Monday, December 26, 2011

Goodbye Year of Spontaneity and Heroism.. Welcome Year of True Independence?

Like an unplanned child, this past year came upon us. 2011 was conceived, carried and delivered exactly like an unplanned pregnancy with ups and downs, surprises and disappointments, hopes, wishes and desires. During the process some dreams were shattered or crushed while others came true. There is no denying that a lot was achieved during this historic year in many countries; but the real challenges have only now begun, and many new challenges will arise in the near and far future.

If 2011 ushered in the beginning of change, 2012 will certainly set the track and shape the future of the Arab region as well as the rest of the world.

Knowing that some old habits are very hard to die, it should be everyone’s responsibility to keep leaders in check in the coming months. We’re seeing one example of an undying old dictatorial habit in Egypt with the military crackdown against the young men and women of the revolution. Who will reign in SCAF and who will hold them accountable are two questions that require immediate answers. Another key question hangs over major strides made by Islamist groups in the emerging “freed” nations.

For anyone who lived through the events of this past year up close or from a distance, it is natural to welcome 2012 with a big knot in the stomach. It is anyone’s guess what way things will go in many parts of the Middle East and North Africa. Add to that, the angst of economic instability and political uncertainty in Europe and the United States. The situation becomes even more dangerous when you consider the destabilizing elements of Iran, Hezbollah and Israel. With some old guards surviving the uprising to date, someone like Bashar al-Assad of Syria seems ready to make things a lot worse for his countrymen before making them worse for the entire region.

In the Arab world, history does not give much hope for a better future. Drastic and meaningful change is a must if nations are to move forward and catch up with the rest of the world. If an Islamist win does not slowly but surely look like the successful Muslim democracies of the world, the end-result cannot be but disastrous. If winners are not inclusive and supportive of minorities, their win will be temporary and they will be fought and even ousted sooner than later. Those who succeed however, they can serve as a beacon for other nations to follow their example.

Just like in families, once the ordeal of childbirth is overcome, the burden and joy of raising the child begin. Whatever countries have at this point, with 2012 the childrearing now begins. Choices will be made, efforts will be exerted, money will be spent, and paths will be paved. There will be growing pains. There will be high moments and low points. It won’t be easy, it won’t be quick, it won’t be one way, and it won’t be sacrifice-free. If it succeeds, it will be worth the sweat and the blood.

In 2011, spontaneity led to heroism; and heroism led to freedom. The 2012 challenge is that freedom, which cost lives, limbs and property, will lead to true independence and equality for all.


Keep the conversation going...

Blogger Oussama's Take said...

With elections in Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt producing Islamist majorities and Libya moving in the same directions, the young men and women who gave their lives to effect change are watching their revolution being hijacked. Unless the Islamist majorities are going to govern following an enlightened Islam rather than a fundamentalist Islam, then 2012 will see more of 2011. Young people who went to the street to change regimes are no longer afraid to articulate their beliefs and die for them. Only time will tell.

December 26, 2011 at 11:46 AM  

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