CVHS senior Cody Bacho and his older sister went on a trip to go sight-seeing in Egypt about two weeks ago. What had been planned as a fun, educational trip took a turn for the worse once they arrived in Cairo. “I was in a van and we stopped in the middle of one [of the protests]. Our driver got out. Lots of the protestors started looking in our van. It was kind of scary to see these people walking around with AK-47’s like it was nothing. There were tanks everywhere. People used metal clubs and poles to hit cars.” This was the scene witnessed by Bacho as he and his sister traveled to one of their destinations.
Two weeks ago in Cairo, Egypt peaceful protests turned violent. The protests have been calling for the resignation of President Mubarak. Although protests like these have happened many times before specifically calling for the resignation of Mubarak, none have been this successful or garnered so much support. Mubarak has been president for the past 30 years and it is speculated that although Egypt has had democratic elections Mubarak has just been reelecting himself. Mubarak has also only allowed a one party system. Some analysts have speculated that the reason that the protests are becoming so successful now is because of the violence.
Although it seems like Egypt is far away, it is hitting very close to home for many students here at CVHS. Wessam Aziz is a Senior here at CVHS who moved here from Egypt 3 years ago. Although he understands where the protestors are coming from, being a Christian Egyptian, he does not want the situation to get any worse.
“So the president has been there for awhile and the people are trying to over throw him now which is good, but the way they are doing it is just violent protesting. Its good to get him out of office but there is no one ready to take over. If the Muslim brotherhood took power they would destroy the country. They wouldn’t ally with the U.S., and we need the financial aid that the U.S. gives us. Plus discrimination against Christians would increase. If he stayed in office until September it would have been a much smoother transition. This seems like there is going to be unrest in Egypt for a couple years now.”
Although Aziz, feels Mubarak should stay in office a little longer, there are those who want change. Like president of the Peace in the Middle East club Sharif Sheba. “[President Mubarak] He oppressed the people. It is great to see them standing up for what they believe in, and although it’s unfortunate to see what they’re going through, it is inspiring for the rest of us,” commented Sheba. “I really hope the protests and all the violence aren’t for nothing, it’s obvious that change needs to happen.”
Both Aziz and Sheba agree that they would like to see this end peacefully, that looking towards the future, hopefully the turmoil doesn’t have to last a few years. That hopefully this doesn’t start a civil war. A new government that respects the rights of the citizens is the best possible outcome.