This commentary was published in Asharq al-Awsat on 12/02/2011
The above title is not my own, but this is a quote from a statement made by Egyptian youth Wael Ghonim following the news that President Hosni Mubarak had stepped down from office under pressure from the revolution…and yes, that's right, it is an Egyptian revolution! As Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa stated yesterday on the Al-Arabiya satellite channel, what has happened in Egypt is indeed a "white revolution."
Thank God for the safety of Egypt that surprised itself and its youth, and patriotic fervor for Egypt is today flowing all the more strongly through the veins of all Egyptians and indeed all Arabs. Egypt was surprised by its position and the international focus it received [with regards to the demonstrations], and more importantly than this, the love that Arabs have for this country, for over the past 18 days Egypt has been the focus of all debates, and indeed prayers. This is from the Arabs who all – in their own way – expressed their fears over the future of Egypt, as well as their love for the country; everybody was united in wishing the best for Egypt, and its security and safety.
Passion is ruling the scene today, even amongst the more rational people, for what happened in Egypt is truly astonishing. This is a revolution that did not occur through the spilling of a single drop of blood, for these revolutionaries were more wise and prudent than those who tried to suppress them. Egypt's streets were full of demonstrations for more than two weeks without a single security breach occurring, disregarding what happened on the day that the country's general security forces withdrew from the streets. We saw people draping themselves with the Egyptian flag and standing side by side with the wise Egyptian army, chanting "the [Egyptian] people and the army are one hand." We have seen the love for Egypt in reality on the ground, rather than expressed in poems or addresses.
This is truly the people's revolution; a revolution that does not have a leader that will arrive from abroad by airplane, such as what occurred in Iran on the day that Khomeini returned from France, nor is it a palace coup, or something that was planned or sanctioned from abroad. The entire story is that –thanks to its youth – Egypt has returned to a youthful phase, and this is the most beautiful thing that we have seen in the land of Egypt over the past few days. There will be many benefits today; for the Egyptians, the Arabs, and all those who love Egypt and its people.
Today the Egyptians must roll up their sleeves to build a genuine democratic country. Today the Egyptians must say to themselves "no to revenge, no to retribution….but yes to learning lessons [from the past]". Today the youth must establish their [political] parties, and choose their new leaders. Today it is up to the Egyptians, of all walks of life, to abide by the word of honour - or let us say "the word of the youth" - who on the day that the youth raised their voices in Tahrir Square, chanted "we are peaceful, we are peaceful." Egypt must not become a state of ideologies, or division, but rather the people of Egypt must announce the establishment of a modern state, a state of citizenship where the people are able to live in dignity. The Egyptians have achieved all of their demands, and it is now up to them to achieve their dreams.
As for the Arabs, all the Arabs, they must today stand with the Egyptian state and the Egyptian people, to help the country overcome its economic crisis and quickly recover from the severe aftershocks of what has happened. Egypt is not just for the Egyptians, but for all Arabs. We are awaiting a strong Egypt; politically, economically, culturally, scientifically, and even artistically. These words are not borne out of emotion, but rather come from the heart of reason, for what the youth in Egypt were able to do tells us that Egypt will always be fine.
Therefore we say "Egypt, thank God for your safety!"