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Oppresssion in Egypt

By , Wilsonville, OR
Egypt recently had a revolution in which they overthrew their government. Mubarak was their president for 30 years. He became president after the Egyptian people assassinated the previous president, Anwar Sadat. They knew that Anwar liked the idea of westernization, perhaps too much for their liking. Also, he wanted to make peace with Israel. The people of Egypt did not want peace with Israel at that time. Anwar had recently taken Egypt out of Marshall Law but then he was assassinated on one of his parades around town. The first thing he did was reinstate Marshall Law. After Marshall law was reinstated, Mubarak used his unrestrained power to stay president and keep the people oppressed. The revolution was a good thing for Egypt. It gives the people a chance to set up their own government.

The majority of people in Egypt hated having Mubarak as their leader. They wanted a government who was for the people. They were tired of being oppressed and wanted to be treated like respected human beings. The revolution brought the people of Egypt closer to one another. “It was a revolution where class barriers all came crashing down, where university professors were picking up garbage to clean the street, where young and old, rich and poor sat side by side making the same call in one breath, a call for change and an end to a decadent and black era in Egypt’s history” (Malky). With Mubarak’s reign over, they finally have a chance to set up a government they want. The people can choose their own government without someone standing over them telling them what to do.

Some of the Egyptians argue that not everyone was unhappy with Mubarak as president. They say that people liked Mubarak as their leader and even attacked those who were revolting. They belie that it was unfair for people to take down the government they wanted. However, most of the people who enjoyed having Mubarak in power were those who became rich and powerful when he was in control; and when he lost his power, they lost theirs as well. The majority of the common people wanted Mubarak’s reign to end. After Mubarak left the people of Egypt voted for a new constitution, 76% of the able population voted yes. That was the freest vote Egypt has had in a century.

The people of Egypt were terribly oppressed. Egypt was ranked in the lowest 25 countries when it came to freedom or press and speech. When someone would speak out against the government they would be taken prisoner for day and/or cruelly beaten. Some were even killed! The press is then told what to write and few stories of the atrocities get out.

Many of the government officials try to make people believe that the press over exaggerates on these so called atrocities in an attempt to make others feel sorry for them and intervene. They try to poison the minds of their people by saying that these people are trying to start riots in an attempt to destroy the government, which could potentially get someone killed. So, these officials say that the government is right to imprison these people and the stories about people being beaten aren’t true.

A crucial fact against the officials' case is that the Egyptian government even made protests and strikes illegal so the police would legally have a reason to beat the protestors. There are many eye witnesses to some of the beatings. One man was caught sending an email to a friend in an internet cafe saying how unfair he thought the government was to the people. The police caught the man and pulled him out into the street where they viciously beat him with clubs; then they imprisoned the man for 12 days. The police then claimed that the man did this to himself while on drugs in prison. Some people were even killed during several of the revolts “from the mothers of the martyrs of the January 25 Revolution.” (Malky)

Egypt is was still under Marshall Law. So, it was ruled by its Military. The police they had were not there to protect the common people “-That derived its legitimacy from the authority of a police force dedicated, not to the protection of the people, but of those in the circles of power” (Mulky). The people in power did not care who was hurt as long as they stayed rich and in control. Without Mubarak in power they would lose everything they had. So, the leaders backed the police when it came to keeping the common Egyptian oppressed.

Again the government officials say that they were trying to help the people, not hurt them. Many of the leaders say that they disliked Mubarak but were too scared to do anything to stop him. They say that they believed that if they had interfered, Mubarak would have had them killed. They say that if they hadn’t been there to keep a reign on the police then more people would have died.

But, the leaders are the ones who helped Mubarak to pass the law that said protesting and going on strike was illegal. With that law in force the police could legally imprison the protestors and beat them if they “resisted”. If anything, the other people in power besides Mubarak made life even more difficult for the average Egyptian.

The revolution was a good thing. Egypt will be slightly more chaotic for some time but then it will stabilize and then Egypt will be a better place to live. The government will be of their own choice and they will know that if they don’t like the government they do have the power to stand against it. Without someone calling the shots the people can create a government that will give them what they want, more freedom. For too long they have been oppressed. They want to be free of Marshall Law.





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