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by Sebastian A '14

Egypt Conflict Hits Close to Home

The Egyptian revolution, although thousand of miles away hit close to home for the many Egyptian students at BSGE. For some the Egyptian revolution was personal.  The protest in Egypt not only affected the BSGE student body but also the United States as a whole.  Many Egyptians across the nation and at the BSGE student body found it fit to protest against the Mubarak regime.  With some 1million Egyptians in America and as many as 20,000 the uprisings in Egypt truly hit close to home.
Many of the Egyptians at BSGE were personally affected by the uprisings that took place in Egypt. Having countless relatives in a country in a state of turmoil and unrest can bring uncertainty to the well being of family members for many Egyptian American students.  Many Egyptian students at BSGE had many family members in Egypt while the protests and turmoil took place. For some the unrest in Egypt brought injuries to family members overseas. This was the case for 12th grader Mohammed Elmarakbi who said, “Everyone protested against Mubarak, no one liked him. So I had a lot of family members go to the protests and some got injured. However everyone is doing well now.” Some Egyptian students at BSGE went to numerous protests throughout the New York City to do their part in supporting the reforms in Egypt. 11th grader Esmaeel El Sayed was one such individual and when asked to comment about his personal responsibility as an Egyptian-American he said,” Me and my father went to all the protests throughout the city. We did all we could to aid the revolution effort that is going on in Egypt.”
The protests and uprisings in Egypt were due to an social and economic problems that had plagued the country for some time and the country’s near dictatorial leader President Hosni Mubarak’s thirty year reign merely added on to the burden and the general anger of the public. Finally on January 25th, 2011 protests grappled with the Mubarak Regime lasting for some 18 day until power was turned over to the military and Mubarak resigned. Some 300 individuals were killed and thousands injured between pro-Mubarak and anti-Mubarak clashes. Nevertheless the bloodshed in the Egyptian revolution has brought potentially brighter days to the future for the Egyptian people.
Currently Egypt is in a state of political reform after President Hosni Mubarak’s resignation.  In terms of Egypt’s political future it’s merely days away; on March 19, 2011 the first open referendum in thirty years thatdecided that ten new amendments would be added to the constitution to promote reform. Not all of the Egyptians students at BSGE are very hopeful for the reforms that are coming ahead. This was the case for 11th grader Esmaeel who said, “For the reforms that are to come ahead I am hopeful but skeptical that a {leader} like Hosni Mubarak will gain office again. But I mean the Egyptian people have a chance to deicide their fate.” Other individuals such as BSGE senior Mohammed Elmarakbi were more optimistic about the arduous processes of reform that lay. “Now that the global community and even the Egyptian community have seen the power of the Egyptian people no other leader to come will abuse his power like Hosni Mubarak did. He ruled for thirty years and they took him out in 18 days,” said 12th grader Mohammed Elmarakbi.
The revolution has also stirred a great deal of pride in many Egyptians worldwide. The Egyptian identity has been revived through the revolution as many Egyptians at BSGE are proud of the revolution but more specifically they are proud of being Egyptian. One such student is 9th grader Kareem Elnaggar who said,” Right now I fell really proud to be an Egyptian. The protest really shows what we, as Egyptians are capable of. I attended one protest myself and there was this unity among the people. For my people to be able to accomplish something like this really makes me proud.” This was a similar feeling for Egyptians across the school and across the world.
Most Egyptian students at BSGE are planning to visiti Egypt sometime this summer and are hopeful for the days that are to come ahead for this country. One thing for sure is the fact that most are happy with the fall of the Mubarak regime and there are brighter maybe difficult days lay ahead for this newfound country.

By Mr. Lakhaney

TOK Teacher

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