Saturday, February 12, 2011
I am with history now
Mubarak is out. I feel the profundity of this moment. Last week I watched Conan O'Brien make a quip about Egypt, remembering that I heard something on NPR about a protest or something. Then I listened. This was an epic, in real time, one I have never experienced in my lifetime, to memory at least. I turned on NPR at work, starting in the back room alone, listening to reporters talk to protesters gathering in Tahrir. They had been massing for days, protesting Mubarak, telling them that the people were done with his tyrany and ready to build their country, their world as it should be. Night was falling, and people were gathering, people not used to the city, people with camels and rocks and guns, people hired by the government to put the protesters in their place. The police remained between the two parties, wavering between supporting the protesters or more often, looking like they were also agents of sameness, paid by the government to maintain the status quo at whatever cost. As an ominous night fell on Egypt, I changed the station as others came to work. Egypt remained in my prayers and thoughts. I then heard about the deaths and terrible acts occurring, but more moving was the proud defiance of the people. They remained. Their voices would not be silenced. The people are stronger than those they were governed by, as it should be. Today, Egypt is free. The proud Mubarak swallowed more than his pride and removed himself. That is over-due, but no less of what it is. Now, a people stand in the maw of the future. Who will fill the hole? They have shown they are strong and have a voice. They deserve an equally fair leader. As they did on the eve when the violence began, my prayers go out to those people, who came together and did what many in other countries need to be reminded they are capable of. All the while the Chinese government pretends that the Great Firewall will keep out those notions of freedom. I'm sorry to break it to you China, those ideas exist, and no amount of ignorance will squash them. Silence is something a government will never truly create. The only voice that will remain is that of its people. This night of mine, the sun shines bright on a deserving people.