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Friday, February 11, 2011

And Democracy Triumphs Once More

"Democracy is worth dying for, because it's the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man." - Ronald Reagan

History has been made today! People power triumphed once more. And this time it is the Egyptian people's unwavering solidarity and invincible fortitude that stunned the whole world. The 30-year regime of Hosni Mubarak is over. People in Tahrir Square screaming and chanting freedom is a sight to behold. I am right now glued to Al Jazeera English and even news anchor and Cairo correspondents are emotional of this unprecedented scene unfolding in the Arab world. Egyptians from all walks of life crying and hugging one another as they savor the freedom and feeling the victory from decades of oppression.

Egyptians being interviewed literally cry in awe of what they have achieved. When no one believed that this day is possible, Egyptians believed otherwise. What foreign powers could only muster to say is for political reforms to be implemented as soon as possible. But this is not what the weary Egyptians wanted. They will not settle for anything less than a Mubarak regime coming to an end. The 18-day peaceful revolution that had already claimed more than 350 lives did not go to waste. Today, I can feel the enormity of this event pervading the planet. Even non-Egyptians who believe in democracy have become Egyptians today. And I am one of them.

As soon as Omar Suleiman has finished his 20-second speech announcing Mubarak's departure from offfice, I immediately called one of our Egyptian staff to congratulate him. He couldn't believe that I've been following the events in his country. I can sense his joy and gratitude for people who have been supportive of the peaceful efforts to unseat the dictator in his country. Funny, he promised to treat me with nice sweets when I get to visit his shop. And what sent me goosebumps all over? He said he will be filing for vacation next week to feel the air of freedom in his country and he said he will  tell his family that he has Filipino colleagues who wish good things for their country.

If there is any lesson learned from this, it is for dictators to take heed of the lamentations of their people. They may be for a time get delusional by the riches and influence that come with their powers, yet they cannot escape from the reality that these are fleeting things that do not stay forever. In due time, the day of reckoning will come and each one will  take accountability of what he has done. The glory of Egyptian resolve has been known today much like the Filipinos did 25 years ago. And I can only wish the Filipino people benefited from that peaceful struggle and shall the Egyptians too, because democracy does not discriminate the social and economic status of one that seeks it. My deepest congratulations to the Egyptian people! Indeed democracy is the only way forward.
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Some of the photos above courtesy of Arnaldo Arnáiz Díaz

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