After Mubarak

Posted in 1 by Editor on February 12, 2011

With Hosni Mubarak’s departure, is the age of political reason returning to Egypt and the Arab world?

“Arab history, despite appearances, is not static. Soon after the Israeli victory of 1967 that marked the defeat of secular Arab nationalism, one of the great Arab poets, Nizar Qabbani, wrote:

Arab children,
Corn ears of the future,
You will break our chains.
Kill the opium in our heads,
Kill the illusions.
Arab children,
Don’t read about our suffocated generation,
We are a hopeless case,
As worthless as a water-melon rind.
Don’t read about us,
Don’t ape us,
Don’t accept us,
Don’t accept our ideas,
We are a nation of crooks and jugglers.
Arab children,
Spring rain,
Corn ears of the future,
You are the generation that will overcome defeat.

How happy he would have been to see his prophecy being fulfilled.”

From an article by Tariq Ali on http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/feb/11/egypt-cairo-hosni-mubarak


5 Responses

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  1. Laura Metelli Xuereb said, on February 12, 2011 at 6:03 am

    The Egyptian revolution would not have been possible without the courage and endurance of Egyptian women. You quote Nizar Qabbani. Read these verses from his poem, I Have No Power.

    “Woman does not emerge from a man’s rib’s, not ever,
    it’s he who emerges from her womb
    like a fish rising from depths of water
    and like streams that branch away from a river.
    It’s he who circles the sun of her eyes
    and imagines he is fixed in place.”

  2. Miriam Hizam said, on February 13, 2011 at 7:00 am

    You quote the great Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani (1928-1993).

    Although he is known for his erotic and romantic verse (a reputation he earned with his very first published collection, Childhood of a Breast, 1954) he later established himself as a powerful voice for enlightened secular Arab nationalism.

    I am a devoted reader of Qabbani. The following couplet is well known to Arabs frustrated with life under dictatorship:

    “O Sultan, my master, if my clothes are ripped and torn it is because your dogs with claws are allowed to tear me”

  3. Lorry Dimech said, on February 13, 2011 at 8:28 am

    On 10 February I posted this comment: Now we’ll see if Egypt’s army is truly patriotic. The question is still valid. Will the Egyptian military serve as the neutral guarantor of a transition to free parliamentary democracy, or will it try to give the impression that things have changed whilst ensuring that there is in fact as little change as possible?

  4. Kate Galea said, on February 13, 2011 at 11:00 am

    @ Lorry
    Egyptian friends tell me that there are certainly generals that would have preferred Mubarak & Dynasty to have stayed in power for ever, but after some indecision they realised that the risks involved in trying to suppress the democratic revolution were too high. That is when they decided to finally nudge Mubarak to buzz off. That’s why the democratic movement must continue to put pressure on the Army to hurry the transition to elections and civilian democratic rule.

  5. Mohamad Bayoumi said, on February 13, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Dear Maltese friends, I have been following your discussion about the role of the Egyptian military in the democratic revolution. I agree with Kate Galea but let us not forget that we now need time to build our political parties (real political parties not just supporters’ club of a government) and for these parties to develop their policies on just about everything. Although elections are necessary for modern democracy they are not enough, we need time to develop the institutions necessary for democracy. Of course we must make sure that the military don’t get tempted to stay there forever. That is why we must keep up the momentum for change and show that if necessary we can take to the streets again.

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