Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Understanding the Uprising in Egypt

The Egyptians are rioting and protesting in the streets against the current government presiding over Egypt. The current leader has been in power for more than 30 years and the citizens do not agree that the current leadership should remain in power.

The protests in Tunisia had a strong influence in the Egyptian protests. The Tunisians were effective at overthrowing the government of Tunisia, which encouraged Egyptians to follow suit. Since the military of Tunisia was underpaid and lacked a strong desire to quell the uprising, it was not an impossible feat to overthrow the Tunisian leadership. The Egyptian government is of a different situation, since the military is not as underpaid and lacking in will to carry out the current government’s authority.

The current Egypt leaders have a good relationship with the leaders of the United States. There is some concern that any new power taking hold in Egypt would be anti-American and present trouble for foreign diplomacy from the United States. In his State of the Union Address, President Obama neglected to specifically mention the Egypt riots, but later addressed them in a Q/A session with YouTube where he reaffirmed the United States’ standing ally relationship with the current Egypt leaders.

Fires and looting have already broken out, but are not completely out of control as with Haiti following the Earthquake. Looters attacked and ransacked the Cairo Museum, which is home to thousands of artifacts of Ancient Egypt, including the mummy of King Tutankhamun, but one of the bigger headlines has been the government killing the internet for Egypt.

The uprising in Egypt is not showing any signs of dying down, especially after the Egyptian government flipped the kill switch in order to prevent communications on social networks, websites, and blogs with details on the protests. More than 80% of the country is without internet, making resources such as ham radios, Morse code, and dial-up internet a necessity to communicate.

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