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ARAB SPRING EGYPT

By Justin Knipper

Mohamed Mursi
ZIS Grade 8 English

Ahmed Shafiq
J8 Summit 2012

Egypt is on the Way to a better Future


Egypt was one of the oldest dictatorships in the world. Recently the era of approximately 50 years of ongoing dictatorships has stopped due to revolutions in major cities of Egypt. Hundreds of thousands of people protested on the Tahrir square in Cairo demanding that Hosni Mubarak steps down. Ultimately he did, but it cost hundreds of lives. The protestors made goals they wanted to achieve and are still trying to achieve many. These goals made the lives of the Egyptians change for the better, because their human rights have stopped being violated, their lives have improved and they are able to choose their president. Human rights have been violated before President Mubarak stepped down, making the lives of the Egyptians miserable. One of the human rights the Mubarak regime was in breach of was right number three, the right to life and to live in freedom and safety. The life of the Egyptians before the revolution wasnt enjoyable, because of corruption in the government and very poor living standards. Many people died from brutal attacks ordered by Mubarak during the revolution. This did not increase the security and freedom of the people but achieved rather the opposite. Another human right that was violated was right #21, the right to help choose and take part in the government of their country. There was only one totally untrustworthy election in the time that Mubarak was president and only very few people actually bothered voting. The dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak and other presidents before him made the population of Egypt have no voice in the government at all. Lastly, right #23, the right to a fair wage and work in a safe environment, was violated. There are many people living off a very small wage and do not get any help from the government. Sadly, this has not changed for the better; it has become worse after the protest as shown in the case of Salma (Knell). Only 5 out of 100 job applications have been responded to for the 21-year-old business graduate Salma. Many other jobs have been lost and many people now sell cigarettes or vegetables on the street. Besides, the amount of tourists has gone down rapidly, making the amount of money Egypt has earned decrease. Once approximately 14 million tourists were in Egypt daily, each spending about 70 Egypt pounds a day. Before the revolution tourism was one of the main income sources for Egypt. It is getting better again, but is far less than it once was (Awad). Getting a fair wage and

work is more difficult in this environment. Many human rights were violated in the time of Mubaraks regime, but this has luckily become better. The Egyptians had goals in their revolution that started off as livelihood, freedom, social justice and human dignity. They have branched out into many more as the revolution started, but all were associated to the first four. Some of the demands were met, but many still have to. One of the Egyptians many goals was the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. They wanted him to step down, because he treated them very badly. As stated in the first paragraph, many human rights were violated during Mubaraks regime and the Egyptians wanted this to stop. Hosni Mubarak finally had to leave his post. The new leaders initiated a court proceeding against him that led to a life sentence. Another goal the people of Egypt wanted to meet was that all the prisoners taken since the beginning of the revolution would get freed. They partially have met that goal, but not every prisoner has been saved for sure, since it is unsure how high the number of prisoners taken is (Egyptian Revolution). A goal that was not met is that every person has a minimum wage of 1,200 Egyptian pounds. This aspirational goal will definitely take a long time to accomplish. The new president will have a very challenging time with the economy of the country and first has to rebuild it. Egypt is suffering from a very high unemployment rate. The average wage is very low. Egypt would need to create many new jobs and gradually increase the overall selling income. Many people make money as street vendors and they would have to get a lot of money additionally from the government to reach this goal. The new government has to invest in education to improve the overall living standard. The Egyptians have managed to fulfill some goals, but many still have to be accomplished. The people of Egypt have not had a chance to actually choose their president in a very long time. There has been an ongoing dictatorship since about 50 years and Mubarak has been the President since approximately 30. This has stopped the Egyptians from having a trustworthy voting in a long time. There was once an election, but the results were manipulated a lot. Only about 20 percent of all of the Egyptians bothered voting and the results were very bizarre. Approximately 90 percent voted for Mubarak and only 7 percent for the second best candidate (Fam). This election was on the 7 th September 2005. On the 23rd and 24th March 2012 there was the first vote that would actually change Egypts president. The top three candidates had 25%, 24% and 21% of the votes, making them have

70% of all of the votes (Mursi, Shafiq officially). Sadly only less than half of the Egyptian population went voting for the new president, even though it is important for the new president to have strong support from voters as he has to carry a huge burden. Mohamed Mursi, an Islamist, is the top candidate and Ahmed Shafiq, the former prime minister of Egypt, is the second. The best two candidates are having a runoff election in June. The Egyptians have not had an election in a long time and have to be sure that they are going to choose the right president that will help them fulfill their needs. Egypt has finally become a free country after 50 years of ongoing dictatorships. Some people imagined the time after the protests differently, by thinking everything would get bright in a second and that everyone would be cheerful, but this did not happen. They still have the problems they had before the demonstrations and these became more. Tourists did not continue coming to Egypt like they did before and shopkeepers sold far less. This made many Egyptians lose their jobs and they needed help from friends. The revolution has been very successful, since there is less violation of human rights, their lives are slowly changing for the better and they are able to choose their own president. The people of Egypt hope their lives will become better and that their new president will make Egypt flourish again. However, they have to be patient as the development to a stable democracy will take time.

Works Cited:
Al Hussaini, Amira. "Egypt: A List of Demands from Tahrir Square." Global Voices Global Voices English. 10 02 2011. 24 Mar 2012 <http://globalvoicesonline.org/2011/02/10/egypt-a-list-ofdemands-from-tahrir-square/>.

Awad, Marwa. "Post-revolution, Egypt tourism remains in disarray." Reuters Reuters. 22 04 2011. 24 Mar 2012 <http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/22/us-egypt-tourismidUSTRE73L2X420110422>.

"Egyptian Revolution Demands End to Emergency Law and Higher Minimum Wage." The Real News The Real News. 24 Mar 2012 <http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&ju mival=6662>.

Fam, Mariam. "Mubarak Wins Egypt Vote." CBSNews CBSNews World. 11 02 2009. 22 Mar 2012 <http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/09/08/world/main828234.shtml>.

Knell, Yolande. "Huge economic challenge awaits Egypt's next leader." BBC BBC News. 19 05 2012. Dec. 22nd, 2012 <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18117787>.

"Mursi, Shafiq officially in Egypt's presidential election runoffs." Ahram Online. 28 05 2012. 29 May 2012 <http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/36/122/43126/Presidential-elections/Presidential-elections-news/BREAKING-Mursi,-Shafiq-officially-in-Egypts-presid.aspx>.

Pictures:
Glain, Stephen. "Muslim Brotherhood presidential candidate, Mohammed Morsi (L), and former prime minister and presidential candidate, Ahmed Shafik (R)." Online Image. The Majalla. 25 May 2012. 29 May 2012 <http://www.majalla.com/eng/2012/05/article55232227>.

Reuters. "Ordinary Egyptians voiced their anger in a way that they had never heard before." Online Image. BBC News. 25 Jan 2012. 22 Mar 2012 <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middleeast-16716089>.

Reuters, "The Muslim Brotherhood dominates the newly-elected People's Assembly." Online Image. BBC News. 25 Jan 2012. 22 Mar 2012 <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east16716089>.

Bibliography:
"Egypt goes to the polls - with a fresh threat from military ruler." Independent - London. 28 Nov. 2011: 1. eLibrary. Web. 02 May. 2012.

Fisher, Matthew., News, Postmedia.. "New season, new challenges; Egyptian military leaders change course." Regina LeaderPost. 03 Oct. 2011: C7. eLibrary. Web. 02 May. 2012.

Mohannad Sabry McClatchy Newspapers. "Mubarak to face public trial in Cairo next week." McClatchy - Tribune News Service. 28 Jul. 2011 eLibrary. Web. 04 May. 2012.