January 25 2011. This is when the social movement, also known as the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, began in Egypt. Riots, rallies, and marches are only a few things taking place in the streets of Egypt. The goal: to overthrow Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. In an attempt to discontinue the hysteria of the online spreading of opposition against the President, the entire Internet was shut down overnight. Every day we hear more about war, chaos, and governmental issues going on in the world and it's crazy to think that a lot of this can be encouarged by the internet. Through the Eyes of Egypt is a blog characterized to discuss the thoughts and opinions of individuals regarding these issues as well as the impact social media can have on the world.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

On March 10, rebel fighters escaped as Col. Qaddafi’s forces fired violent rocket attacks on the town of Ras Lanuf. This disrupted the rebels’ plans of a westward drive into Tripoli.

On March 12, the Untied States Security Council was asked by The Arab League to impose a no-flight zone over Libya in hopes of restricting Qaddafi’s attacks on his own people. This war has placed immense amounts of pressure on the Obama administration which has been reluctant to intervene. Let’s hope we stay out of this one.  

The Group of  Eight has recently discussed the topic of bringing an outside intervention into Libya; France said there hasn’t been an agreement on the issue of enforcing a no-flight zone to ground the loyalist air force. Germany and Russia wouldn’t agree to a no-fly zone and raised objections to military intervention. German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle stated, “One has to ask the question whether military intervention would hurt more than it helps. We do not want to get sucked into a war in North Africa and we would not like to step on a slippery slope.” It’s hard not to agree.

At the same time, David Cameron, U.K. Prime Minister said leaving Qaddafi in power would send a “terrible message” not only to the Libyan people but also to those who desire democracy and stability. He went on to say, “I am not arguing a no-fly zone is a simple solution to the problem, of course it’s not.”

It seems as though the big decision to make in this situation is to decide whether or not to take the risk, knowing it may fail.  

A little bit of history..
Group of Eight, which began as the dinner for six, was established in 1975 when the presidents of France and Germany invited their counterparts from the U.S., Britain, Italy, and Japan to Chateau Rambouillet on the outskirts of Paris. The purpose was to bring the leaders of the world’s strongest economies together for an informal discussion of the economic turmoil left in the wake of the 1973 oil embargo. Since then, the group has grown; Canada, the European Union and Russia have all joined. Although the meetings have become larger and longer, they are still a chance for informal discussions among world leaders.

After a weeklong battle and nearly demolishing Zawiya, things have taken a turn for the worst, Qaddafi turned up military and psychological pressure against rebel forces. The turmoil continues in Libya as Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s loyal forces initiated attacks on the city of Misurata. Government forces fired artillery as tanks moved in and bombarded the city.  Misurata is the last rebel stronghold in western Libya and is located about 125 miles outside of Tripoli, the nation’s capital.

Stated in a recent article, Libya’s state-run television appealed to residents of Benghazi, the center of the rebellion in the east of the country, to join Qaddafi’s troops. The broadcast announced, “The army is coming to secure you and to lift the injustice and horror off you and to protect your pure souls and precious blood.”

The death toll of this massacre could reach as high as 15,000. Qaddafi’s forces are attacking people with tanks and cars manned with his military. Three fighter jets carried out air strikes on the airport that is being used by the rebels as an airbase, causing their attacks to be broken off after anti-aircraft missiles were fired.


Monday, March 14, 2011

On March 9, eleven people died in Cairo, Egypt in some of the deadliest disorder between Christians and Muslims since President Mubarak has stepped down. The reason for the fighting: the clashes broke during a protest by several hundred Christians over the burning of a church that occurred a week earlier. Funerals have been taking place for those who lost their lives during this battle.

High unemployment, injustice, and rampant corruption are what caused Egyptians and Tunisians to revolt. Egyptian protesters were mobilized largely on the internet which was emphasized by the events that were occurring in Tunisia.

As of March 10, Seif-al Islam, the son of the Libyan leader, promised that the government would not surrender; in an interview he stated, “we will never give up. We will never surrender.” In Saudi Arabia security forces opened fire on small protests in the eastern part of the country.  “Reuters reported sporadic gun fire mixed with the noise of percussion bombs at a demonstration; it gave no word on any casualties or whether security forces had fired live rounds or rubber bullets.”

Saudi Arabian authorities have also banned all protests and have strengthened forces to deal with demonstrators. Tens of thousands of people signed onto Facebook calling for protests for a “day of rage.”

A Saudi Arabian, also a Twitter user, posted a link on his account to a video translating protesters’ chant as: “this homeland is not for sale.”

Philip Luther, deputy director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa program stated, “Instead of banning peaceful protests, the Saudi Arabian authorities should address the need for major human rights reform in the country.” I completely agree.

Ahmed Al Omran, a Saudi Arabian frequents a blog, didn’t have such high hopes for government reform. He blogged, “I have become very pessimistic about the prospects of reform for our country. The huge age gap between the young population and the ruling elite makes it nearly impossible for the ruled and the rulers to communicate and understand each other. We practically speak two different languages, and I don’t see how the government can keep up with our aspirations.”

A staff photographer for The Times, who has covered many different conflicts in places such as Kosovo, Congo, Ethiopia, Sudan and more said that the fighting he witnessed outside a Libyan oil town may have been the most intense he has ever seen firsthand. The photographer stated, “That fighting includes bombing from jets, shooting from helicopters and incoming mortar and heavy machine gun fire. This is all happening over relatively flat terrain, with very little cover. So when you commit yourself to working out there, there’s not a whole lot you can do to protect yourself. I’m always looking for some kind of cover. But the bombs they’re dropping are huge. You can’t run from them, because you don’t know where they’re going to land. Even if you are wearing a flak jacket and a helmet, if you were hit by one of these bombs from a jet, the clothes wouldn’t do you very much good.”

I know we all hope this ends soon. Make love not war. A


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Colonel Qaddafi seemed to never be an ally of, well, pretty much any country. Qaddafi has been a Libyan leader since 1969 and has sought to spread Libya’s influence in Africa. The United States cut ties after the American Embassy was burned in 1979. Libya’s actions are most notorious for the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Scotland which killed 270 people in 1988. Since then there have been various ups and downs with Qaddafi and his leadership.

In February, there were protests in several parts of Libya that were known as the Day of Rage to challenge Colonel Qaddafi’s 41-year-old iron rule. Although these protests were challenging Qaddafi, the state media showed Libyans waving green flags, showing support for him. Qaddafi blamed the turmoil on “foreign hands,” a small group of people distributing pills, brainwashing, and the na├»ve desire of young people to imitate the uprisings in Egypt.

Speaking of Egypt, as of February 24, authorities arrested Anas al-Fiqqi and Osama el-Sheikh, Egypt’s former information minister and the chairman of state TV and radio on corruption allegations. These are arrests were made by the military against figures in former President Mubarak’s regime. Mubarak is evidently suffering from pancreatic and colon cancer and is no longer in Egypt, but in Saudi Arabia being treated with chemotherapy. Egypt’s stock exchange is still suspended until further notice.

On a not so much lighter note, social networking sites are noted for helping investigations. Postings on sites such as Facebook and Twitter are useful in finding clues to a suspect’s locations and acquaintances. According to a New York Times article, “Facebook and other forms of public electronic communication embed themselves in people’s lives, the postings, rants and messages that appear online are emerging as a new trove for the police and prosecutors to sift through after crimes. Such sites are often the first place they go.” Books have even been published about how social media is now affecting the law.

It’s crazy to think that I began writing this blog because I wanted to make people aware of the instability occurring in Egypt and now in Libya and the connections the turmoil has with social media. Social media has affected the civilians in Egypt and in Libya in many ways and continuously impacts our society in countless ways. I always find it interesting to see the new ways social media can both benefit and damage the lives people live.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

It's crazy to think that civilians in Libya are willing to die for what they believe in. Americans are spoiled, besides our military, most of us aren't put in situations where we need to choose whether to live or to die. Many of us say that we would die for a certain thing or person, but when it comes down to it, I don't think that's true. It takes a lot of courage to stand up for what you believe in, especially standing up to governments like these innocent people are doing. These riots and protests are facebook and twitter driven. Social media is used to connect individuals so they can ban together to over throw their government. As a result of the social media being used, radio towers have been shot down and the internet has been prohibited...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Just thought I might share something I found interesting and a little surprising. I was watching the Today Show this morning and they were reporting about the earthquakes that have recently occured in New Zealand. What surprised me was the fact that most of the pictures that have been taken of the earthquake have been obtained through social media such as Twitter.        ........?

I'm sorry to everyone in New Zealand who has to endure this horrible disaster...

Monday, February 21, 2011

I found this article interesting. It doesn't have to do with Egypt, but it does depict how pronounced social media is in our society. Take a look:

Chaos still remains in Egypt:

As of February 15, 2011, the military governing Egypt assmebled a panel of jurists to revise the country's Constitution in an attempt to move the country towards democracy.

February 16-- Protests spread to the Cairo airport and to the nation's largest textile factory, creating the finanical crisis to deepen and isn't persuading foreign investors to stay interested.

February 17-- hundreds of workers went on strike along the Seuz Canal demanding better wages and conditions.

February 18--  Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi delivered his first public in Egypt in 50 years, coming forth as a powerful voice to shape Egypt's uprising (F.Y.I. Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi is an influential Sunni cleric who is banned from the United States and Britian for supporting violence against Israel and American forces in Iraq)