Aran Islands Part 4!
The images seen in the blog (for example those above) portray a vast array of feelings in Egypt. Some pictures depict a strong force of protesting citizens which appear to be a force that cannot be reckoned with, while others display great violence on the part of the Egyptian military for which some protestors do not survive. This contradiction appears to conclude that one must experience the atmosphere first hand in order to fully understand the true feelings. That being said, as an American, it is likely impossible all together to fully understand their struggle. We must remember that it was only roughly 200 years ago that we under went our own struggle for democracy.
The feelings of anger, passion, excitement, fear, anxiety, pain, and triumph that seem to be hanging endlessly in the air in Egypt cannot be distinguished in the photographs. In some yes, it is easy to say that person is angry, and this person is experiencing pain but in most, they seem to mold together and in doing so make it very difficult to understand. These photographs also cannot portray key events that have lead up to the event they were taken at. This may cause the viewer to be mislead or jump to conclusions about what they are seeing. We are able to grasp the ideals of the movement but very rarely each individuals reason for becoming passionate enough to leave their homes and endanger their well being to protest in the streets.
In my reach photographs of rallying protesters were much more prevalent than photographs and videos of government brutality. I am inclined to believe there is a fare about of government and military screening being done. I also noted that the sources that did include military brutality material rarely included more than a screen name of the person who posted the video or image. They would prefer the world see their citizens as unruly and going through unnecessary measures to make a statement than know innocently protesting people were being brutally beaten. My first reaction to this thought was that it is unjust for the governing forces to silence the voices of those trying to let the world know what they are experiencing. However, from my research I have gathered that they do not want the help of the United States or any other western nations. An endorsement from the United States would only make the governing forces more reluctant to release their powers and form a democracy. With this being the case I can only assume that images of innocent citizens being beaten in the streets would encourage unwanted help from western nations. We, as the west, are under the impression that every country who does not enjoy the same luxuries are in dire need of our help.
It is my understanding that Middle Eastern women are viewed in the United States as very submissive. We believe they dress and act as they are told to do so. Images taken in Egypt over the course of this revolution show a very different picture. The women are dressed in western clothing and shouting at the top of their lungs for the issues they so firmly believe in. It is to be understood however that this does not come without a cost. Women are often beaten brutally and raped not only by the military but by other protesters because they are considered out of line for enforcing an opinion. It is this attitude that they rally so fiercely to change. There may also be a misconception that women are just following suite of the men; as if to say because they are protesting, I should also be protesting. This is not the case. In many occasions women have solely filled the streets in rage against practices such as “virginity tests” and the stalling of the Egyptian law-making force to include women in the writing of the new constitution.
These women put themselves at great risk every day to achieve a nation that respects them as equals. Long-gone should be the western image of a doe-eyed female whom does as she is told. As wave of similar to movements crash across the Middle East there is great hope for equality, democracy, and prosperity.