From Falafel to Freedom: A Sad New Reality

Marianna Michael

On May 3, 2010 my last blog was coincidentally titled Mabruk Mubarak. It explained the correlations between President Hosni Mubarak’s reign and the Egyptian economy.  A year ago today no one would have recognized his name. Today, his name is spread all over televisions, newspapers, and websites. When I walked into Starbucks this weekend there was my parents’ country on the front page of every newspaper and it made me want to cry. My mother is worried for her homeland and believes that this revolution is bad news. My father believes the complete opposite and thinks that it is time for change. My family in Egypt have no opinion besides saying that they are praying that this will end soon so that they may resume their daily lives. Since that moment at Starbucks, my own opinion on this subject has been well sought out and yet when people hear what it is they are stunned. I am against the Egyptian Revolution. Yes, they need a more democratic government, but releasing the inmates from four prisons into the streets of Egypt to kill, pillage, and plunder the citizens homes is not the solution. Telling people not to leave their homes unless they are ready to die for this cause is not the solution. Removing Hosni Mubarak is not the solution.

30 years ago, Egypt was ruled by Anwar Sadat. In the eyes of the outside world, he was a great president. For the people inside Egypt, his reign meant fear for Christian and Muslim alike. It is an acknowledged fact that the disagreements between religions in Egypt would not exist had Anwar Sadat had never been president. When Mubarak took over he created an Egypt that was considerably more safe for everyone. The years preceding his reign were filled with wars against neighboring Israel. This generation of Egyptians have not had to live with the fear of being bombed everyday because Mubarak has provided a safe country for them. When there is so much as a sign of something that would harm his country he takes charge. When the Muslim Brotherhood reigned (during the reign of Sadat) war was waged on the Christians and the Muslims from their own countrymen. Mubarak has worked against them for three decades and now the youth of Egypt are joining them in the war against him. Mubarak is truly the mediator of the Middle East. It takes hard work to keep Arab countries from starting a war. Even though he is advanced in age, Mubarak is still a prevalent force in keeping peace between them. Maybe it’s hard for us Americans to see why this is important so I will spell it out for you: when a lot of angry Arab countries start war against each other, it will spread to all the other countries in the world. In even simpler terms: the price of oil will skyrocket and nuclear warfare will become eminent. 30+ years ago, this was a harsh reality that everyone was aware of. America had no hope of stopping the wars permanently until he became the leader.

I want to point out one major point. If this revolution truly ends as the people want it to, who will take over? What will happen next? These are the questions that need to be answered but no one is willing to answer because no one has thought of that. If Egypt will truly go forward then it needs a strong leader. They need the type of leader that hasn’t been seen in any country for centuries. Unfortunately, I personally do not see anyone who can live up to this need.

My family has taught me how benevolent Mubarak is and how he has been trying to bring advances to Egypt. Through his reign he has reformed education, opened multiple modern cities, introduced modern technology, and brought many jobs to the country. Yes, the prices of food have been ridiculously high recently, but at least they had food. As of today CNN is reporting of a food shortage. No one knows how long this is going to last and when food will get to the citizens. This was not put on them by another country. This is a self inflected wound as the whole revolution is. Egypt has been trying and fighting for centuries to be caught up to America and the only time they have ever advanced is when Mubarak was president. Americans and Egyptians alike think he is hindering the process but if you look at the many factors that play into Egyptian government and life Mubarak is doing an extremely good job. I will go even further to say that the next Egyptian president will not amount to anything in comparison to him and the Egyptians will look back on the Mubarak reign with remorse that it is over.