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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

the egyptian intifada

Everyone and his cousin is talking about the events in Egypt as a natural continuation of the Tunisian and the Iranian revolution. But this is not fair. With all respect to the failed Iranian green revolution and the successful Tunisian revolt, we have to give some to the Palestinians who started the trend and also gave us the word "Intifada," - the shakin' off.

Basically, the Palestinian Intifada is not much different from the Egyptian intifada if you look at it from the personal relationship perspective. In both Intifadas, people who lived in a very abusive relationship woke up one day and realized that they could fight back. It's that simple.

Just compare it to any domestic abuse case. Let's say a woman lives with a husband who regularly beats her, humiliates her, ignores her pleas, locks her up, and threatens to kill her if she tries to resist him. We've seen this scenario in countless movies, read about them, studied them, and some of us even lived in these situations, hoping no one would notice our misery.

How many women dare to leave their abusive husbands? How many women dare to even tell their best friends about the abuse? How many women take those husbands back again and again after enduring bruises and cuts and fists and insults with the hope that this time it might work because this time he really promised to change. How many women felt that they simply had no other alternative but to bite the bullet and try to survive the storm? How many woman accepted that they deserved to be treated badly because they didn't have the degree or the connections or the right documents that would allow them to get a job and leave that abusive husband?

What the Egyptians are doing is the natural thing. Anyone who realizes that there is a way out of an abusive relationship would want to take it. And why shouldn't he or she or they take the road to freedom from abuse? For the sake of the kids?

People who are being pushed to their limit of humiliation and hopelessness will always end up fighting back. It's inhuman not to fight back. Sometimes it might take a generation, sometimes two generations. But all it takes is a spark when conditions are ripe.

The Egyptians have been stewing in their paralysis for years. It's about time they come to their own. And instead of blaming the entire world for their misery (like some of our Palestinian friends), they can take action, real action, not fake action like hating Israel, and killing innocent Israeli children, and blaming everyone else for their paralysis and fear.

We all have to come out of our own abyss and reclaim ourselves, take responsibility, and live the life we meant to live. I only hope that what has started in the Middle East will prove all the doom's day prophets wrong.

It's not about the Muslim Brotherhood or another war with Israel. It's about dignity.

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