H C Singh

Egypt’s 5000 Year Old Past and Turmoil of 2011-Its implications

Egyptian Civilization is the most antique civilization of the world. Pyramids of Egypt were built more than 5000 years back and are still intact without any damage to massive stone structures. These were built as tombs of the ancient rulers of Egypt. Ancient Egypt had unique culture, very comprehensive, like architects, engineers but even literary persons. Egypt of ancient times had a language of its own called papyrus and had also invented ink like material from plants called papyrus. Ancient Egyptians had developed a national government as well as religion of their own believing in life after death. Thousands of tourists visit Egypt every year to have a glimpse of the greatest marvels of the world.

In medieval times Egypt became a Muslim country and was part of Otoman Empire led by Turkish caliphate. But after prolonged crusades between Christians and Muslims all over the Europe and North Africa, which went on for centuries Christians defeated Muslims. Even Turkey ceased to be head of Muslims of the Arab and European world of the time. Spain and Eastern European countries eased to follow Islam. By the end of World War I to save its identity as an independent country Turkey ceased to believe in orthodox or fundamentalist Islam. Kamal Atakurk went to the extent of banning Burqa by Muslim women. Thereafter, Muslim countries of North Africa like Algeria and Egypt became French and British colonies and remained so till the end of Second World War when both France and England lost supremacy.

After British withdrawal Egypt and Sudan both became independent countries and Sudan was no longer Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. Though Egypt after independence became a republic but was ruled first by Gamal Abdul Nasser and then by the present ruler Hosni Mubarak. Hosni Mubarak had been President of Egypt for 30 years and is still reluctant to step down inspite of 15 days revolt like agitation and protests by upto 1 million citizen of Egypt in the main Tahir Square of Cairo besides in many other small and big towns of Egypt. Demonstration by 1 million protestors in one day in Cairo is significant as it seems that never before and never in any country of the world 1 million people, including women and children have come out and stayed for whole day to mark unprecedented protest or demonstration.

As a result all the opposition rather all the population of Egypt have got united against present regime of Hosni Mubarak demanding his ouster. Even Muslim Brotherhood, an organization which had been banned for 57 years has come forward, though the ban has not yet been lifted, and its leaders are taking or leading negotiations with Mubarak’s deputies for a so called compromise with modification of present constitution and other democratic provisions.

It is well known that all leaders who become head of states by election or otherwise though coup and remain in that position became dictators. They also misuse their power to have associates of their choice who dare not object to what the boss or dictator is doing, in political or economic matters. Thus Hosni Mubarak in 30 years of his dictatorial rule has deposited money in foreign banks and built mansions in his country and abroad. It is estimated that Hosni Mubarak has property and assets around 80 billion US dollars. He has prime property not only in Cairo but also in Manhattan in USA and in London and billions of dollars in Swiss banks and in London, in Bank of England.

Agitation in Egypt and continuous protests, bordering revolt, against present regime and against Hosni Mubarak are having world wide repercussions and particularly in Arab world, adjoining countries in North Africa and Middle East. Recent ouster of Tunisia’s dictator Ben Ali after he had remained in power for 23 years is a glaring example before Egyptian people as well as other Arab countries where a sort of dictatorship prevails-whether it is Jordan, Algeria, Libya, Sudan, Yemen or any other Arab country or even any other country of the world or where there is some sort of autocratic rule whether by a king or elected ruler. When Tunisian dictator can be ousted by revolt like agitation why not Hosni Mubarak who has been more or equally corrupt and had been a dictator for 30 years and is thinking of making his son Gamal as his successor, as if Egypt is Mubarak’s kingdom and he has divine right to rule till his death?

On 8th Feb despite announcement by Vice President Omar Suleman on state T.V. that too, after 15 days of agitation when more than 300 citizens of Egypt were killed by police firing, protests became more intense and widespread with new protestors and learned senior citizens joining for the first time. Ataf Naged, who was a member of Board of Directors of National bank of Egypt (while rejecting and laughing over the Vice President’s declaration about new provisions in the constitution also promising that no reprisals against leaders of protesters.) said that nothing short of Hosni Mubarak stepping down will be accepted. In his words “I am here for the first time today because the cabinet is a failure. Mubarak is still meeting the same ugly faces.” Protests against the government and Mubarak have entered third week, with no respite, by millions of Egyptians in Tahir square alone. Though the 82 year old President Hosni Mubarak is adamant and even stubborn, there seems to be no end to crises in Egypt till Mubarak steps down voluntarily or is compelled to do so.

February 9, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , ,

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