11/02/2011

Ma’salama Hosni!

6pm (Egyptian time): Breaking news, Mubarak is giving authority to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to manage the country. Jubilation breaks out!

The victory of the Egyptian people is beautiful because it is a sign of hope, not only for other Arab countries, but also for all the other people that are living under oppression. A dictator may indeed be destitute when the people decides to take away the roots of his legitimacy. Thank you to the Egyptian people for this lesson of courage and perseverance!

But even if the evening will be at the party, the struggle is not over. Like in Tunisia, the president is just the tip of the iceberg. The Egyptian people must remain vigilant to ensure that the entire state apparatus will be reformed. Vigilance will also be required to deal with an army that comes out stronger from this eighteen days crisis.

The democratic challenge that Egypt is facing today is not insignificant. The occupiers of Tahrir Square were not a homogenous group, but a multitude of feelings that tended – and still tend-toward a common goal. Egyptian youth for example awakened Egypt, but none of the old traditional parties are really representing them. The translation of their claims in positive policy proposals will therefore require a sustained effort. But these eighteen days have shown us that in terms of effort and courage, the Egyptian people is not to be outdone.

Nathalie Janne d’Othée