Pharaohs, Protests and Public

New Egypt has woken up---finally.
The old pharaohs look down upon the Tahrir Square,
While the modern pharaoh runs away
From public fury.
For 18 days,
Starting January 25, 2011,
Cairo erupted in protests and rage,
Millions staged a dramatic scene of
Solid solidarity and unity,
People power at its best.
Children of the eternal Nile
Solidified and channelized into
Unstoppable force.
Wael Ghomin and the young lady all marched in one step,
Breaking down barriers of state.
Tech, social media and verbal messages
Delivered the Egypt from
The tyranny of another
Suited, West-mimicking dictator.
The ways of history are subtle and often ignored
By the ruling elites,
So did scowling Hosni.
A slap by a petty female municipal satrap Hamdi
To hapless fruit vendor Mohamed Bouazizi,
Self-immolation by the humiliated 26-year-old
On December 17, 2010
Made frustrated Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia,
Flare up and led to the ouster of
Dictator Ben Ali.
Its echoes are now reverberating
Across the Arab and other worlds
Suffering severe food inflation and corruption endemic,
Waking up slumbering citizens
In Algeria and Yemen.
For whom the bells toll now.
Nobody knows.
One thing is sure---
Verbal and physical
Can dislodge arrogant dictators and rude warlords
In bloodless coupes and uprisings,
From gritty Cairo to Beirut.
And the fires might spread out
And destabilize other corrupt regimes.
So, Beware!
Warns the faded sphinx
Of the hot desert,
Do not take the humble and the meek
For granted,
Because the insulted and the humiliated,
Once aroused from sleep,
Can re-inherit
The old banana republics
Into people-led regimes!

Sunil Sharma

Sunil Sharma's picture

Freelance journalist, academic, writer and poet, Sunil is from India and published poems, fiction and a novel. He is also literary editor, reviewer, interviewer and critic. He is a bilingual writer who deals with current Indian realities and a globalised world and its impact on his country.

Last updated October 21, 2011