Sphinx smiles fleeting riddles,
Salām from limestone peaks cry
shifting sands; banners fly.
Today was to be Farewell Friday, and never before has a name been so true to form – in Egypt, the roar of the crowd echoes through streets up and down the country as President Hosni Mubarak, who as lately as last night declare he would not step down, he would not leave until September, has now, finally, been removed from office.
Much remains to be seen in the days to come. Amidst the celebrations, Egyptians must remember that he is but the face of all that they are rallying against – that it is an institution, of governors and officials that are all his men, who remain where they are. Until they are addressed, their revolution, which has come so far, is not truly won.
But another question remains as well in the wake of all of this: what does this mean for the rest of the Middle East? Many have asked it all along – Tunisia, and now Egypt, have deposed decades-old power structures. Jordan forced their King to restructure his government and give in to their demands. Will the protests spread? Is this the beginning of a great Democratic sweep through the Middle East? And what form will it take in the conclusion?
Today, for many, is a day of celebration, but as always, I temper caution – cheer, but never lose your wits. Keep one eye always on the horizon, that you might never lose your way…