A Note from Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper
“We are free. … Egypt is free,” cheered countless tens-of-thousands of mostly young Egyptians in the streets of Cairo just four years ago – in February of 2011 – when the country’s corrupt, autocratic strongman Hosni Mobarak was finally forced from power by what looked to the world to be a peaceful uprising of the people.
Canadian Mohamed Fahmy on trial on bogus charges in Egypt
The jubilation was shared by a large group of Niagara residents, some of them of Egyptian descent, rallied on the front steps of city hall in St. Catharines, Ontario for a new dawn of freedom and democracy in the land of ancient kings and pyramids – the “cradle of civilization” as it has come to be called.
Another Canadian of Egyptian descent, Mohamed Fahmy, who covered the uprising for CNN and joined in the celebration when Mobarak stepped down, went on to write a book titled ‘Egyptian Freedom Story.”
So much for any hope of a free and democratic though. Just as a number of governance experts many of us did not want to listen to at the time warned – ‘this George W. Bush notion that you can just take a country that has had a long history of blood-letting totalitarian and transform it into a democracy overnight is fairy tale. It is more realistic to ask the question – ‘If we get rid of the dictator behind door number one, what will we find behind door number two.’
In the case of Egypt and its beleaguered people, what was behind door number two – Mohamd Horsi and his Muslim Brotherhood – has turned out to be just as corrupt and brutal, if not more so, than the scoundrel who was thrown out. And to underscore that dark reality, we had the conviction this August 29th of three journalists, including Mohamed Fahmy, Egyptian Baher Mohamed and Peter Greste (the later who his country, Australia, managed to get deported back home a while back) to three years in jail on bogus charges of “aiding a terrorist group.” Continue reading