The Middle East’s freedom train has just left the station

Christopher Dickey spoke with Nawal El Saadawi, an 80-year-old protester, about her refusal to go home when the protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square turned violent. “They have a strategy to frighten us and to starve us,” she said.

Rami G. Khouri writes:

To appreciate what is taking place in the Arab world today you have to grasp the historical significance of the events that have started changing rulers and regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, with others sure to follow. What we are witnessing is the unraveling of the post-colonial order that the British and French created in the Arab world in the 1920s and 1930s and then sustained – with American and Soviet assistance – for most of the last half-century.

It is fascinating, if insular, to focus attention, as much Western media are doing, on whether Facebook drove these revolts; or to ask what will happen if the Muslim Brotherhood plays a role in any new Egyptian government. The Arabs are like a bride emerging on her wedding day to face people commenting on whether her shoes match her gloves, when the real issue is how beautiful and happy she is.

The events unfolding before our eyes in Egypt, after Tunisia, are the third most important historical development in the Arab region in the past century, and to miss that point is to perpetuate a tradition of Western Orientalist romanticism and racism that have been a large cause of our pain for all these years. This is the most important of the three major historical markers because it is the first one that marks a process of genuine self-determination by Arab citizens who can speak and act for themselves for the first time in their modern history.

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6 thoughts on “The Middle East’s freedom train has just left the station

  1. DE Teodoru

    Worthy of note is that right after Mubarak’s announcement that he won’t run again ALL the media said that it won’t be accepted by the Egyptian people as they want him out now. Then, suddenly, EVERYONE in the American press– that had addressed the popular uprising as “chaos” the week before– suddenly said that we’ve only seen how one million Egyptians feel about it and have no idea how the rest feel. Within hours of this media pirouette, Mubarak’s paid thugs attacked in Cairo but couldn’t get enough, I assume, to do the same in Alexandria and Luxor. Tonight, on what’s supposed to be “PUBLIC” TV, Charlie Rose with the NYTimes’ editor did a number on Assange. Listen to this video carefully and see why Europe has freedom of diversity while we in the USA are given only the Party line.

    http://www.booktv.org/Watch/12085/Words+Money.aspx

    NOT A WORD ABOUT THE HYPOCRISY OF ISRAEL IN CALLING FOR INTERVENTIONIST OVERTHROW OF AHMADINEJAD AND INTERVENTIONIST SUPPORT OF MUBARAK!!!

  2. Norman

    How sad this is to watch, that is, when we can. I have to wonder though, why hasn’t or isn’t the Army doing anything about the so called thugs? I’d sure hate to see this as a set up, especially considering that the Army Chief held consultation in Washington when this broke out. Decent into chaos.

  3. Vince J.

    The US, which is loosing beautifuly in Kandahar, and the Terrorist state of israel are sh..ting dripping themselves between their arrogant legs!

    There is no way back!!! Mr. Obaba, the arab people are showing you what “Moving foward” is all about!

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