The Egyptian Revolution of 2011
Totalitarianism and dictatorship has been a large part of the Middle East for a long time; due to lack of organization by the people who wish for greater freedom in their own country, it was nearly impossible to foment a successful revolution that would facilitate change. However, in the case of Egypt in 2011, an increase in resolve, as well as greater connectivity due to the Internet and social media, allowed the Egyptian people to rise up against their president and demand he be removed from power.
The lead-up to the Egyptian Revolution stems all the way back to the rise to power of Hasni Mubarak, who became President of Egypt for 30 years. He participated in an authoritarian rule that effectively ensured his continued reign of power for the rest of his life, regardless of election votes or citizen approval, which had dwindled significantly. The 2010 elections were accused of fraud, due to the almost unanimous victory of the ruling party that occurred despite the low public approval. Police brutality had increased under Mubarak's rule, with numerous instances of torture and human rights abuses on the part of the police, which was paid for by Mubarak's reign. In addition to all that, Egypt's economy was in shambles, leaving few jobs and even fewer chances for improvement in the country.
In the wake of successful revolutions in Tunisia and other countries, the Day of Revolt started on January 25, 2011. Tens of thousands of protesters assembled in the largest cities in Egypt, decrying Mubarak's government and asking for change. This revolution was perpetuated mostly online, using Twitter and Facebook to organize protests. The government shut down the Internet and mobile net services, leading to increased protests and military presence. Civilian casualties were high, as the military resorted to violence to attempt to quash protests.
Once Mubarak was taken out of power in February of 2011, the existing parliament of Egypt was dissolved, with the Supreme Council of Egyptian Armed Forces holding power for six months while a different government was established. There were residual protests to combat the slow progress of the changes following the revolution. To date, the area remains relatively unstable, and a permanent government has yet to be established.
The effect of the Egyptian Revolution on a worldwide scale was massive; along with the Tunisian Revolution, it brought about a series of other revolutions in different Middle Eastern Countries, including Algeria, Iran, Libya, Yemen and other countries experienced large protest movements after the process was finished.
In conclusion, the Egyptian Revolution is indicative of a greater sense of connectivity between the oppressed peoples of a nation, who used the Internet and social media to organize a widespread revolution to fight for the freedom that they sorely asked for. Where the future holds for Egypt is unclear, due to the instability of the current government; however, their search for change allowed them to fight for what they believed in, and allowed the world to see the power of an angry and rebellious public drawn to revolution.