Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Future That Is History Now

Tonight's episode of The Newsroom, season one, episode five, reminded me of a conversation with my dear Syrian friend in the winter of 2011.  We were driving to a gathering and the news about Egypt was brought up in the car.  Very earnestly and oblivious for a moment to what was happening in Syria at the same time, I noted that I didn't find anything positive coming out of the Egyptian "revolution"; that any such abrupt movement was doomed to failure; that we had the history in front of us and very clear examples where people knew what they didn't want and got united to get rid of that but they were not united about what they wanted which caused a slew of new kind of troubles; that The Animal Farm was a masterpiece to hint that after revolutions, all animals were equal but some were more equal. To my utter surprise my dear friend protested my observations noting that they, the Egyptian, now had a choice and they could elect whom they wanted. I pointed how history tells us this didn't necessarily happen in similar situations and she simply said "then they will protest again and choose whom they want again". Well. That was the kind of logic I could never argue with because to me it lacked some logic!
Here we are now, almost four years after that conversation. What are we witnessing in Egypt today? It seems quiet. Calm? I don't know! Elected governments? Seemingly not!
We have a saying in Farsi that says "people deserve what they deserve".
As George Santanaya famously said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

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