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Selim Kafafy RHET102-02 Dr. Mike Gibson Monday July 18th 2011 Finding Egypt Politics, These days we hear this word quite a lot. To some of us politics is everything that has to do with governments, to some extend this definition is correct. But the true definition of politics is : “the activities associated with the governance of a country or other area, esp. the debate or conflict among individuals or parties having or hoping to achieve power”. Politics is being able to convince people with something, that they might not believe in. Throughout this essay we will be exploring the idea of how politics might be related to education and student life, we will be discussing what it means to be a college student from the political perspective? We will be viewing this idea form a logical extreme, and from an emotional extreme. And in the end we will be trying to come up with a third point of view that compromises between the two, let’s call it the synthesized point of view. We need to clarify how within college a student starts to discover his political tendencies, and take a side, either as a leftist, or as a rightist. Leftist being the liberals in Egypt, and the Republicans in The States. And the Rightists being the conservative party like the muslim brotherhood in Egypt, and the Democrats in the States. We will be also exploring how the Egyptian revolution helped shaping the political scene in egypt, and we will try to understand the source of the political awareness that came about the youth of Egypt, who were the reason for the revolution; bare in mind that they are students, and thus we will try to understand which education could have resulted in such awareness.


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In the fast changing political scene of Egypt, students go through different aspects that make them make up their minds about what they want to do, and what they wish their country to be. They get to chose whether they want to be leftists, rightists, etc. In 2006 a small uprising started on Facebook, a global networking website, a group of young men were getting upset about the phase of corruption that the country has been going through, they were upset about the high level of unemployment. “An estimated 18,000 Egyptians are imprisoned under the law, which allows the police to arrest people without charges, allows the government to ban political organizations and makes it illegal for more than five people to gather without a license from the government. Newspapers are monitored by the Ministry of Information and generally refrain from directly criticizing Mubarak. And so for young people in Egypt, Facebook, which allows users to speak freely to one another and encourages them to form groups, is irresistible as a platform not only for social interaction but also for dissent”, says the NYT (Jacob). So in 2006 an uprising started in the city of El Mahala el Kobra, and lasted for a couple of days, and it was brought down by the regime. Although the uprising was brought down, the spirit lived on for another 5 years. In late 2010 the egyptian government was responsible for forging votes in the parliament which led to a huge wave of rage among the people, this same year a young man “Khaled Said” died at the hands of cops just becuase they wanted to arrest him for no reason and he asked why is he being arrested, so they hit him until he died. One new years eve 2011 a bombing incident in The Kedeseen church in Alexandria made the christian community furious. By that time people started feeling oppressed, they felt that the regime is bringing this nation apart, especially when it comes to both sects of the country, muslims in christians, it was on the verge of civil war. So another small movement started calling for a march on the 25th of January


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2011, at first most people were skeptical, they though that it would end up like the Mahala uprising in 2006, but on the 25th it was a whole different story. Thousands of people came to the streets calling for reelections of the parliament, a new constitution, a new government, and to end the Emergency Law in Egypt. On the 25th, 26th, and the 27th these protestors grew in numbers, as well as the police trying to stop them, until on Friday 28th of January 2011 the police came down really hard on the protestors, they bombarded them with tears gases, they hit them with sticks, and to top it off, they used live ammunition, they killed several ones, they even ran the protestors down with their armored vehicles. This was the spark the set the fuel on fire, protestors raised their demands, they wanted the president to step down from office,they wanted this regime over with. But then, the above case is more of less of a special case, It was a case where leftists, rightists, everybody came together. But in the real world it doesn’t go this way. And this is what has been going since the revolution, the rightists have been accusing the leftists that they are being too liberal, and open minded and that they will lead to the destruction of this country. And the same thing is happening the other way around. The leftists are accusing the rightists of being extremely conservative, and this will lead to a huge clash of thoughts between the nation, as if it is an egg, and too much pressure will cause it to crack. So this is the code that the nation has been going with throughout the last couple of months. But who would resist to it, who would go against the flow?! From the logical perspective, its a matter of who would be able to convince the most into his party. It is a matter of convincing a leftist to be a rightist and vice versa. In today’s colleges people are being taught how to be active citizens, and how to believe in something, and also how to affect people surrounding them into something they might not


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believe in. At the end of the day isn’t this the true meaning of politics, just as it was mentioned in the introduction? But everything must be balanced. Let’s assume that a certain person is trying to convince another of joining his party, or at least he is trying to convince him into his beliefs, but this person is not convinced, so now it goes down to this, either the first person will get angry, and he will start accusing him of being too liberal/conservative, or he will just walk away and think of him as not worthy of his time. And in both cases this is wrong, this is not the right kind of attitude to have towards a political scene that is yet in its infancy. But a new factor has been added to politics lately. Religion, in a community such as the one here in Egypt, is a really big thing. It is the guideline that most people take when it comes to their everyday lives, and even in their political tendencies. For example we have the Muslim Brotherhood, who are supposed to be a political party but they are relying on a religious base. So this is the emotional aspect of this paper. When people, and students are choosing their political tendencies they always bare in mind what implications this party is going to have on the country when it comes to a religious point of view. For example, If a leftist party is the one that wins the elections, and becomes the ruling party, and they legalize prostitution. This is something that is definitely against the religious beliefs of this country, but yet the leftist group has a lot of good things in its agenda. So if someone goes against the religious (emotional aspect) code he will be called a liberal, and a non believer, and most probably will be stoned to death, and a civil war will start, just as we saw in the Embaba incidents, when a christian woman converted to Islam. This is how sensitive this country is when ti comes to religion. But how can education play a role in all of this. Well, in college students should be taught how to reach a middle ground, how to get the best of both worlds. This brings us to the synthesized point of view. The very idea of getting


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the best of both worlds is extremely efficient. When people break down political parties to individual elements, with which you can come up with different points of view, and with which you can come up with different ideas that could help a politically developing country. Let me clarify, if we take certain ideas from the islamic party of this country, things such as banning prostitution because it is against the cultural aspect of this country, and because it might limit sexually transmitted diseases, and take the true democratic ideas of the liberal parties, such as freedom of speech, freedom of ideas, basically all the concepts that allow people to have their personal space, and liberty. This is where you can get a perfectly balanced political system. One that would satisfy the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cultural background, as well as introducing the country to new ideas that will help it prosper. Throughout the essay we have explored different political aspects of this country, and how both extremes can generate a massive wave of destruction culturally, politically, and religiously. We have learned how education has a big role in helping young minds develop their political identities, and taught them how to respect other ideas, and work with them so they can come up with a middle ground that serves for the well being of this great nation Citation: Jacob, Jijo. "What Is Egypt's 6 of April Movement?." International B u s i n e s s T i m e s ( 2 0 1 1 ) : n . p a g . We b . 1 7 J u l 2 0 1 1 . < h t t p : / / w w w. i b t i m e s . c o m / a r t i c l e s / 1 0 7 3 8 7 / 2 0 11 0 2 0 1 / w h a t - i s - e g y p t - s - a p r i l - 6 movement.htm>.


Finding Egypt- Final Draft