When Libyan rebels went to Bab al-Azizia in Tripoli last week, questions were raised about the success of the Libyan revolution. Is the Libyan revolution considered a victory? Would this victory have occurred without the help of NATO? Did the involvement of NATO undermine the uprising?
After Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's reign collapsed, there was a strong belief among Arab leaders that the collapse of additional Arab leaders should be avoided. Evidence of this is that the Arab leaders have encouraged their brothers to fight against their people. No one among the Arab leaders has yet made a declaration regarding the right of the people to demonstrate. Not even the Arab League said a word about that.
After decades of existing under a dictatorship regime, Egyptian people are standing up and demanding change. Demonstrations have spread around the entire country since Tuesday, Jan. 25, when people first began going to Liberty Square in downtown Cairo. Egyptian communities around the world, in major cities in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France and other European countries, as well as Arab nations such as Jordan, have shown support. Around the world, people are encouraging the Egyptian people to stand up for their rights of freedom and justice under a democratic system, with a new constitution.
The Egyptian government has shut down the Internet and cut off the communications and telephones in the entire country. No one can communicate; the country is isolated from the rest of the world. And sadly, the Egyptian authority banned Aljazeera from broadcasting and has withdrawn it from the Nilesat satellite; it has cut off its broadcasting signals and revoked its license.
From all parts of the world, from south to north and west to east, Muslims celebrated Eid this year at the Islamic Center of Bloomington. At the moment when the Imam said, "God is great," they all repeated it devotionally. And their smiles told each other, "I'm happy."
Some wore traditional clothing, while others wore suits and ties. The clothes offered an "international fashion show," according to Mohamed, a member of the Muslim community. "All people here might know where they are from according to their clothes."
The Eid is the day that comes after the holy month of Ramadan, which is the ninth month of the Islamic (lunar) calendar. Eid in Arabic means "returns annually with refreshing faith." It is celebrated on the first day of Shaw'waal, the 10th month, which means "festivity," which this year was on Sept. 20.
Since the first American missile was launched at Iraq, Said has not slept well. "How could I sleep while hearing explosions and shouting behind my bedroom every day," he said by telephone from his home in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. When Said leaves his home, he is not sure if he will come back.
His situation is not unique. The mother of another young Iraqi man named Fareed complained in a hoarse voice on the telephone, "My son went out one day and never came back. ... I don't know whether he died or not. ... He suddenly disappeared."
Life is unforgiving in Mosul, where American forces have become the guards of the city. When I asked Said and Fareed's mother if the withdrawal of American forces would affect the people there, both said it does not matter.
"This is not a safe environment," Fareed's mother said. "There is no safety here. ... Americans just protect their interests."