These are extraordinary days – in both good and painful ways.
Are you tracking with the situation in Egypt?
Part of why this and so many of our current global affairs are so complex for me is that it’s difficult to exegete the event as an isolated event. I fear that this is what we often do – rather than seeing it in the lens of a larger picture and history.
This is why our affairs as a country in the larger world are so difficult and complex to understand. We have a long and complicated history – both internally as a country but also in relationships with our global neighbors. Truth be told, it make absolute sense for leaders and governments to seek their self-interests but when we seek our self-interests at the expense of others or at times, while oppressing others, it’ll catch to that respective country in the long run. This is why everything in Egypt seems so confusing to me. It’s too easy for America to wipe our hands at the situation in Egypt and Mubarek when in fact, we may have been complicit in some of Egypt’s affairs that have finally led to the current uprising.
Whatever the past, it seems clear to me that there is a fundamental declaration in all revolts and revolution:
People want to be heard.
During my couple years in Korea in 1995-1997, I witnessed the ‘protest culture’ of Korea. There were protests nearly every day and on a few occasion, there were protests and marches that involved over a million citizens. I participated in couple of them and it was an incredible experience. When I asked some folks why Korean citizens were so prone to protests, I’ll never forget this one particular answer:
We have had a history of an oppressive government. They sought to crush the spirit and will of the people and while it may have worked on numerous occasions, the spirit of the people and their desire for freedom and to be heard eventually overthrew the military regime in 1985 and ushered in a new era.
We protest today to remind the government that they serve the people and not the other way around.
This is what I see happening in Egypt and what I saw in the recent years with Iran. It is what we’ll see in the years to come for many parts of the world.
It is both painful and joyful to see. You may oppress your people for a period of time but in the long run, you cannot quench the human spirit for freedom.
We were born to be free.
God created us to be free.
So, I pray for the people of Egypt and I ask you to join in prayer as well.
Whatever form of government, I’d love to see a universal agreement between all leaders and their respective governments such as
- Preserve basic human rights.
- Uphold peoples’ right to peaceful demonstration.
- Limit terms on leaders.
- Transparency and commitment to quenching corruption
- and the list goes on..
We must remind the powers to be that
governments exist to serve the people…
and not the other way around.
I saw this video a short while ago and wept. I can’t understand everything that’s being said but what is apparent from my viewing is a “peaceful” demonstration that turns murderous. It’s painful and graphic but it is a glimpse of what is going on in Egypt. Right now.