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

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid