Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Hosni Mubarak To Me

The recent unrest in Egypt has caused a stir among the Kuwaitis who hadn't had the chance to experience the Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait, or who have simply forgotten what it felt to be a country under occupation and a people in a diaspora. Many chant to the tunes of the Egyptian man on the street who is demanding Hosni Mubarak to resign and leave Egypt, going so far as to label him as a Dictator and a murderer. Now, I'm no apologist to Mr Mubarak, nor do I agree with his insistence in keeping Martial Law in effect for all these years. Furthermore, quite frankly, it's none of my business what he does in his country, despite my opinions. 

It's the Egyptian people whose business it is, whose responsibility it is to effect change in their country, and openly express their opinions of their leaders (which, by the way, no Arab Dictator in history had ever allowed!). It's a responsibility for which they were supposed to deal with ever since the Man clocked his 10 years in office, but that's not what I'm writing about here.

What I heard during Mubarak's latest speech made me realize that this was the mind of a statesman who is adamant in upholding the Constitution, not a thug, nor a Dictator, certainly not a murderer. He's sticking to the Constitution, flawed as it may be, and will prepare for amendments that would allow more freedoms and lesser restrictions, and has finally stated that he would not run for office anymore.

Dictators don't allow 600 daily & weekly newspapers & magazines, both for and against the head of state, yet that's approximately how many there are in Egypt today, not counting other media like the internet and Satellite TV stations. Dictators don't allow opposition parties that number in the tens of thousands like there are in Egypt today. Kuwait doesn't even have a professional journalism sector aside from a couple of dailys, and even no political parties to speak of! If anything, Mubarak was a poor manager of the State, but a statesman, nonetheless. Then again, I'm not Egyptian, so I don't have the right to evaluate his internal policies and politics.

Poverty, corruption, inequality, political influence and lying to the public are all facts of life, they're everywhere, even in the most advanced of countries, just ask Michael Moore! There isn't a single country without at least two of these traits, and Egypt isn't an exception.

Then again, I'm not Egyptian, so I'm disqualified to give my opinion on how effective he was in running his country. I'm also of the opinion that, as a non-Egyptian, I shouldn't judge the man, either favorably or otherwise, as he's not my leader. However, what's important to me at this time is that this man leaves office with his dignity intact, and not like Tuni's ZainAlabedine Bin Ali, who fled to the safety of Saudi Arabia when no other country would take him in!

A Man of Mubarak's Geopolitical history shouldn't go out like that. He fought for his country with honor, he'd fought for my country with honor, he'd been a part of the Egyptian Military establishment and served in it with honor, he should retire in honor.

Finally, for those of us in Kuwait who so easily condemned him, here's something that may make you think twice:

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