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Egyptian revolution test for U.S. relations

Catherine Weiss | Staff Writer

On Jan. 25, Al-Jezeera reported protests had broken out nationwide as Egyptians from multiple castes and creeds rallied together against their current political regime headed by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Egyptian protesters spilled onto the streets chanting for economic and political reform.

On Jan. 28, now known as “The Day of Rage,” Mubarak called upon Egyptian military and police to show force with protesters and institute a curfew. The military officers stood by peacefully as protests grew throughout the week. Feeling like CNN wasn’t giving me enough information, I turned to Twitter and Al-Jezeera for information regarding the Egyptian protests and was flooded by the amount of information coming from young people.

It’s rare to find American youth so passionately speaking about the needs of their nation, yet these Egyptians spoke about their country as if it was the only thing they cared about. I watched as Christians formed circles around mosques to protect Muslims during prayer and people of all creeds come together to hold hands and sing for their country. Finally, on Friday, Feb. 11, Mubarak stepped down as president and Egyptians throughout the world cheered. Egyptians are now faced with the daunting question,“Now what?”

As Mubarak stepped down, The Supreme Council of Egyptian Armed Forces dissolved parliament and suspended the Constitution, stating they will hold power for six months or until another election could be held. Protesters compiled a list of demands related to dissolving laws and regulations but certain items have yet to be met and possible presidential interests have yet to step up to call for elections within the six-month time frame.

The U. S. has designated over $150 million dollars toward economic relief efforts for the Egyptian people, which has sparked speculation regarding U.S. interests in helping Egypt establish a new democracy. In my opinion, $150 million dollars is a pretty generous gift as long as it remains a one-time gift and as long as it doesn’t carry with it any underlying political intentions.

As many Americans now know, the U.S. is definitely not the best country to help carry out establishing democracies worldwide as the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan continue. The “Manifest Destiny” mindset of the American government has left us trillions of dollars in debt and a depressed economy to boot. With our grubby little fingers already poking around in the Middle East, I don’t feel like it’s completely necessary to be the forerunners in the establishment of the new Egyptian democracy.

With all hope, Egypt will be able to establish her own democracy that will better reflect the needs of its people, rather than emulating our already corrupt government, especially so new to the idea of democracy.

If anything, Americans can learn a lesson from the Egyptian Revolution, a lesson based upon dissolving differences of creed and socioeconomic statuses to join forces to truly revolutionize a country, to call for radical but necessary change and to unite under the idea of true freedom from oppression. TAS

About Aaliyah Mitchell

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