News / Middle East

Egyptian Youth Vow to Transform Their Society

Volunteers check other anti-government protesters to search for and prevent weapons and infiltrators entering the demonstration after brief clashes with pro-government supporters in Talaat Harb square near Tahrir square, Cairo, February 4, 2011
Volunteers check other anti-government protesters to search for and prevent weapons and infiltrators entering the demonstration after brief clashes with pro-government supporters in Talaat Harb square near Tahrir square, Cairo, February 4, 2011

In Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere, a mix of Arabs are protesting against their governments. And a feature of many of the largest demonstrations has been the use of social media by young people to mobilize big crowds. The Egyptian youth rallying there are vowing to transform their society.

Amid the continuing protests, Cairo's Tahrir Square has been a place where protesters are helping each other and have been seen sweeping the street, picking up garbage, while sharing food, water and medications.

Fadi Awad has been here since uprising started on January 25. The 32-year-old said, "Now when you look in the eyes of people you see happiness, you see intelligence, and you see acceptance of the other - all the others, inside or outside,” said Awad. “I guess Egypt is going to be a great country after all, I hope."

Watch Video of Friday's Protests in Cairo

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has long justified his rule by warning that without it, chaos would reign in Egypt.  Protestors charged that Mr. Mubarak's supporters tried to sow chaos earlier this week in the streets of Cairo by attacking foreign journalists and human rights activists - and by hurling cinder blocks and steel pipes from the roofs of buildings surrounding the square.

Mahmoud Shaker, a 26 year old diving instructor from the Red Sea resort of Hurghada, fought back. Now his left arm and eye are all bandaged up.

Still, he says he is prepared to fight until death.

Watch a Related Video from VOA's Luis Ramirez

Shaker recalls that even former U.S. President George Bush, not a popular figure among Arabs, wanted Mr. Mubarak to embrace democracy.

That makes Awad hug and kiss Shaker, who he just met. Awad said, “He made a great metaphor!”

Shaker continues, with Awad translating.

"The Arab countries are going to be changed by the hands of their youth - not the old people, corrupted people like Mubarak," Awad added.

These young are suspicious of the older dissidents, including former chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency Mohamed ElBaradei. They also worry that the Muslim brotherhood may try to hijack their revolution.

But they were the ones who helped bring the revolution to the streets of Cairo - with the help of Facebook and Twitter. And Awad expresses their optimistic outlook.

"All the Egyptian people is changing. Me myself, I'm changing,” said Awad. “Egypt is going to be more democratic. I hope the economy, everything, is going to be better after this regime steps down."

Members of the younger generation in Egypt say changes that have swept the world since the fall of the Berlin Wall - have finally arrived in the Middle East.

 

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

Jerome Socolovsky

Jerome Socolovsky is the award-winning religion correspondent for the Voice of America, based in Washington. He reports on the rapidly changing faith landscape of the United States, including interfaith issues, secularization and non-affiliation trends and the growth of immigrant congregations.

You May Like

Official: S. Sudan President, Rebel Leader to Meet in Tanzania

Talks part of effort to end conflict in country that has left more than 10,000 people dead, displaced more than 1.5 million others More

Dutch Deny Link to Mystery Submarine off Sweden

Netherlands denies Russian claim that 'foreign vessel' photographed in waters off Sweden could be Dutch More

China Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan, Regional Stability

Observers say China’s increased regional involvement are due to concerns that Afghan instability and the presence of anti-China militants in Pakistani border areas could fuel Xinjiang troubles More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fighti
X
Zana Omer
October 18, 2014 6:37 PM
The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.
Video

Video Church for Atheists Goes Global

Atheists, by definition, do not believe in God. So they should have no need of a church. But two years ago, a pair of British stand-up comedians decided to create one. Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans told the BBC they envisioned “something like church but without God". Their “Sunday Assembly” movement has grown from a single congregation in London to dozens of churches around the world. Reporter Mike Osborne visited with the members of a Sunday Assembly that now meets regularly in Nashville.
Video

Video Robot Locates Unexploded Underwater Mines

Many educators believe that hands-on experience is the best way to learn. Proving that the method works is a project developed by a group of students at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey. They rose up to a challenge posted by the U.S. Department of Defense and successfully designed and built an underwater robot for locating submerged unexploded ordnance. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's JFK Hospital Reopens After Temporary Ebola Exposure

JFK Hospital is Liberia’s largest and one of its oldest medical facilities. The hospital had to close temporarily following the deaths of two leading doctors from Ebola. It is now getting back on its feet, with the maternity ward being the first section to reopen. Benno Muchler has more for VOA News from Monrovia.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Expose Generation Gap

Most of the tens of thousands of protesters in Hong Kong are students seeking democracy. Idealistic youths say while the older generation worries about the present, they are fighting for the territory's future. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Hong Kong.
Video

Video Liberians Living in US Struggle From Afar as Ebola Ravages Homeland

More than 8,000 Liberians live in New York City, more than in any other city outside of Liberia itself. As VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports, with the Ebola virus ravaging their homeland, there is no peace of mind for these New Yorkers.
Video

Video Kurds See War-Ravaged Kobani As Political, Emotional Heartland

Intense fighting is continuing between Islamic State militants -- also known as ISIS or ISIL -- and Kurdish forces around the Syrian town of Kobani, on the Turkish border. The U.S. said it carried out at least nine airstrikes against Islamic State positions Friday. Meanwhile the U.N. has warned that hundreds of civilians would be massacred if the town falls to the militants. Henry Ridgwell looks at the strategic significance of the city.

All About America

AppleAndroid