For days now Egyptians are taking to the streets in protest of the Mubarak government. Hundreds have been arrested, some – including policemen – died. „In the Shadow of the Tunisian Revolution“, reads one article at the website of the Egpytian Muslimbrotherhood. Although it is doubted even by the protesters themselves that Egypt´s long-time ruler will face the same fate as Tunisia´s President Ben Ali – the signs of change in North Africa are visible and heard.
The picture above was taken in Cairo two days ago and might become an iconic image of the 2011 uprising of Egypt´s youth. It is the call for freedom, democracy and a righteous and just government, not the chanting of „Allahu akbar!“ or „Long live Bin Laden!“ that is coming from Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Yemen, Jordan. For too long Arab leaders and the West, especially Europe´s former colonial powers, have ignored the demands of a growing young generation of North Africans calling for change and end to oppression.
2011 could be for Maghreb what 1989 was for Eastern Europe. Thus one should never forget – „Change does not equal progress in the Middle East“