Saturday, October 29, 2011

Revolution to build, not to revenge

Mohamed Kamel*
October 22nd, 2011

It has been almost a year since the explosion in the Arab streets.  In what has become known as The Arab Spring, a movement that is still spreading in the Arab streets from one community to another and from one country to another.

This movement raised many questions and created strong waves of action and dialogue, locally and internationally.  It has proven that the real globalization is the people’s globalization where the modern means of communication started to turn the table on the corporate and the special interest groups becoming servants to the people’s movement.

Some feel it is not a revolution, forgetting that a revolution is a change and that change is never momentary, but rather a series of actions that change people’s life, and that the 1st action, the revolt, is an action that started but didn’t accomplish its mission yet.

Some feel that the revolution failed, claiming that no real change has happened yet or even started and the deterioration of the economical situation is their proof.  Which is contrary to the reality, in Egypt and Tunisia, the old regimes are gone and will not be able to come back.  This is where the change started but has not reached full speed yet.  A change will be achieved by the second phase of the revolution.           

In Yemen, the revolution is standing strong in front of a broken president. In Syria, the revolution is growing in front of the brutality and unintelligent president who had the best opportunity to be on the history’s side. In Bahrain, it is not over yet as long as there is no justice and there is no wisdom.           
How can it not be a revolution when the entire world became inspired by this movement?  Where Occupy Wall Street, a nail in the Capitalism coffin, is now in every city and all of them are calling their squares “Tahrir Square”. 

Living in frustration pushed people to hope for a quick change and a quick victory forgetting that the tyrant is not a person but a mass number of beneficiaries and a well established school of thought, active in an underground and an anti-revolution movement.

Revolutions need at least two years to turn from revolt into a positive constructive change, and at least ten years to arrive at the last station in achieving people’s well in a stable democratic and just society.

During this trip, revolutionaries will strike steps of success and constructive actions and will fail in some, which is normal and acceptable in a time when revolutionaries are facing the internal struggle between the emotional calls for revenge and the rational calls for building a just society.

In Tunisia, the rationality and the wisdom won when they decided to expel the ex-president, but political adolescence won when both the religious movement and the left progressive movements was not able to work together for an inclusive new Tunisia.  

In Libya, the uncivilized desire of revenge won by killing Gaddafi while in custody forgetting the real goal of the revolution and the basic ethics.

In Egypt, one of the greatest successes was the rational relation between the three transition partners (people’s movement, the prime minister and the army).  This relation started to crack due to emotional reactions to some nonsense pre-orchestrated crimes, while neglecting the main issues.      

Revolution is a movement to build the future while learning from the past not a movement for revenge.  This is the lesson that we should learn from the successful transition in South Africa, a transition that has been built on reconciliation.

The reconciliation is a healing process that grants amnesty to the ex-regime members who come forward with information that help in healing and building the future.    

Are we going to learn from the success or the failure?  It is up to us, the Arab people!

* Mohamed S. Kamel: is a Freelance writer, the editor of, he is a professional engineer, a LEED Green Associate and a recognized project manager professional, he is Member of several civil society organizations, a co-founder of the Canadian Egyptian for Democracy (CEFD), National Association for Change in Egypt (Taghyeer – Canada), Association of the Egyptians of Montreal (AEM), Alternative Perspective Media (APM-RAM), , Quebec Antiwar movement “Échec à la Guerre”, Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine “CJPP”, ex-president and co-founder of the Canadian Muslim Forum (CMF), member of the board of trustee in the Canadian Muslim for Palestine (CMP) and Community Center for Montreal Muslims (CCMM) . He could be reached at

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