Tunisia, Yemen, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Algeria, Bahrain, Libya. It’s a new year, a year for revolutions galvanizing a chain reaction of democratic uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East; the effects are phenomenal. The world is changing before our eyes and the youth are in revolt, making a substantial difference supported by the power of the Internet. Even the most commanding totalitarian regimes are being challenged and crumbling under the talk of freedom and equality on the streets, under the intensifying wrath of a neglected people constricted by their dictators.
A new generation has arisen in our contemporary society. Technology is eclipsing autocracy. But is the world becoming a better place? Countless massacres have occurred in Bahrain, Iran and Benghazi with the possibility of more. Although Hosni Mubarak has stepped down as president of Egypt, the now developing nation is vulnerable and trying to establish its new government. Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, the leader of Libya, has lashed out at rebels in Tripoli in an attempt to break down the Libyan protests and is sending in military intervention to Benghazi, with the use of tear gas and live ammunition.
Violence and death at the expense of democracy is not uncommon. America emerged from a revolution for independence in the 1770s and revolutions followed in Europe in France, Germany and Italy throughout the next century. In a fight for freedom and civil liberties, courage is sometimes stifled by fear. But this time, it’s different.
When everyone thought that a new generation could make no difference, they were more than wrong. The young are now in ascendance. With the use of new information technologies such as social networking, new voices are being heard. Suddenly, millions of people have united under the leadership of these revolutionaries for one common goal: they look to the Americas and other Western influences and ask themselves: “Why are we not allowed to vote for our own leaders? Where are our rights?” Recently, this massive youth group has emerged from the baby booming years following World War II. According to Time magazine, approximately 60% of the Middle East’s population is under the age of 30. With Web sites on the Internet such as Facebook and Twitter, unfulfilled aspirations and demands for change have disseminated.
The Egyptian government managed to shut down the Internet in their country for five days and Libya followed suit. But what happens when we have absolutely no Internet connection? Communication fails. Business transactions fail. Media fails. Social networking fails. Banks fail. The country is left in chaos.
Our world is constantly changing for the better and societies must be willing to embrace collective progress to accommodate the desires of their people. History is being made by the youth in the Middle East and, hopefully, we can look back to these events in future years and be reminded of the impact that anyone can make as long as we put our hearts and minds to the task.
Middle East Rebellion