Egypt: Young Got It Done!

Learn Something // Policy // Young Gets It Done

It’s difficult not to be moved by the events that transpired in Egypt over the past three weeks.  In just 18 days,  protesters managed to topple a leader who had been entrenched for 30 years.  As the New York Times points out, most of the protesters were born when Hosni Mubarak was coming to power.  They have never known anything else.  Yet these young people, many of them educated at top universities, staged a largely non-violent revolution that brought down a dictator and could serve as an inspiration to the rest of the Middle East.

[t]hey brought a sophistication and professionalism to their cause — exploiting the anonymity of the Internet to elude the secret police, planting false rumors to fool police spies, staging “field tests” in Cairo slums before laying out their battle plans, then planning a weekly protest schedule to save their firepower — that helps explain the surprising resilience of the uprising they began.

Interestingly, while we in the US saw the protests as largely spontaneous expressions of anger, the article makes it clear that these protests were nothing if not organized:

The organizers disseminated a weekly schedule, with the biggest protests set for Tuesday and Friday, to conserve their energy. And before each protest they leaked a new false lead to throw off the police, letting out that they would march on the state television headquarters, for example, when their real goal was to surround Parliament.

Life in Egypt is just starting to get back to some sense of normalcy.  No one is sure what the new Egypt will look like, but while some in the US worry about groups like the Muslim Bortherhood, perhaps the best hope for peace and stability lies in the youth:

Asked if he could imagine an Egyptian president who was a Christian woman, [Islam Lotfi, a lawyer who is a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood Youth] paused. “If it is a government of institutions,” he said, “I don’t care if the president is a monkey.”