Monday, February 7, 2011

I Have Watched in Awe

I have watched in awe as the Egyptian popular uprising unfurled. As the people took to the streets. As families joined the marches, as they made their voices heard and as many took a stand in Tahrir Square. As they defended their neighbourhoods as well as the Egyptian museum. As people were selfless. As they spoke out for their people. For themselves. For a democratic Egypt. I have watched in awe.

I have watched in awe as more and more pictures and videos emerged from the uprising. These were pictures and videos about the will of the Eqyptian people on the streets, demanding democracy. About their strength. But also videos of the violence perpetuated by Mubarak’s government thugs. From Tahrir Square where much has happened. Where Mubarak’s thugs attempted to massacre the pro-democracy protestors. Where new connections were made, where religion no longer matters and one stands for the other and protects eachother during prayer. Where every life mattered and every lost life and injury was mourned. Where there were comrades. Where there were children! Where there was incredible strength. Where people survived and took a stand!

I have watched in horror as the dictator Mubarak’s thugs attacked the peaceful pro-democracy protestors after Mubarak ended his speech and during the days that followed. I have been horrified by the global blindness perpetuated by some of the Western media. How people simply did not know about the attacks by Mubarak’s thugs outside of Egypt, Twitter and Facebook. It is almost as if some think that if something is silenced to death it does not exist. This approach failed here. As the world now knows and as the strength of the Egyptian pro-democracy protestors persists.

I have watched in awe how the journalists that were present in Egypt fought hard to get the information out. How they were attacked, arrested, had their equipment seized. How they were threatened…and how they persisted. Especially Al-Jazeera reporters need to be commended on their incredible work, strength and bravery to continue on reporting no matter what!

I have watched in awe as the Egyptian bloggers fought hard online and on the ground in Tahrir Square and elsewhere to get every piece of information possible out to the world. How at great personal risk they took a stand to fight for a democratic Egypt.

I have watched in awe as make-shift clinics were created by volunteer doctors to help the wounded pro-democracy protestors. How medical supplies, food, blankets were provided by any and all who could get them to Tahrir Square.

I have watched in awe as the Egyptian women took their place as comrades in the struggle. As they always have and as they always will. I have a lot to learn from each of them.

And I have watched in awe as the Egyptian youth rose to the forefront of the struggle!

I have watched in awe….and I will continue to do so.

~ Sofia Smith

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