Almost the first thing I did this morning was watch Al Jazeera and the scenes of celebration over Mubarak’s departure. I listened to one activist speak of her joy at the victory, at the change, at the possibilities now open that had been closed off before by the security state. It was deeply affecting, and I’m happy for the Egyptian people despite a near-total lack of personal ties to the country.
The popular toppling of a ruler is a difficult and momentous thing, and quite an achievement, and they should be joyous (as they are) and proud. I hope they really keep it going, though, and push for as true a democracy as they can. In a sense that means never letting things get back to “normal”, because “normal” is where the leaders aren’t nervous about mass insurrection, where they are able to get away with serving themselves and their cohort instead of the people—where they act like “leaders” instead of truly being humble and temporary representatives of the people. I would also like them to be allowed to get to wherever they choose with minimal interference from outside agents (such as the United States, for example), but I fear that’s unlikely indeed.
Regardless of all that, though, whatever happens next, what they’ve achieved already is a tremendous accomplishment and a reminder of what the will of the people can do.