There are very few times in your life when you know you are watching events that will change the world but today was one of those days. For those of us lucky enough to take our liberties for granted, you couldn’t help but have tears in yours eyes listening to people who tasted freedom for the first time. And not only did they feel free, but they knew they had achieved it through their own strength, patience and dignity.
As always President Obama made a pitch-perfect speech after a historic event:
This is the power of human dignity, and it can never be denied. Egyptians have inspired us, and they’ve done so by putting the eye to the idea that justice is best gained through violence. For in Egypt it was the moral force of nonviolence, not terrorism, not mindless killing, but nonviolence, moral force that bent the arc of history toward justice once more. And while the sights and sounds that we heard were entirely Egyptian, we can’t help but hear the echoes of history, echoes from Germans tearing down a wall, Indonesian students taking to the streets, Gandhi leading his people down the path justice. As Martin Luther King said in celebrating the birth of a new nation in Ghana while trying to perfect his own, there’s something in the soul that cries out for freedom.
Egyptian Mohamed ElBaradei, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 as the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency had an opinion piece in The New York Times this morning ahead of today’s unforgettable events:
The rebirth of Egypt represents the hope of a new era in which Arab society, Muslim culture and the Middle East are no longer viewed through the lens of war and radicalism, but as contributors to the forward march of humanity, modernized by advanced science and technology, enriched by our diversity of art and culture and united by shared universal values. We have nothing to fear but the shadow of a repressive past.
Egypt’s Euphoria (The Economist) :
The surge of overwhelming bliss that has overtaken Egyptians is the rare beautitude of democratic will. The hot blush of liberation, a dazzled sense of infinite possibility swelling millions of happy breasts is a precious thing of terrible, unfathomable beauty, and it won’t come to these people again.
The Tweet is Mightier than the Sword (commentarymagazine.com) ;
In pictures (BBC) ;
A Letter from Cairo (Chicago Sun-Times) ;
This is Who Egyptians Are (The New York Review of Books) and they are pretty amazing.
Have a good weekend in a new world.