The Arab Spring took many of the international world by storm, literally. Millions sat in baited breath as mass populations took to the streets in protest against their oppressing government, in countries that many in the West thought would never speak up. What began with Mohamed Bouazizi protesting against the injustices of his government and their mistreatment towards him flared across the Middle East and North Africa as millions of people followed suit and demanded a change. Among all the countries that participated in this great movement, two countries stood out among all the rest. Although I targeted them for different reasons, Egypt and Syria still remain an anomaly among all the Arab Spring participants. Let us take a look as to why this is.
Egypt began it's revolution on January 25th 2011 through the greatest use of social networking the world has ever seen. A Facebook event was created out of growing frustrations from local egyptians who were tired of the blatant corruption taking place in their beloved country. Safe to say that the government never really thought this movement would amount to what it amounted to, they began their takedown of the protesters through a series of violent attacks. I must stop and note that, as an egyptian myself, I've always said that we were a very particular people among the other arab nations. Not only is our geographic location and rich history the reason why so many tourists find themselves Egypt-bound all year around, we are also a very self-sustaining population. We truly have our own way of doing things that differs from the rest of our neighbours and that's what makes this uprising very different than the rest, the people themselves. Egyptians lived in Tahrir Square for two weeks until ex-President Mubarak stepped down from his post on February 11th 2011.
Now the other point that makes Egypt different than the other countries is the fact that Mubarak was formally tried after for his crimes against the people that once trusted him with their entire lives. Being president does not only mean a status symbol, as many have failed to understand, the position brings with it many responsibilities and towards a massive amount of people. Mubarak was eventually found guilty of premeditated murder of protestors among many other accusations for which he got a life sentence.
The other anomaly is still currently undergoing their revolution; Syria. The syrian uprising began shortly after the success of the egyptian people versus Mubarak. People took to the streets in hopes of ousting president Al-Asad because of a great deal of corruption and crimes against his people including murder and torture. He has yet to step down, he seems to think that he is not the problem and that the real issue lies in a grey zone that is outside his sphere of power and control, Sorry! Hundreds of people have lost their lives fighting for their freedom and yet he seems to feel that they are all wrong and that he is the rightful president of Syria. One can only hope and pray that he turns on his television set and realizes that his people will not listen to him anymore and will not stop until he is gone.
The reason why I felt I had to share this is because as an arab living in Canada, sometimes we need to stop and truly appreciate that which we have taken for granted. Across the Atlantic Ocean, egyptians and syrians sacrificed their lives for the ability to choose between more than one candidate in elections, to have freedom of speech and better living conditions. All of these are things that we have and yet we never will truly understand their value unless they are taken away from us one day. Take a moment and look around you at the life you're leading and instead of criticizing every mundane aspect of it, take it in and be thankful for the big picture. Be thankful for the simplicity with which we lead our lives and all the little things that fall through the cracks everyday. It is these little things that make the biggest difference in the end.