Friday, February 25, 2011

Domino of Events in the Region

On Friday last week we were watching the Friday prayers in Tahrir Square in Cairo. Millions had attended and shouted slogans calling for the cleansing of the Government from Mubarak agents. I was watching the scenes in Benghazi today, protesters had a banner saying " Thank you Egypt , Thank you Tunisia" . Protests and demonstrations are the word of the day everywhere and any time. More interesting were demonstrations in Amman, Jordan and other cities throughout the Arab world.  It seems that the domino of developments in the Middle East is so quick and so unpredictable that analysts cannot find the opportunity to provide insight into the events. Even the Saudi Monarchy has felt the tremors and has announced welfare measures for their citizens. Its also interesting to note that most of these cities have a square or circle named Tahrir or Freedom and yet they have to struggle and suffer for freedom.
The hypocrisy of the Obama Administration in sharply condemning certain repressive socialist or anti -imperialist governments such as Qaddafi and only lightly criticizing pro American dictators like Mubarak and Ben Ali has become evident. The question remains whether the ultimate model for governance in these countries is a western style liberal democracy, an Islamic Republic similar to the Iranian style or a more liberal Islamic Democracy like what is experienced in Turkey or Malaysia.
There are two major concerns for the future of  these nations, the first is the interference of foreign powers particularly the US which senses a loss of influence and  feels threatened for the safety of the Zionist regime. The second concern is for the dictatorial forces, the forces of wealth, power and media or hypocrisy who still yearn to regain power, this time with another face and color.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Egypt, Tunisia and the Future of the Middle East

After the successful Tunisian Revolution, the people of Egypt are now, after weeks of demonstrations and protests, celebrating the resignation of  Hosni Mobarak after 3 decades of autocratic and despotic rule. Many observers compare these events with those in Iran , 32 years ago . They try to draw an analogy between the Islamic Revolution in Iran and what happened in Egypt. While there are parallels to consider, there are also evident differences, as well. The military refrained from taking sides from the begining in Egypt, contrary to Iran in 1979. The movement in Egypt was national, not ideological, although  Islamic forces ( the Muslim Brotherhood)  played a major role,while Islam was in the mainstream of the revolution in Iran.

Some observers have drawn an analogy with the events of last year in Iran. They compare Egypt and Tunisia to the protests in Iran and believe that the people of Egypt were inspired by what happened in Iran last year, not what happened  32 years ago. However, we see and interpret the events as they are an important sign of change in the region. The life of the dictators is over and people do not look up to the US as their savior any longer. The US has once again, lost its face in supporting  despotic regimes in Egypt and Tunisis. Democratic and Islamic values will determine the fate of the Middle East. The people will learn from the lessons and mistakes of other nations including Iran and will build their future upon those valuable experiences .