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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Alam-e Masr

For a week now Egypt has been in the news, and I have been following all the latest developments, reading the news everyday and following up on updates. However as a non-Egyptian I cannot even begin to understand the feelings of the people there and what it means for them. I don't know too much about the politics of the region but I support the people to make the decision for their future by themselves and not be told by outsiders what is the best strategy. Over the week the American coverage and response to the protests and call for revolution in Egypt has been pathetic and very misinformed. For starters America was completely caught off guard by the intensity of the protests by the Egyptians and it was apparent that they are scared by it. They never imagined that Arabs can actually aspire to democratic ideals, for them Arabs are just angry mobs who are used to living in despotism. The immediate response by the American media was how will this affect America and American security. It is a legitimate question but shows how foreign policy has always been in the interest of the American power and never in their espousal of democratic ideals. America has backed Mubarak all these years despite what he has done to the people. Also the media here has tried to spin the call for revolution and protest as coming from Muslims and that it will eventually turn into a "Iran styled" revolution and will turn into a fundamentalist state instead of a democracy. People have been throwing the name of the Muslim Brotherhood around, using scare tactics to dissuade Americans from supporting or even understanding the situation. It is hard for them to believe that there are other factors than just religious that can move the Arab people. It is unimaginable that the people of Egypt have a voice, that they can speak for themselves, that they can move together in unison without regard to religion. The people of Egypt, Muslims and Christians, rich and poor are speaking out together and will decide the future of their country together, it will not be decided for them by outsiders.

I found this to be very telling about the media's coverage.

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