While having a quiet dinner in Montmartre in Paris, I overheard the waiter talking in French to a group sitting at a table. The waiter answered, I assumed to an English equivalent of the question where are you from, “Tunisie. RÃ©volution!” He further said, this time in English, “Now, I can go home”.
The whole table was excited. I do not need to understand too much French to know that. Some time within the conversation, somebody mentioned Mubarak. By the time I got back to my hostel, “Mubarak Steps Down” was written on the front page of the New York Times.
This is a joyous day. The Arab world is full of dictators. That is beginning to change. The wave that began in Tunisia begins to resemble the Spring of Nations that happened in 1848, when the revolutions across Europe prepared various states for real liberal change for decades to come.
Nevertheless, immediately in my mind, I remember a verse belonging to Foo Fighters’ Learn to Fly. As it goes, “hook me up a new revolution, ’cause this one is a lie.”
The protest in Egypt has been exciting to me because it is genuinely organic. Nobody can claim to lead the protest but everybody can claim to be part of it. While I was watching the BBC in London with an old friend less than a week ago, we discussed exactly this and we shared the conclusion of the danger how this revolution may end up, which could be a disappointment.
Mubarak has been reported of handing over power to the military. I am not an expert in Egyptian politics but the idea of having the military in charge, I would think, is not ideal. An interim civilian government would be great, although who should form the interim government, given the lack of leadership of the revolution, is unclear.
Let us just hope that the military will not be addicted to power, and stand ready to return its newly assumed power to the legitimate civilian government soon.