When Hosni Mubarak stepped down as president of Egypt news sources across the world hailed it as the Berlin Wall of our generation. (1, 2) At first I thought this was just news people trying to make headlines, using the rhetoric that they always do in the heat of the moment, but as the weeks have passed, I think I am beginning to see this.
The fall of the Berlin Wall was really the beginning of the end for the Soviet Union. After East Germany proved that they could free themselves, other nations in the Eastern bloc decided that they wanted to be free as well. In 1989 there were revolutions all across eastern Europe: in Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania. It was like dominoes falling, one nation after the other demanding their rights and their freedom, as they saw other nations doing the same.
As I have read the paper and browsed news websites in the last couple of weeks, I see the same thing happening in the middle east. Egypt has demanded its dictator step down and he has, Tunisia’s President Ben Ali has resigned, and there are protests in Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, Iran, Morocco. This is beginning to sound a lot like what happened in Eastern Europe in 1989-1990, but of course I was only 4, so I don’t remember what it was like. Is this how it felt? Is this what it feels like to watch nations finally stand up and free themselves
I am awed daily by the reports I read. I find it wonderful to live in such a day where technology allows this information to be so freely disseminated. And I firmly believe that it is this technology that has helped make these revolutions possible. As word spreads that peaceful protests work there will be more and more nations who rise to that challenge. I look forward to the next months and years, excited at what they will bring on the global political level.
- Mona Eltahawy: “Mubarak is Our Berlin Wall” (crooksandliars.com)
- Egypt’s Berlin Wall Moment: Embattled President Hosni Mubarak Steps Down (mediaite.com)
- MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow On Anticipated End Of Mubarak’s Rule: “This Is A Berlin Wall Moment” (mediaite.com)