Today in Tahrir Square, there are at least 100,000 demonstrators gathered to protest President Morsi, who was elected one year ago today. The Egyptians have discovered “Power to the People!” There is reporting of a possible new revolution beginning. According to the demonstrators, Morsi has failed to tackle economic and security issues while putting the agenda of Muslim Brotherhood before the country’s wider interests.
It seems the same demonstration with only the picture of the leader that has changed. Mubarak lived and ruled as an absolute ruler for 30 years. He seemed a reincarnation of the ancient pharaohs. There is a story of him riding through the streets of Cairo and remarking that “There is no traffic problem in Cairo!” after his aides had stopped the traffic for his limousine to pass unimpeded through the streets. I have experienced the Cairo traffic where people actually hang on the outside of lowered bus windows to travel by bus. Buses that never actually come to a halt…people just roll off of on at their own peril. As much a challenge as India’s traffic was, I never saw a bus as crowed and covered as I did in Cairo quite a few years ago.
I have been to Tahrir Square, not at a huge demonstration but to visit the Cairo Museum.
Here are housed the most beautiful and amazing treasures from antiquity including King Tut’s treasures.
This is a rather startling picture , but actually not in Egypt. Just as there is religions co-existence in India, there is a long record of tolerance between the Islamic majority and the minority of Coptic Christians. During the last year, persecution and even executions have taken place against one of the oldest Christian sects lead by Christ’s disciple Mark who brought the Christian story to Egypt. My heart and prayers are with the Egyptians demonstrating for freedom both political and religious. These are freedoms I hold dear and believe are God given for all of humanity.
My thoughts and prayers are also with my Indian friends and the challenges they face daily with lack of food, sanitation, crowding, meaningful work and safety for women and girls. I pray the leaders will listen to the concerns of the people and work to solve these problems, all without violence. A dream? Yes, but also a possibility.