What was once a peaceful and historic country increasingly fell into chaotic protests that were hopefully leading towards the resignation of Egypt’s current president Hosni Mubarak. The streets of Tahrir Square — translated as Liberation Square — were in an uproar, as the people of Egypt protested against the three-decade control of a dictatorship.
Hosni Mubarak has been Egypt’s president for 30 years and has been re-elected four times. The real question is why would such malicious protests take place in a country that has seemingly supported this president for so long?
There are two viewpoints on this dilemma. One: people feel sympathy for Mubarak and are supporters of his decisions and actions to supposedly make Egypt “a better place.” Or two: feel absolute hatred and disgust to his overall manipulation of the Egyptian civilization.
On the topic of fairness, there are always two sides to a story. Regardless of the turmoil that occurred in Egypt, it is understandable in some ways as to why people would have some sort of sympathy towards Mubarak. It is definitely hard to control a population of 80 million people, compared to the 1.2 million residing in Manitoba. Not only is sympathy an issue, but there is also a growing fear on the part of the citizens of this country. By fear, I do not mean towards the continuation of Mubarak’s reign, but fear of what is to come and who will be the sovereign power.
The other side of this predicament would obviously be the perspective of those who feel no manner of empathy or guilt for Mubarak’s actions. Over the past 30 years, Egypt has seen nothing but complete poverty and oppression. Egyptians are economically poor, having no income to keep both themselves and their families alive.
Despite this poverty, however, Egypt’s economy has undergone a period of substantial growth in the recent years. Numerous International Monetary Fund arrangements, along with the massive external debt relief, are all factors that have helped the country to improve its macroeconomic condition. Therefore, Egypt certainly has the potential to be economically stable.
Claims have been made that Hosni Mubarak has made Egypt a peaceful place. Peaceful? Are you kidding me? The way I see it, regardless of the fact that Egypt was not in a state of war, the country was completely controlled by an absolute dictator along with his so-called “cabinet” of businessmen.
Mubarak has been corrupted by the power that comes with being a president, making his profits and his salary off the people themselves. While he and his family are swimming in their riches, people are on the streets living on government-provided loaves of bread.
When you are being beaten by police officers, with tear gas grenades being thrown at you — which might I add were manufactured by the United States of America— I could see why these people are so damn exasperated and filled with rage.
Some of you may say that everyone deserves another chance, and I absolutely agree with that. But the way I see it, and I’m sure others feel the same, is that 30 years of “chances” were enough for Mubarak to make a change and a difference, and prove that he is the right candidate for this job.
I stand by the people of Egypt and their protest and movement to make a change in their country, in their lives and the lives of those who surround them. I do not need to be living in Egypt to acknowledge and comprehend the deep sorrows and infuriation felt by the people, caused by the one and only, the all mighty and powerful Hosni Mubarak.
Veronica Alexanders is a first-year student with an Egyptian background and who hopes Egypt emerges from this dark time and seizes a better future.