Egypt is an extremely valuable player on the global playing field. It's ancestors are known to have built one of the first far-reaching ordered civilizations the world has known. Medieval Egypt significantly advanced scholarship in the sciences and philosophy. In contemporary times, it has been looked at as a model of modernization amongst Arab states. Even more recently, Egypt has provided strong support in brokering peace in the Middle East, and negotiating as well as facilitating the transfer of resources from and to the Western world.
The people of Egypt, therefore, have witnessed many, many changes in leadership. Moreover, they have experienced diversity in the most deepest historical aspect of the word. Surely, a people with such rich a past learn important lessons about tolerance, patience, and hard work.
Surely, then, we can place our bets on Egyptians' being right when they march out in the thousands to Tahrir Square, demanding that Hosni Mubarak step down from a 30+ -year-old regime, and for their rights to free expression, employment, and ultimately, a better quality of life.
So I can understand why Egypt - as well as Tunisia, Algeria, Yemen and other Arab states experiencing similar uprisings - is as it is today.
What I find difficult to comprehend is how significant a role Western powers have in influencing the position of Egypt's governance. It makes no sense to me that a political, international relationship is forged for personal interests; but as it seems, Egypt's relationships are coming back with the wrong kind of support. Where before policy mattered first, today policy matters second after people's voices.
Should we not be leaving it up to people in the first place? Is that not what we call ourselves "modern" for? And where we do call ourselves modern, are we basing those indicators on ourselves, or on someone else on the field?
Some images from BBC News
Some images from Al Jazeera News