Sunday, May 29, 2011

"Day Of Anger"

Egyptians packed Tahrir Square again. To express their dissatisfaction with the pace of change. Did they anticipate, truly, a wholesale and instant changeover from the tyranny of a dictatorship to a beneficial democracy? When the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces is in charge? Much of what their immediate demands consisted of have been undertaken.

The forcible removal of their former president, and his ruling council, for example. President Hosni Mubarak ensured peace and stability in Egypt for the length of his tenure. He ruled over a people who submitted to a military-type dictatorship, one which saw the emergence of a healthier economy, but it seemed to benefit an entitled elite, not the dwindling middle class.

There was the syndrome of the Middle East reflected in Egypt where the youth, of whom there is a decided surfeit, were largely unemployed, restless, resentful and increasingly vocal. Motivated to use social networking to express their frustrations and plan among themselves to demonstrate in sufficient numbers to ensure that their ruling elite noticed.

The people were fed up with high food and energy costs. With lack of employment opportunities. They resented the strong arm of the police. They were aware of the corruption in government and in fact everywhere around them, because this too represented a way of life that spoke of tradition. Everything must change; they, the youth, were exposed to the knowledge of freedoms available in other countries, denied them.

It was everyone involved together; the secular, the religious, the indigent, the middle-class, teachers and doctors, lawyers and tourism employees. There was room for everyone, even the once-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. Absent from this Day of Anger, however, since the evolution of the Muslim Brotherhood's recognition by the military.

This new Egypt is one in transition from dictatorship to arrested civility. The civil liberties that were demanded are not yet in sight, but criminal incivilities are, and socially-destructive tendencies among deviants within society have been unleashed. The new Egypt, absent the firm controlling direction of Hosni Mubarak has moved to a strange place resembling a tyranny of the oppressed.

While former president, Hosni Mubarak, his sons and his trusted friends must now stand trial on charges of corruption and murder in the unfortunate deaths of protesters, to the satisfaction of those same revolutionaries, the country appears to have dissolved into crime central. Extremist Muslims attacking Coptic Christians, burning their churches, threatening their very existence.

Thievery is becoming endemic. The police simply do not seem to be around in numbers sufficient to quell the criminal activity. People no longer feel free to venture out for strolls in the evenings as they once did. They prefer to be safe and remain at home. "We no longer control the streets", claimed one police officer tardily investigating a car theft.

The price of food staples is steadily increasing. There are fewer customers now for goods for sale. Shop owners are barely making a living. Neighbours who once were interested in helping one another now feel alienated from each other. "We can't find fuel. Things are being stolen every day."
"Even though there was no money, people would take care of each other. We would all find something to eat at the end of the day. today, no one cares about one another."
The country's economy seems in free fall; tourism has fallen off, and Egypt is appealing to the international community to keep the economy afloat. The World Bank has agreed to provide up to $4.5-billion to assist Egypt in its modernization efforts. And then?

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