From the land of sphinxes and pyramids
A million voices rise
Breaking the shackles of bondage,
Stifled voices and suppressed anger
The veil of ignorance is lifted
A spirited,young, savvy populace
Can no more be fooled
Broken wings and gagged mouths
Empty speeches and hollow promises
People seething in pain
Against years of slavery
The crowds gather at Tahrir
United to the core
Fuelled by a common purpose
Of overthrowing a despot
Bullet shots pierce through the night
Another innocent bystander falls
Truth and freedom will win the fight
Against a merciless ruler
Tanks and guns cannot silence
The brave Egyptian spirit
The cries for freedom proclaim
A new world order
© copyright skm February 6th, 2011
The Tunisian uprising and subsequent protests in Egypt have sparked discussion about the potential for democracy in the Arab world. Having managed to overthrow their repressive leader, the Tunisian people look poised to embrace Western-style government. Though some find the Arab wave of democracy long overdue, experts warn that achieving real representative government may prove extremely difficult. As unrest begins to boil elsewhere in the region, observers ask–is the Middle East ready for a democratic revolution?
Police have been virtually absent from the streets since Saturday, after a brutal crackdown a day earlier when thousands of riot and plainclothes police clashed violently with protesters.On Sunday, low-flying fighter jets overhead did nothing to deter thousands of Egyptians from continuing their protests into the night.
The arrival of Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBaradei in Tahrir Square fueled their fervor. Throngs cheered as the leading opposition figure entered.ElBaradei, a former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, is one of several opposition figures whose name surfaces when protesters talk about possible future leaders of Egypt. Among other names is Amr Moussa, head of the Arab League.
But Mubarak has given no indications of giving up his 30-year rule. On Sunday, he urged the leaders of his new Cabinet to undertake “dialogue with all the (political) parties,” according to a transcript of his remarks read on state-run Nile TV.
Nile TV reported that roughly 1,000 inmates escaped from Prison Demu in Fayoum, southwest of Cairo. Inmates also broke out of Abu Zaabal prison in Cairo and the Ataa prison in Al Badrashin, a town in Giza, Nile TV said.
The protests in Egypt come weeks after similar disturbances sparked a revolution in Tunisia, forcing then-President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to flee the country.
Both Egypt and Tunisia have seen dramatic rises in the cost of living in recent years and accusations of corruption among the ruling elite. Tunisia-inspired demonstrations have also taken place in Algeria, Yemen and Jordan.
The aging Mubarak has ruled Egypt with an iron fist for three decades, and it was widely believed he was grooming his son, Gamal, as his successor — a plan now complicated by demands for democracy.
(Source: The Atlantic Wire)
On November 19, 1863, President Lincoln went to the battlefield to dedicate it as a National Cemetery. Over time, however, this speech with its ending – government of the People, by the People, for the People – has come to symbolize the definition of democracy itself. The Gettysburg Address stands as a masterpiece of persuasive rhetoric. It is one of my favourite speeches:
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate – we cannot consecrate – we cannot hallow – this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
President Abraham Lincoln – November 19, 1863