feature=player_embedded
The overriding feeling around town is that this is the triumph of nonviolent protest over the acts of terror so commonly (and misunderstood-ly) associated with this region. There is some cautious apprehension about the future, what will happen with the Egyptian Army, will they really undergo true democratic reforms, can the legislative chaos be fixed in time for true elections in a few months? These are real questions that everyone is thinking of, believe me, but for a little at least, we can celebrate the power of the Egyptians. Ramallah even had a nice little hafla or party (really just a gathering of people) in al-Manara, the main city square, on Friday night to commend the Egyptian people and their spirit.
Mubarak was the fourth-longest serving ‘ruler’ in the Arab world (in power for 30 years), and yet the top three are still in place. Qaddafi of Libya tops the list with a rule of 41 years, with Sultan Qaboos Bin Said of Oman in second place with a rule of 40 years, and Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh rounding out the list with a rule of 33 years.
I think a lot of leaders around the world are scared. Peaceful protests held in Algiers, Algeria yesterday were violently put down, and same in Sana’a, Yemen. Oh and the Palestinian Authority announced presidential elections will be held before September of this year. Hamas is of course refusing to acknowledge this.
So instead of going to Egypt as planned, I decided spontaneously with some friends to still travel this week, but to Budapest, Hungary; Prague, Czech Republic; and Vienna, Austria. I cannot, cannot wait! Because we’re flying out of Ben Gurion Airport at 5am on Tuesday morning, my friend and I will sit in some Jerusalem cafe or bar from Monday evening until 1am on Tuesday morning, hopefully we’ll find something that stays open that late (!), until we grab the shuttle to the airport.
bshoofkom (I’ll see you) for now!