The Future of Egypt?

By Logan Mohtashami
Benzinga Columnist
January 31, 2011 3:08 PM
Posted inPolitics

“A populace never rebels from passion for attack, but from impatience of

British Political Philosopher Edmund Burke’s observation rings as true today in
21st century Egypt, as it did in the 18th Century when England’s Imperial reach
held sway.

Suffering is manifest in today’s Egypt , where the poverty rate (defined by the
World bank as living on less than $2.0 a day) had risen from slightly over 16%
in 2000, to over 20% in 2009. The Youth unemployment rate hovers at over
40%. Internal security police have been employed to crack down on dissenters.
Indeed, even as Mubarak failed to address these problems in any meaningful way,
there were growing indications that a favored son was preparing to become his
successor. Egypt’s powerful leader, a son from middle peasantry, had
succumbed to the corrupting power of power, and was no longer seen as a
transformative agent of the people.

Egypt is a country understandably “impatient from suffering.” We Americans
naturally cheer and empathize with a population who rebel against injustice.

But, rebellion is only the first chapter of all revolution stories. What
happens next will determine whether the people in the streets will be looked
upon through the telescope of history as merely another blend of anarchists and
naive idealists with no sustainable plan; or a force for change which marked a
turning point and modern template for Egypt and, more broadly, the Middle
Eastern world. Political upheavals, students of history will learn, leave the
people at risk of falling prey to the next charismatic “hero” who arrives
bearing promises of justice and change, only to clench his own iron fist around
the throats of a still suffering people.

Truth is what turns out. Will history be different this time? Perhaps. One
hopes that the conflicting factions, including those at odds with the Western
world, will come together in moderation and compliance with each other, in
order to deliver to the Egyptian people a functioning democracy, economy and
hope for the sustainable future.

And, of course, it is not only for the Egyptian people that one wishes this to
be true. Globalization, rapid fire technology and communication,
interconnected interests of all economies throughout the world ensure that our
eyes and hearts cannot turn away from such distant events.

The world is watching.

Logan Mohtashami is a senior loan officer in his family run Mortgage Company, AMC Lending Group, which has been providing mortgage services for California residents since 1987.

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