Welcome to this blog which is dedicated to providing a forum for a civil discourse on a variety of issues to try and make our society a truly better place for all. While the views expressed are strictly my personal opinions, please feel free to join in on these conversations accepting the premises that every attempt will be made to ensure that nothing but the truth be spoken and the truth be heard.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Tears of Joy

What an amazing 18-day transformation the world was privileged to watch unfold in Egypt and end this past Friday with unbridled jubilation in Cairo's Tahrir Square. Tectonic, seismic, transformational and unbelievable are just of a few of the adjectives used to describe a process whereby the strong will of the people freed themselves from a dictatorship in a peaceful and orderly manner.  Not only was their success aided and abetted by technology ( the subject of a prior blog The Era of Faceless Revolutions on January 30th), it was fueled by a brand new demographic of young Egyptians that the old guard regime never seemed to fully understand or appreciate.  In addition the "people" had the full and unwavering support of the military who fully controlled the situation without firing a shot, almost unheard of in any part of the world, much less the volatile Middle East.  Also absent from this entire process were shouts of "death to America" or "kill the infidels", which signal that this may truly be a sectarian movement driven by an educated segment of a society deeply committed to seeking true freedom devoid of theocratic overtones and dogma.  In the words of President Obama "It was the moral force of nonviolence - not terrorism and mindless killing - that bent the arc of history toward justice once more".   


What impressed me the most was watching the pure joy expressed on the faces of the multitude of men, women and children who poured into their ground zero to be a part of one of the most important historical events to take place in Egypt's long and rich history.  Tears were flowing and proclamations of "God is great", "Lift your head high in pride, you're Egyptian", "Democracy is coming", "Egypt is free", "Egypt is born again" and "I am somebody" reverberated throughout Tahrir ("Liberation") Square.  More miraculous was that people of all stripes, classes, ideologies and religions, including even Muslims and Coptic Christians, stood side by side sharing and enjoying this new-found freedom.  What's even more exciting is the possible wide-ranging effect this bottom up, as opposed to top down (e.g. Iraq war), drive toward democracy may have on the entire Middle East.  In the words of Thomas Friedman, "The sense of self-empowerment and authenticity - we did it ourselves, by ourselves - is what makes Egypt's democracy movement such a potential game changer for the whole region".   The date 02/11 may be Egypt's 09/11 but, obviously, for much different reasons.

So, a country which has survived since 3,000 BC with a series of pharaohs, kings and generals notably including King Tutankhamen, all the many Ramesses, Cleopatra, King Farouk, Gamal Nasser, Anwar al-Sadat and now Hosni Mubarak now has its first real chance to experience democracy.  Yes, there are many unknowns and treacherous paths that this new journey may take, which is why it is so critically important that it have the full and active support by all Americans minus the cynicism and second-guessing that, sadly, is already starting to take root.  Should progress start to falter, those tears of joy could quickly change into tears of rage, in which case "the people" know the way back to Tahrir, but I fear it won't be such a peaceful second trip.  

Laura Raborn at http://paintingsofhome.com and http://claygifts.com 
Jim Johnson at http://yessy.com/jimjohnson/gallery.html 
Russ Powell at http://powellphotos.com 
Linda Flake at http://lindaflake.com 
Tom Herrin at http://tommysart.blogspot.com 
Matt McLeod at http://matt@mattmcleod.com 
Artists Registry at http://www.arkansasarts.org/programs/registry/default.aspx
Sandy Hubler Fine Art at http://sandyhublerfineart.com
George Wittenberg at http://postcard-art-gallery.com  
Will Barnet at http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&expIds=17259,17315,23628,23670,24472,25834,26095,26328,26562,26637,26761,26790,26849,26992,27095,27126,27139,27147,27178&sugexp=ldymls&xhr=t&q=will+barnet&cp=9&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&ei=xpfETMT1O4L6lwf66ugE&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=2&sqi=2&ved=0CEkQsAQwAQ&biw=1350&bih=501
Barry Thomas at http://barrythomasart.com  
Sherry Williamson at http://meowbarkart.com
Julie McNair at http://juliemcnair.com  

Local Colour Gallery at http://localcolourgallery.com
Chroma Gallery at http://chromagallery.com
Cantrell Gallery at http://cantrellgallery.com
Greg Thompson Fine Art at http://gregthompsonfineart.com
Red Door Gallery at http://reddoorgalleryonline.com 
M2 Gallery at http://m2lr.com
UALR Gallery Program at http://ualr.edu/art
Gallery 26 at http://gallery26.com 
Boswell Mourot Fine Art at http://boswellmourot.com

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