In the past two weeks, the world has watched as Hosni Mubarak laid siege to Egypt. Mubarak shut down the Internet, the cellphone service and removed the police force from the streets. Panic and chaos ensued and the entire country was at a state of war with its own dictator. Witnesses have suggested that the ministry of the interior, formerly headed by Habib El Adly, tried to create a chaotic situation that would sway the masses into supporting the government out of fear for their safety. El Adly failed miserably when citizens began to cooperate with each other and established neigbourhood watches to protect public and private property.
Despite Mubarak’s many flaws, I think he was better than his predecessors, but he was far from perfect. I respect his desire to leave on good terms, but I cannot say Egypt will miss him. For the first time in decades, Egyptians feel like their country belongs to them and not to an authoritarian regime. They’re cleaning their own streets and they’re protecting their museums, they’re taking control of their destiny and they’re dreaming of a brighter future. The people, and not the regime, are now sovereign.
I think it is also essential to remember that this is not about respecting the legacy of a man; it’s about respecting the dignity and basic human needs of millions.
All I want is a better Egypt, but in order for that to happen, Egypt has to shake loose those who wish to exploit the anger of the people. Was the driving force of the initial protests legitimate? Yes. Was Mubarak at fault? Yes. He, along with his entourage, failed the Egyptian people. They allowed Egypt to be robbed.
Despite the sins made in the past, the situation has dramatically changed. There are many who are eager and power hungry getting ready to jump into the vacant seats of government. They have their own agendas that I personally think are contradictory to the will of the Egyptian people. There must be an orderly transition of power, and it must follow constitutional regulations.
The people cannot decide Egypt’s future while they are emotional or fearful. From now until the elections, political parties must establish themselves and propose to the people their plans for Egypt and let Egypt decide.
Egypt’s celebrated former president, Gamal Abdel Nasser, once said:
“There is no longer a way out of our present situation except by forging a road toward our objective, violently and by force, over a sea of blood and under a horizon blazing with fire.” Thankfully Mubarak acknowledged that he could not resist the will of the people any longer, and now that he has stepped down the government can soon begin an orderly transition and amend the constitution to allow a democratic vote.
Mickael Henain hopes that Egypt is able to achieve a stable transition to democracy.