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"Culture is the heritage of us all. some may be more interested than others in the treasures of the past, but no one can fail to take a pride in his country's participation in the story of mankind, as represented in carvings, sculpture, music, paintings and the other arts. And there is a personal commitment to this, for no man can really say he is alone: we are all joined through our identity, with the cultures which are part of the mainstream of life"
- Simon Kapwepwe, Zambian Independence Freedom Fighter

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm" - Winston Churchill

"Try to be the rainbow in someone else's cloud" - Maya Angelou

"Your time is limited so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinion drown out your inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition" - Steve Jobs

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Peaceful Protest No More

Unfortunately, after President Mubarak's speech yesterday, in which he asked for stability and talked about how Egyptian he is and how much he loves his country, today the once peaceful protests have taken an ugly turn.  Even though the internet and the banking system have been restored, people are not satisfied with Mubarak stepping down until September and the opposition have called for him to step down on Friday.  I have been gripped to this story all day, hearing how men on horses and camels have led those in support of Mubarak to clash with those who have been protesting for the last week.  And now Cairo is ablaze :(.  Why have these guys suddenly come out of the woodwork? Is this a clever political ploy as many of the protesters fear? Is Mubarak trying to swing public opinion to make him seem less like an autocrat and more like a benevolent dictator who is trying to make a dignified exit? Is he afraid he will have to live out his days in exile like his Tunisian doppelganger?

I am sad that unlike in Tunisia, where the power shift was quick to let the country make a peaceful transition, Egypt has turned violent.  One lady, who was interviewed by the BBC in the thick of things at Tahrir square, said she was fearful as even though the world thinks of Egypt as a moderate place with apathetic citizens, once Egyptians make up their minds they are stubborn.  She called for compromise and for people to see that they had won: Mubarak has stepped down and all they have to do is wait a couple of months for the election.  She could see no one who has enough support to go on TV and talk down the protesters and felt that the situation will only get worse if people do not see this victory for what it is.  I really hope that Mubarak did not pay people to start the fighting. And I hope that even though the West has a vested interest economically, politically and militarily that they do not interfere.  It will only make things worse.  We have to let the Egyptians come to their own truth otherwise if things further deteriorate Western intervention will be blamed and people will not take responsibility for their actions.

It seems that in Yemen things have gone smoothly, and surprisingly in Jordan, there have been protests to oust their Prime Minister! I am shocked as I think of Jordan as like Egypt.  It is crazy how Tunisia has created such a domino effect in such a short period of time.

You can watch a live feed and get regular updates from the BBC here.

Here is a transcript of President Mubarak's speech yesterday.

Here is video of the clashes today:

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