By Carla Ledbetter, specifically for Donne Tempo. ALEXANDRIA, La. — February 11, 2011, The world recently held its’ collective breath as the people of Egypt banded together in peaceful demonstrations. Their goal: freedom–not just in theory, in reality. Thousands of Egyptians stood together as a single voice, determined to force their nation’s leader out of office and usher in a new era of democratic reform.
Unlike most revolutions, these demonstrations began peacefully, and violence erupted only when opposing forces, armed with knives, guns and other weapons, stormed the demonstrators, and then, eventually, lapsed back into a peaceful, unified purpose that would not/could not be deterred.
Every day, individuals from all over the world watched developments unfurl in Egypt and wondered what would happen next. Even during the worst of the violence, as reporters were being arrested and beaten, when gunfire and fights erupted and armed conflict was the rule, the demonstrators kept their steely resolve to stay their course until the end.
They knew that, come what may, only one winner can emerge from any war of wills.
Eighteen long days later the standoff reached its end. On February 11, 2011, Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak turned over control of his country to the military. The unbelievable had happened:peaceful resolve, immovable determination and a united Egyptian people had won the first battle in their quest for democratic freedom.
Nothing worthwhile is ever gained easily and some paid with their lives for their role in this revolution. Their blood stains the streets, reminding those who remain that the goal of democracy, this hard-won freedom, is a precious right; a right to never be taken lightly.
Now, as the cleanup of Tahrir Square ensues, one thing remains abundantly clear: The people of Egypt spoke with a singleness of purpose seldom heard. They came together with one heart, one voice, one goal and they won. They achieved their goal.
Tonight, Egyptians will joyfully celebrate their hard-won victory, but this is only the first step on a long and often hard path to true democracy. Questions remain about what steps, if any, the military that now rules for the first time since 1952, will take to bring about true democratic reform.
Nations around the world must also watch and worry about who will ultimately hold the reins of power for this great nation. Whether Egypt really will maintain diplomatic ties with fomer allies, a promised by those currently in power, remains a pressing question.
This day, however, belongs solely to the people of Egypt. The events of the last eighteen days proved that there is great power in oneness. When people of a nation unite with one voice, one heart and one goal, anything is possible.
Egyptians now travel the long and arduous journey to true democracy. May their paths be clear and their troubles few, and may they keep their resolve and unity until real freedom is the reality, not just the goal. The people of Egypt are a force to be reckoned with. Thankfully they are a peaceful, if determined, one.
Carla is the author of four published suspense novels, and her latest book, Artful Misdirection, is currently available in Kindle format on Amazon.com. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Blogspot and LinkedIn.