Next stop: Democracy

Woh's next?

Just like any other Arab, or even non Arab who believe in Human Rights and freedom, I feel euphoric. I am beyond just happy. There are no words to describe how proud I am of the Egyptian people, and their revolution, and their achievement. Just few weeks ago, I wrote a post where I accused our generation of being tasteless, and colorless, for not having the kind of edge that previous generations had. Now I understand that I was mistaken. This generation is even more ‘tasteful’ than previous generations, because it can use all the tools for its goal. This generation is so knowledgeable and aware of the political dynamics in their country and internationally, that no sort of intimidation by their dictator was able to bend their determination, and no vague statement from a foreign leader could break their well. This is the ultimate victory of people, of us, against repressive regime that represents all the other regimes in this part of the world, that do not listen to the well of their nations.

This greatness, unity, dignity, and peacefulness that the Egyptian people demonstrated throughout their revolution represents the true us, and finally the world was able to see us for who we really are. Not through the leaders who do not represent us, and not through the extremists who do not represent us, but through the actions of the simple Arab people.

Aside from my euphoria for this historic day, there are few issues that need to be clarified. First of all, that this is just the beginning. The Egyptian people are now free to take their country wherever they choose to go. The journey is just beginning, and they need to start taking the right choices, and pay attention to those who want to jump on the well of the nation through other means. They say that the cost of democracy is constant agility, and this is a price Egyptians must be ready to pay if they want to live in a free country. Though I am concerned about the future of Egypt, I am, at the same time, not worried about it, because the people who can pull off a peaceful revolution like this, without any leader, are mature enough to identify any attempt by a foreign force, or an internal force, that wants to compromise this victory.

There are few things that the people should pay attention to. First, they need to make sure that the democracy they want to build will not be a partial one, nor one that copies the errors in other democracies. For example, they need to make sure that the military doesn’t become a political force like the one in Turkey.

Also, they need to make sure their democracy is not providing Israel with a way to ‘micro-manage’ their internal political scene by pulling strings here and there like they do in the US politics through their lobbies. The democracy in Egypt must reflect the well of the nation in the best way possible.

Another threat that the new Egypt should be aware of is the possibility of a staged overthrow of a democratically elected president. Something similar to what happened in the Ex soviet union republics of Ukraine and Georgia, when the US and Russia both support a party that takes to the street and portray itself to be a ‘public movement’ to overthrow the president that they do not like. Well established democracies have learned that lesson.

In addition to that, the new Egypt should pay attention to any possible Iranian infiltration of the country, through any means possible. But at the same time, it shouldn’t be as paranoiac about Iran as Mubarak regime was to the degree where they assume that Hamas is a supporter of Iran, therefore, Egypt should stand against it!

Tomorrow there is a day of demonstrations in Alger, and I hope they will also be able to overthrow their dictator. But to those who think that this scenario could repeat itself in other parts of the Arab world, like in the gulf or in Syria, or Jordan or even Yemen, I say that this will never happen in these countries.

The defining thing about Egypt and Tunisia is that their societies are made of one big group of people, without any visible hostilities between them. While if you look at the countries in the Asian part of the Arab world, you will find that they are made of different, and often, competing groups. In Jordan there are the natives and Palestinians, and the Kings of that country have always relied on the division between those two groups to strengthen their grip of the power. In Syria, there are so many ethnicities, religions, and sects that it is almost impossible for all of them to agree to run against the ruler. In Yemen there are too many tribes, in addition to the Sectarian divisions and the rift between the north and the south, and all of this give the leaders something to play with. In the gulf the issue is the same.

In short, this ‘wing’ of the Arab world is relatively stable, the next revolution, if any, will likely to come also from Africa. Alger and Libya are the most promising candidates for that. Unless, of course, history proves me wrong again!

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