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February 1, 2011


Those adorable Egyptians!

Egyptian protester

Now that the military has sided with the protesters and the whole world is watching with excitement as a quarter of a million Egyptians demand the overthrow of their government, it looks like it's all over for Mubarak. He'll be out in the next day or two, don't you think?

In our own country, it seems like we're sharing in the Egyptian enthusiasm. There's a bunch of photos today on the newswires featuring lots of happy, smiling, adorable Egyptian protesters (like my poster girl of the revolution, above) including several small patriotic children fighting for Democracy with their parents, or waving flags atop the tanks.

Egyptian protester kid,

Egyptian girls on a tank

Egyptian protesters, girl and her dad

All this cuteness suggests something I've been thinking about for a few days. Maybe I'm being wildly optimistic, but the recent protests in Tunisia, Egypt, and Yemen might help mainstream American sentiments about the Muslim world get a little bit better. In many ways, the protests embody ideals we think of as our own: freedom, democracy, wanting a better life. If Americans look at what's happening in Egypt and see people fighting so passionately for things we believe in, too, maybe we'll stop feeling like Muslims are the enemy.

Well. One can dream.

Of course, if these protests are going to change American minds, we might not want to look too closely at some of their more unsavory aspects. Like this:

Two dummies representing Mubarak dangled from traffic lights. On their chests was written: 'We want to put the murderous president on trial.' Their faces were scrawled with the Star of David, an allusion to many protesters' feeling that Mubarak is a friend of Israel, still seen by most Egyptians as their country's archenemy more than 30 years after the two nations signed a peace treaty.

The other problem: though all kinds of Egyptians agree that Mubarak has got to go, there's zero agreement on what should happen next. The US government just signaled we want Mubarak out, too, so pretty soon we're going to have to figure out who to throw our support behind, i.e. send billions of dollars to.

categories: International, Politics
posted by amy at 1:46 PM | #

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