They were different times and different places but similar consequences for many of the participants. The number of deaths in Egypt exceeds 300, and the facts of Egypt's repression, imprisonment, torture are yet to emerge, but many, many brave Egyptians have paid a price, an untold numbers continue to pay a price for their political, philosophical and religious beliefs. In the face of this, there has been a remarkable demonstration of courage, and so far, and with the apparent tolerance, if not cooperation of the army, never an institution promoted for its liberal views of democracy. To me, this is stunning!
This has been described as "The Birth of Democracy in Egypt." By comparison to a biological "birth" the period of gestation remains largely ignored. This did not occur in a vacuum, of course, but how much nurturing of proto-democratic institutions has taken place. The social media have played a primary role in igniting the spark, and the climate, the educated, young, idealistic... what might pass for a middle class, have been the agents of change. The army has stood by, and the police elements have stepped back... for now.
I celebrate what has been accomplished, so far, and in light of the obstacles they faced, I salute the bravery, and mourn those who gave their lives for the dream of a new Egypt. I have a new interest in one of the world's oldest civilizations, and one of the world's youngest revolutions, and what we can learn from this. They have my respect and admiration. I would like Israel, China, Venezuela, Cuba, Burma to look at this event, and draw lessons, because time, education and the social media conspire to change the existing order, and, so far, with the loss of relatively few lives, Egypt has shaken the world.