One minute you’re hearing about horrible things happening in Egypt and the next minute, “CongratsEgypt” is a trending topic on Twitter. Completely confused about what’s going on across the globe? Here is your Egypt wrap-up.
The Egyptian Revolution, also known as the Lotus or Papyrus Revolution, started on Tuesday, Jan. 25, to protest poverty, rampant unemployment, government corruption and autocratic governance by President Hosni Mubarak.
The revolution continued the next day, which resulted in the national police forces using tear gas, beatings and even live ammunition to attempt to stop the protests.
When that didn’t work, the government did what no one thought possible: it shut off access to the Internet. Protestors became even more outraged, and the action caused more media attention, exactly what the Egyptian government had been trying to avoid.
In the days that followed, media around the globe showed violent clashes between the Egyptian people and when Mubarak addressed the crowds in Tahrir Square on Tuesday, Feb. 1, everyone thought he would step down after his 30-year dictatorship.
But, he did not. Instead, he announced that he would not run for a new term in office when the September elections approached but refused profusely to step down and leave the country, vowing that he would die on Egypt’s soil.
The next day, Wednesday, Feb. 2, the access to Internet was finally returned but Egypt’s protestors were not satisfied.
Protests continued, the crowd grew, and the death count grew left and right.
Finally, after 18 days of the largest protest in Egypt since the 1970s, Mubarak resigned as president on Feb. 11, and handed control over to the military.
According to IGN News, experts estimate the death toll to be around 384 people with over 6,400 injured during the anti-government turmoil.
Now that Egypt has successfully won its freedom, Nobel Peace laureate Mohammed ElBaradei told The Associated Press that he expects a “beautiful” transition of power.
Not everyone thinks Egypt’s road to freedom will be a smooth and easy one, but President Barak Obama assured the Egyptian people, in his Feb. 11 speech that they can count on America.
“The United States will continue to be a friend and partner to Egypt,” Obama stated, “and we stand ready to provide whatever assistance is necessary, and asked for, to pursue a credible transition to democracy.”
Americans are divided on the decision to aid Egypt, and according to a recent Harris Poll, more than 42 percent of citizens believe the U.S. should remain on the sidelines and focus solely on its own internal issues.
Here at Corban, how should our way of thinking, as Christians, affect the way we view this situation?
Whether or not the U.S. should support the countries’ violent quests for freedom proves to be a “sticky situation” for American Christians as Corban student, Brittany Croft, refers to it.
“America has set this expectation that anyone and everyone deserves freedom, “ said Brittany Croft, “but never in the Bible does God specify that. On the contrary, we are ordered to respect authority and obey our masters. But the Bible does state that everyone deserves to be treated like the human beings that they are.”
Freshman Samantha Guernsey widely disagrees.
“When it comes down to it, everyone deserves freedom, “ she said.
Guernsey and Croft also differ in their opinions on America’s involvement with Egypt.
While Croft believes Obama did right in offering assistance if Egypt asks for it, Guernsey is strictly against it.
“America should only keep an eye on itself, “ she stated. “We have enough on our hands with Iraq and Afghanistan, which is something Obama should very well know.”
Freshman Christi Schmitz believes America should be there for Egypt but shouldn’t try to enforce our form of government on them.
“Freedom is a beautiful thing, “ she stated. “Everyone should have a chance at freedom and when they receive it, it’s up to them to make it work.”
No one knows what’s in store for Egypt. No one knows if it will continue on the path of democracy or fall victim, once again, to power-hungry military leaders. Will Egypt show the world it deserves its freedom? Only God knows what lies ahead, but as believers in a world searching for peace and stability, we can pray and hope for the best.