(Picture from the New York Times – click pic to jump)
The last few weeks, Tunisia rebelled against a dictator, and the news around the world was that an Arab country had risen up against a hedonistic dictator and taken back their country. In the United States, often the means of revolution (social media sites Facebook and Twitter) was the main story. These cute entertainment communication tools we use, have allowed an oppressed people to rise up.
This week, the news is being rocked again by Egypt, who have been under a similar heavy handed ruler that most have never had a hand in putting into power. The young are disaffected, ready for change, and so rebellion erupts possibly from the hopes sparked from their Tunisian brothers and sisters.
Some of the story points that stick with me are fascinating. The rebels and the police all stop for prayers, and they exchange water in respite. The title of this blog is what has been heard chanted as they leave the mosques. “Wake up, wake up son of my country. Come down Egyptians.” (NYT’s article). As I read these words, I see the eloquence and deep identity that comes out of being held down without freedom to express oneself. It just explodes with a violence, but the words are beautiful. They have thought them through.
Connecting to my own life in a strange way, I am half way through “Mockingjay” in The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins, and there is a similar rebellion faced at the “Capital” of that book. The different districts are subservient to the dictator President Snow, and slowly, as they realize the ridiculousness of their docile position, and the lack of necessities, they rise up, and District sacrifice their lives for something greater than themselves – the right for the next generation to live as free people. Hopefully – Free to be Good people.
I can’t help but think that “Revolution” is on the minds of many people as we come into an age of Global Awareness like never before. Especially the young who have access to ideas and thoughts from all over the world and are able to exchange them at lightning speeds. I think that the world is on the verge of changing in many more ways than just a few uprisings in sporadic countries. Governments will slowly begin changing too, in response to the needs of more people being more connected, which means more accountability. In countries that have had no accountability for a long time – be ready for the checks and balances that may destroy the power bases built on secrets, lies, and destruction of people who know the truth.
Lastly, it will be interesting to see how Twitter and Facebook continue to be used, but these sites are turning into large corporations with large profits. How long will they be able to remain tools of revolutionaries without governments trying to destroy them. The NYT article talks about how the British telecommunications company Vodafone has already acquiesced to the Egyptian government’s demands to stop service to certain areas. On one hand there is a liability and public safety concern, on the other hand – are you prolonging more public enemies to run corrupt governments which can continue to harm the people. Corporations get caught up in this political and moral dilemma and at the center of it is the idea of Freedom, because of basic Human Dignity given to them by their Creator, and who have the right to live, and think, and build what kind of world they need to remain safe, have food and shelter, and perhaps to go a bit farther – to seek happiness (or perhaps peace).
It will be interesting to see how this turns out, but I am praying for everyone involved in the Egyptian conflict. Like the martyrs in the book of Revelation that cry out to God, “When? When?” will Justice be served and our murderers be prosecuted. There is an appointed time, and at some point – everything that seemed so solid breaks loose.