Friday, February 4, 2011

Egypt: 'choosing hope instead of fear'

Sandmonkey: This is a revolution without leaders. Three million individuals choosing hope instead of fear and braving death on an hourly basis to keep their dream of freedom alive. Imagine that.

The Middle East's freedom train has just left the station
Rami G. Khouri, The Daily Star (Lebanon): To appreciate what is taking place in the Arab world today you have to grasp the historical significance of the events that have started changing rulers and regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, with others sure to follow. What we are witnessing is the unraveling of the post-colonial order that the British and French created in the Arab world in the 1920s and 1930s and then sustained -- with American and Soviet assistance -- for most of the last half-century...

The events unfolding before our eyes... are the third most important historical development in the Arab region in the past century... This is the most important of the three major historical markers because it is the first one that marks a process of genuine self-determination by Arab citizens who can speak and act for themselves for the first time in their modern history.

The two other pivotal historical markers were: first, the creation of the modern Arab state system after World War I, at the hands of retreating European colonial powers... who created most of the Arab countries that have limped into the 21st century as wrecks of statehood.

And second, the period around 1970-1980 when the European-manufactured modern Arab state system transformed itself into a collection of security and police states that treated their citizens as serfs without human rights, and that came to rely on massive levels of foreign support to maintain the rickety Arab order for decades more.

Now, we are witnessing the third and most significant Arab historical development, which is the spontaneous drive by millions of ordinary Arabs to finally assert their humanity, demand their rights, and take command of their own national condition and destiny.
Image source here.