The recent protests in Egypt have erupted with great fervor. No one could have predicted the timing and scale of the past few days’ events, but one thing is for sure: it’s about time. Egyptians have felt the heavy fist of Mubarak’s rule for far too long. It is about time the Egyptian people presented such a strong united front against their current political situation. Like at other points in history, there comes a point in time when a culture reaches the breaking point of the injustice they can accept before they revolt. That point is explosive. It is the throwing off of oppression. It is the liberation of multitudes, and its power is equaled only by its fragility. Egypt has reached that point.
I am proud of them, the peaceful Egyptian protesters. I hope they succeed in changing their state to be more responsive to the desires of the people. I think of the taxi driver who I questioned about his opinions of Mubarak, and the gesture he made crossing his wrists and making fists to communicate his shackles. I also think of a member of my host family, whose face was covered in scars from years of demonstrating against the government on a smaller scale. And so I took to the streets with hundreds of other Chicagoans like myself on Saturday afternoon, to rally for justice and liberation in Egypt.
The rally took place at 500 North Michigan Avenue, in front of the Egyptian Consulate. It was Saturday, January 29th, at 2:00 in the afternoon. Hundreds of people gathered to show their support. People chanted things like, “Obama, you know, Mubarak’s got to go!” while others carried signs, waved Egyptian flags, and took pictures on their phones.
Above all there was a feeling of optimism, a feeling that the recent events happening in Egypt would inevitably make way for greater justice for the Egyptian people. While there is some danger in the unknown – who will stepping up to embody Egypt’s silver lining and what will their future look like? – a hope that has long been confined to the shadows in Egypt has finally taken to the streets in numbers that simply cannot be ignored.
For more photos on this event visit http://s1130.photobucket.com/albums/m530/kristenncl/Chicago%20Rallies%20for%20Egypt/.