Sunday, January 30, 2011

Will Mubarak Fall?

Close on the heels of Tunisians having successfully sent their dictator Ben Ali packing, it seems Egypt is the next country to try street protests to bring about change.

Violent protests have rocked Cairo as the incumbent President Hosni Mubarak, who has kept that post for decades in a typically Arab pseudo-democratic manner. Clearly, the protesters are inspired by the events in Tunisia.

But the question really is whether the protests will lose steam or reach their logical conclusion. Mubarak has responded by overhauling the Cabinet, including firing the Prime Minister. He has also banned Al-Jazeera because of all the global news networks, it has been covering the events in the most in-depth manner. The aim here appears to be to break the organization of the protesters so that the Police - or even the Army - can handle then systematically.

The Arab world is characterized by (semi-) dictatorships, with Saudi Arabia perhaps taking the cake as the least democratic country on Earth (or perhaps the second after North Korea, but certainly first in the Arab world). But staring with Tunisia, change seems to be sweeping this part of the world. Can the people reclaim their sovereignty as their right? Or will dictators effectively hold on to their positions once again? To answer these questions would be immensely difficult, but Egypt is a very good hint.

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