By: Arab-Amreekiya~ *DISCLAIMER NOTE: These are solely my opinions and do not apply nor are they representative of my affiliations.
Ask yourself where were you on December 17, 2010? Yesterday, a year ago, a young fruit vendor named Mohamed Bouazizi in Tunisia not only lit himself on fire but also set the Arab world ablaze, giving birth to what is still being called the Arab Spring. It is something the Arab world has never seen before and is still processing it. With the overthrow of dictators and the death of one, the struggle continues to grow day by day. Syria, Bahrain, and Yemen are some countries that are at brinks of civil war with their governments launching full warfare on their very own civilians.
Tunisia since then has held successful elections and appears to be heading in the right direction. It still may be too early to tell but it’s good to keep things optimistic. As for Egypt, it’s currently battling its biggest blow ever. When Mubarak finally stepped down and the military vowed to transfer the power to those who protested and gave their lives up, it was something to easy to believe. Where will you find in history, in the midst of revolutionary coups, does the military have the interest of its own people? Since February, Egyptians have continued to go out and protest to demand their entitled rights despite attempts to further divide the population. Despite the first part of its elections, the military (considered one of the strongest in the Middle East) refuses to collaborate and have taken on the cowardly role of oppressing its own people, including women, children and the elderly. It’s disgusting to think this is happening; unfortunately, the price for democracy does not come easily and is a long road.
Before all of this began, war or “military invasions” was a common method used to “bring democracy”. Sadly enough, there are alternatives as we have seen this past year. However, it is only appropriate for me to mention the “official” end to the Iraq War, war that has gone on for far too long (8 years). Yes, the world has rid a dictator and there’s a new government (you’re entitled to your own opinion on that). But now looking back, what would have happened if the Arab Spring had launched from the cradle of civilization (aka Iraq)? What if Americans and her allies had not bought into the propaganda sold by just a select elite? How many lives would have been saved and how much money could have been invested and channeled to the appropriate avenues? Alas, we can’t ask “what if” because what is done is done. However, the lessons from Iraq and the Arab Spring should serve as an example in reforming the Middle East. Before the US or anyone else considers in invading or meddling in MENA affairs, allow the MENA people to feel empowered. When the people are being oppressed, step in. Don’t step in just for national self-interest; but, also for the preservation of humanity and justice for all.
Note: Originally posted by Arab-Amreekiya عرب أمريكية at 2:48 PM Follow her on Twitter: @Arab_Amreekiya