Published On: Sat, Feb 19th, 2011

It is time for “change”

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The whole world is watching.

It began in Tunisia, with the unexpected fall of the country’s 25-year dictator. Then, it has inspired by perfect domino effect through the Arab world..

In Egypt the wave of protest swept 30-year authoritarian rule of President Hosni Mubarak from power.

While the world news focus on number of injuries, deaths and result of uprising in Egypt, Laura King from Los Angeles Times draws attention to Egyptian women in her article titled “Protests raise hope for women’s rights in Egypt”.

She defines Egyptian women as women who have found an unexpected equality on the front lines of the protests and pictures them leading the crowd with a megaphone in hand.

King, shortly mentions the status of Egyptian women in the Muslim world and she tries to express female protesters feelings about their involvement in uprising.

Explanations of two protesters Hatem and Naguib are very interesting. 23-year-old Reem Hatem, a middle-school teacher says “I was brought up to believe I was powerless, but this was a chance to send a message that no, we’re not weak and sitting at home and being afraid. This is a way of telling men something.”

On the other hand, another protester Reem Naguib, states that “There are deep-rooted cultural practices that will not change overnight”

Change is difficult in any society, but even more difficult in Egypt and in many Arab countries. Sadly and simply because, independence from colonial rule led not to democracy but brutal autocracy in those countries.

Then the Koran and the original message of Prophet Muhammad, distorted for political means and by political actors. The original message of Islam modified under the influence of pre-existing attitudes, customs and politics.

Not surprisingly, the position of women remained poor, and worsened. Women’s rights ignored like many other rights.

It is “highly probable” that destroying a government without putting in place positive may reduce the Egypt to civil war and chaos tomorrow. And it is difficult to guess what women gets out of this mayhem.

At this point, it is better to remember that Allah will not change a condition of a people, until they change themselves. And “change” started.

Let’s hope that this change brings something good for Arab women and women of the world to celebrate.

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