One year ago, the countries of Tunisia and Egypt were at the epicenter of media coverage and at the peak of their resistance movements against corrupt tyrannical governments. As Egypt erupted with joyous celebration after the resignation of Hosni Mubarak, other countries in the region, such as Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, and Syria, took up their own banners to oust their corrupt leaders as well.
The 2011 Egyptian Revolution was a game-changer for the entire Middle East region. It was the wakeup call the populous in several countries needed to help become motivated to change what has been set as the standard for decades.
A few months later, in the same year, the Occupy Movement began in New York City’s Zuccotti Park with dozens protesting the inequality of wealth distribution in this country. Those dozens grew into hundreds, and eventually the Occupy movement spread across the country with hundreds and hundreds of people “occupying” in a number of major cities.
Why compare Tahrir Square in Cairo with Zuccotti Park in New York City? The only comparisons than can be made are the vast differences in both movements, but how each one inspired resistance in order to change one’s life.
The Arab Spring, and what is currently happening in Syria, is an act of desperation on the part of the people because they wanted things to change. The message out of Tahrir Square a year ago, and other countries around the region, was in order to change the current state of living, people need to work hard for it. The massive population of Egypt (most populated of the Arab countries) was the spark that ignited the massive Spring movement. It was a powerful message sent to the U.S. government who supported the corrupt leaders and politicians of these Arab countries; the power is truly with the people.
The people in the Arab countries rallied behind one solid goal; to oust their corrupt leaders and ruling parties in order to improve their lives. Before any revolution took place in that part of the world, corruption was rampant; starting with the leaders and pouring down to the police force that is charged to protect the rights of people. Not only was corruption rampant, jobs were scarce, especially for an ever-growing young and educated population in Egypt where people were, and still are living in abject poverty. The people had had enough, and so they started a movement, which in turn became a pivotal revolution for the entire region. The people stayed true to the main objective, and worked hard to fulfill it. Support poured in from across the world via the Internet and the social media networks, which helped start this revolution as well. From there, the people could not be silenced.
Demonstrators in the Occupy Movement, inspired by the Egyptian revolution, took similar action to protest the vast inequality of wealth distribution in this country
A shortened version of an interview by Kai Ryssdal from Marketplace, American Public Media on January 25, 2012, let us hear from activists in Cairo and New York how the Arab Spring protests inspired the Occupy movement:
Change isn’t easy, especially when it’s resistance towards a set system. However when something is fundamentally wrong with the system where people are suffering across the spectrum except for a select few, then there will be a rise in resistance from the masses in order to change the flawed standard, as seen from both the Occupy and Arab Spring movements.
Any of your thoughts on this global initiative to change from resistance are welcome!