Sunday, June 24, 2012


One month on, any second now, the winner of the Egyptian presidential run-off elections will be announced. History is, once again, being made in Egypt. The world watches...a butterfly is waiting to flap his wings.

Why does this matter? Why indeed.

Egypt, a remarkable nation that for centuries has been a place of people of courage to shape the future, last year inspired the world as Egypt's 90 million people stood together to take back their country, and once again, their future. Today, as the winds of change of the 21st Century whirl around the globe. 

As a result, as Egypt has become an unofficial symbol of possibility of revolution. What happens in Egypt matters at so many levels. 

As the world watches, waiting for the official announcement of the winner of the elections (now a few minutes past the 3pm time that the Electoral Commission had stated for reveal), commentators are asking the questions:

For Egypt,:
  • What will happen if it is Morsi, putting the once banned Muslim Brotherhood in the seat of the presidency? 
  • What if it is military-backed Shafik, a man a part of the previous regime, whose decades-long leader, former President Hosni Mubarak, lies in a prison hospital holding on to life? 
  • What will the thousands of people in Tahrir Square, anxious for the name to be called, do?
  • What will the army do? Will power be able to exit from power?
  • What will the revolutionaries do? 
  • What will it mean for women, for tourism, for investment, for individual freedoms?
The answers to the questions have intense implications on the people, and future, of Egypt. 

But the implications do not stop there. Beyond Egypt's borders questions are being asked with as much intensity:
  • What will it mean to national and regional stability?
  • What will it mean for the global political and economic community?
  •  What will it mean for the USA and its foreign policy?
  • What about Israel? 
  • What will it mean for Libya's imminent elections?
The butterfly effect. 

Egypt, seen as the most important nation of the region both culturally and politically has, since the first days of the revolution of 2011, has provided the world with an unprecedented, step-by-step, look into the journey of the steps towards democracy. Today's 24/7/365 communications world has made it possible for the world to watch change unfolding in Egypt, and the region. As important, social media has made it possible to see, hear and feel the voices, one by one, in their millions. 

The butterfly remains sitting still, waiting with the world for the name to be called. The Electoral Commission has stated it will be any moment now...

Insh'Allah, which ever name is called as the future President, may this vote for the enduring spirit of democracy that first came to life in the region during last year's Arab Spring, be a trusted win for the people, and the future, of Egypt.

May the flapping of the butterfly be gentle.

Copyright: ANITA MENDIRATTA 2012