Honk. Honk. Honk. That was the sound that reverberated continuously from automobiles driving in traffic in the Egyptian capital city, Cairo. While the rest of the world may have closed the chapter on political happenings in the country after Hosni Mubarak was successfully ousted from office thereby ending his 30 year rule, the citizens of Egypt still have their eyes wide open and fingers fastened to the page on political proceedings in their country.
“Honk if you hate the MB*” were the words written on a banner held by a high school student called Omar on April 11, 2013 in one of the busiest streets in Nasr City and people honked and honked in the traffic in response to this campaign. You can watch the video here - http://www.albawaba.com/video/8Gqib0mr5Zc
I had actually keenly observed the recent level of political awareness and activism in Egypt and even attempted to do a blog post when citizens poured out to the streets again after the revolution as a result of the move by the sitting President, Mohammed Morsi to award himself sweeping powers. It is clear that the Egyptians of today are consciously and vigilantly protective of their constitution and right to freedom.
Interestingly, as all these events were unfolding in Egypt, other unpleasant events were also playing out in Nigeria. Justice Ayo Salami was ingloriously removed from office as President of the Appeal Court. Arunma Oteh remained the Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission despite a sack recommendation by both chambers of the House of Assembly. 32 states of the Federation were affected by floods due to negligence of relevant authorities. 153 persons lost their lives in the clearly avoidable ill-fated Dana flight. Alamesigha was granted a state pardon.
How did we respond to all these events? We spoke, made comments, discussed, spoke some more and life went on. All talk, no action.
There are many lessons we can learn and strategies we can adopt from the present day activism and social action being demonstrated by the citizens of Egypt. You may ask, ‘why turn to Egypt for help?’ Well the results speak for themselves. Hosni Mubarak is no longer at the helm of affairs of the country and he is currently facing trial in a non-kangaroo court. Mohammed Morsi succumbed to pressure and rescinded on his decision. They got the exact change they demanded for and we can learn from them how to remain steadfast in protest.
Undoubtedly, we did well during the January, 2013 mass protests against the fuel price hike but we did not do enough. If we really want change in our land, then, we must hold on till our demands are met. We must Protest Until Something Happens.
MB* stands for the Muslim Brotherhood. The political party that is presently in power.