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You've made your point, now be smart about it

As demonstrations continue in Egypt, it is time that the demonstrators realize just where they're going

Gamal Abdel-Gawad , Thursday 27 Jan 2011
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Views: 1940

Demonstrations have continued for the second day, though the number of protestors has dropped. There was some violence in yesterday’s marches, but the police maintained a firm grip without the use of excessive force.

Protestors have displayed a high degree of persistence in delivering their message, and they need to receive confirmation that their message is acknowledged. This does not necessarily mean that the government must accept and agree to all their slogans and demands. No country in the world permits a minority, no matter how determined, to force its agenda on society. The general sense is that many of the demands set forth by the demonstrating youth are legitimate, correct and acceptable, but not every slogan they chant is acceptable at face value without deeper discussions and evaluation. Societies are not run this way.

I fear nothing more than anarchy which takes away lives, honourand possessions. I have complete faith in our youth and their ability to express themselves in a civilized fashion, mindful of security and well being. I am also a firm believer in the Egyptian state and its ability to maintain security, public order and stability. But confidence alone is not enough, and good intentions do not guarantee that we will come out of this intact. As the old adage goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

The voice of our youth has been heard and their contribution will be a valuable addition in the history of this nation, because they took part in creating their own future. The youth should be proud of their achievement but they must realise that no one has a monopoly on building the future. Nations and societies have complicated paths with many forces at play, which in the end come together to design the future of the nation through interaction – not individual action or monopolistic control.

The youth have proven their power and will, but now they must demonstrate their wisdom by knowing the limits of their abilities; a failure to recognise their limits will open the door to sins and mistakes. The support that the youth have garnered could recede if they over-expose the interests of the people to danger, and then the scales may tip against them. They must recorgnise the point of critical mass, after which their protests become a temptation to saboteurs or a provocation to powers that are unwilling to tolerate mayhem, at any cost.

The demonstrators' message has been delivered, and now the country's leadership and its wise ought sit and write their response to this message so as to reassure the youth that they have indeed received it. This would allow us and them to move onto a new phase of building our cherished homeland which belongs to everyone, and on which no one has a monopoly.

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