‘White Revolution’ may be in trouble
Editor’s note: Former Estherville Lincoln Central teacher Steve Kabe remains in Egypt with a first hand view of the political changes in the African country. Kabe is teaching at an American International School for Egyptians.
Hi. Right now I feel that the “White Revolution” (called that because the revolutionaries cleaned up after themselves) is in serious trouble. Several things make me feel this way. First, the election didn’t turn out as predicted with 77 percent of the people approving it. Maybe the voters (41 percent voted compared to 10 percent last fall), really wanted the country to just get back to normal, but with the Coptics and the young people voting against it the paper had predicted a very even contest.
The vote went in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood who wanted it to pass. In addition, ElBaradei, the Nobel prize laurreate and his daughter were pelted with rocks when they got out of their car and couldn’t even get to vote. Lastly women were terrorized during international women’s day marches and then some (not sure how many) women protesters were humilitated with “virginity tests” in front of male army officers. My heart goes out for them and the other revolutionaries.
Maybe, just maybe, the parliamentary and presidential elections will go differently. The media always gives different dates for these elections – the final dates might be in tomorrow’s newspapers, but I guess they’re lookin at maybe September. for the parliament and December for the presidential votes.
In today’s paper, the Muslim Brotherhood said that they won’t have a presidential candidate and will only compete for one-third of the parliamentary seats. The article said that they want “competition, not dominination”. but won’t “cap their ambitions forever”. In my opinion they’re just being very, very coy. The chance for a secular state in Egypt seems remote at this point in time – hopefully that’ll change, and maybe the Muslim Brotherhood is serious in promoting Egypt and not Islam.
On another topic, our school has had a couple of weapon expulsions – one of my sixth grade students showed a knife and was expelled. He was so low-functioning (my lowest) that I don’t think he completely knew what he was really doing. My boab’s boys (both middle school aged) have made it a point to show me their weapons (cap guns, knife, and chain). Apparently parents feel that they and their kids need to be armed during these uncertain times. The MS Principal this morning held an assembly and told the students that they could turn in their knives to him without penalty until 12:00 today – after that they’d be gone if their weapons were discovered. One of my students said that knives were taped to the bathroom ceiling today???
So, not feeling is not very optimistic about Egypt’s future at the moment, but things might change. The weather is definitely perfect!!! Highs in the 70’s and lows in the 60’s!