Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Revolution = Evolution

Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of the January 25th Egyptian Revolution. The revolution hasn't ended by any means, but this day began it all. I remember being in Rhode Island, USA. I remember having friends from Egypt who I could not contact because they were banned from internet communication and I remember being worried. I remember spending every day, every night watching Al-Jazeera English and watching as the developments unfolded. Days of great emotion, days of sadness, days of chaos, and days of victory. These were incredible days that, though I was more than 5000 miles away, I felt a part of. I was praying everyday for the relief of the people. I prayed for their safety and hoped that they would recieve what they were striving so hard for. I had managed to convince some of my friends, (some of which were not even Muslim) to pray and fast during this time in hopes that Allah would answer our prayers and protect the innocent. And when that day came, February 11, 2011, and I heard the councilman stand at the post and announce Mubarak's official resignation, I burst into tears of happiness.

All my life I loved Egypt. Since I was a kid, I delved deeply into it's ancient history. To be honest, even in my adulthood I imagined Egypt such a different world from what it really is. I really had no idea what today's Egypt was like. I didn't know much about the recent history, religious history (outside of what I knew of the stories of Moses and Joseph) or any of that. I was mostly interested in what was buried in the sand. But after having met friends through facebook who lived there all their lives, my view of Egypt changed dramatically.

It was Egypt and my love of it, that inevitably lead me to investigate Islam. I learned that the people there were mostly Muslims. My friends from there were all Muslims. And they connected me to others all over the world who were Muslims. It began a chain reaction of life changes for me. And I never imagined, (well I dreamed, but that was as far as I thought it would go) that I would come to live in this country. I had imagined myself somewhere in my 40's or 50's finally having saved enough money to travel here and see all the sites for some vacation. But live here? And at my age? It was clearly destiny. A work of God's will alone.

When I look at how different Egypt is to the USA, I'm astounded by how the people here have managed to keep a good sense of humor and feel pride in their country. They have suffered at the hands of a terrible tyranny that most people could not realize. And this tyranny drove them to feel fed up with how little they've been given from their own governments and leaders. Hosni Mubarak was a bad guy. I don't know if he started out that way, but after he got a taste of power, it corrupted his very soul. The greed, lust, and hording of every good thing in Egypt took him to a level that he could never even realize himself. He horded foreign aid to fund God knows what. He stole, and deprived his own people, the people he was responsible for, of their basic needs. Here the cost of food is so high that it's amazing people have money left for anything else.

Women barely begin to scratch the surface of the working world because there are no jobs for them. They go to school, get an education, go to college, further that education and wind up becoming educated house wives. They have no chance to get out there and better themselves or continue their education because there is no point if there is no job to be had. And it's evident on the faces of the older generation that they are just bored and tired. It's been the same thing day after day, all their adult lives. I see the older women as I pass by in the car, sitting on their front steps with their hands holding their heads as if they've been defeated by time. And the younger women, full of hope and motivation, go out and do their schooling, and hope that they can beat this endless cycle that their mothers before them went through. And now, there is at least a glimmer of hope that they really can beat the cycle and move forward. All thanks to the revolution.

Not only the women, but the men have also struggled too. My husband is a mechanical engineer. He has a good education, good solid career, and yet he doesn't get even half the pay that he should get. The economy makes it impossible for even doctors, lawyers, engineers and other highly educated workers to really get what they work so hard for. And it's all thanks to the lack of what we call, economical trickle. Everything costs SO much money, and people don't get paid enough to handle the inflation. But there is hope, all thanks to the revolution.

When I say revolution = evolution, I'm speaking the truth. The educational systems are not up to the same standards as other countries such as China, USA, Japan, Malaysia..etc. Here the educational system is in desperate need of reform. And for this country to evolve, it needs the support of it's people, working together to aim for the most important things. Education is key. And this revolution has opened up the door for a million wonderful changes, if only the people can maintain their motivation and not give in to threats from the governing military council, and the remaining lackies of Mubarak's regime.

The elections are starting to begin. This is a great great thing! And it will be free and fair! Already the parliament has put almost 50% of the Muslim Brotherhood in the seats. This has been a subject of much controversy and for good reason, but one thing it surely and clearly symbolizes is change! The Peace and Justice party seems to have a lot to say, moreso than most of the other runners up for leadership in this country. And it seems a great percentage of the youth of Egypt supports them. So let Allah decide, I say. If they make it, then it is what is meant to be, just like the revolution itself. For better or worse, God only knows the reasons and God only knows the design. We can only pray for the best. I wish for every Egyptian, the very best and fairest of leaders. I wish for every Egyptian, the strongest of faith. And I wish for them to fear Allah only, not the military council, not the results, not the police, or anyone else. And I pray for a great and opportune beginning to a new era of Egypt's history. Insha ALLAH, Ameen!

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