I could say that the highlight of the past weeks was the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Yemeni political and human rights activist Tawakul Karman, the first Arab woman to receive the honor. I could also say the highlight were the worldwide demonstrations against government corruption and corporate greed, spearheaded by the Occupy Wall Street movement, as a testament to the success of the “Arab Spring tactics” they claim to follow. We witnessed the Israeli-Palestinian prisoner exchange, which despite its broader political implications, released many who were imprisoned merely for being Palestinian. Then again, how could I not mention Libya, whose people, with NATO support, did not relent in chasing their lunatic Colonel until the very last “zenga,” hiding like the rat he called his people to be.
And in memory of the dictators who have now been deposed, it isn’t for nothing that Lenin once noted that “sometimes decades pass and nothing happens; and then sometimes weeks pass and decades happen.”
So for all the highlights, celebrate we should, although the real challenges are only now surfacing. The challenge of implementing stable democracies after years of dictatorship; of freedom and openness after years of repression in the name of stability; of spreading economic prosperity after years of a monopoly of the riches; and of peaceful religious coexistence or simply religious moderation after years of false secularism intended to secure power in the hands of a few.
At the same time, I could say that the greatest tragedy of the past weeks was the meaningless religious violence in Egypt, putting the Egyptian Revolution to the test and risking its victory go in vain. I could also say the tragedy was the non-abating pace at which Syrian blood is being shed at the hands of a regime that has completely lost touch with reality. Then again, I could also mention the hypocrisy with which Lebanese political players (I doubt their claims to ‘leadership’) have dealt with the Syrian Revolution, determining their positions based on political interest rather than true conviction.
But in memory of all those who have sacrificed their lives for a better future for their children; those who died in chains and the living dead populating the prisons of tyranny and oppression; to reclaim the riches usurped by the few; and for people to regain control of their own destinies they thought belonged to the state…
…this revolution continues.