[This is a syndicated post from the blog: Egypt.]On February 11, at the peak of the Egyptian Revolution, a memorable photo of Tahrir Square filled to the brim with millions and millions of Egyptian activists circled the world—a photo that will remain glued to memory forever. Egyptians watched, but the world watched too struck by the Egyptian stamina and multitude. The Arab Spring began in Tunisia, but the Egyptian modest-in-size but mammoth-in-effect Tahrir Square drew a colossal following that reverberated around the world. Soon afterwards pockets of revolutions emerged around the Arab World—Yemen, Bahrain, Syrian, and Libya. And soon too we saw sparks of activism in European countries such as Greece and Spain. And finally the Occupy Movement has arrived in the US, and all over the world, starting on the steps of Wall Street but quickly escalating to other cities and spreading to towns, banks, and even schools. Did this sudden emergence of dissatisfaction have anything to do with Egypt? Did the Egyptian Revolution play a role in inciting dissidence across the world? I’m becoming more and more inclined to believe that not only did the Egyptian gutsy revolution leave the world reeling but that it also inspired other activists to react similarly, first against tyrants but soon afterwards against rich tycoons, corporate rule, increasing student debt, failing health care systems, and much more. The tenacity of the Egyptians was empowering. And the immediate thought of sufferers everywhere was: we can do it too—from single individuals who crave justice to nations which want tyrants stamped out. Many articles, footage, and tweets talk about how the Egyptian Revolution sparked just that. Talking about Occupy Wall Street, Michael Moore referenced the Egyptian Revolution in his tweet saying, “OMG! A few cops joined in the march tonite! A 1st! 2 of them were even singing along w/ the crowd! In Egypt, when cops joined in...game over,” proof that the world watched Tahrir with careful scrutiny. And the short documentary by Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill’s In Tahrir Square made it to the Oscar’s short list. While in this video, activists in Washington DC talk about the Occupy Movement, but a young lady in particular speaks about the similarities between those in Egypt and those in DC. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFkbgUzzZw8&feature=youtube_gdata_player An Egyptian movie, 18 Days, was screened at the Vancouver International Film Festival. Jenny Uechi of The Vancouver Observer who watched the film says, “It was clear that some people came to the film with another protest on their mind. "Occupy Wall Street" was mentioned in hushed tones …. As one organizer told the Vancouver Observer last month, the New York protests are modeled off the mass demonstrations in Egypt's Tahrir Square." David Deitz in “What Occupy Wall Street Should Learn from the Arab Spring” also comments, “The Egyptian people have displayed moments of profound dexterity,” and recommends that Occupy Wall Street learn from Egypt's successes and failures by quickly moving to tighten and condense their overall message. Interestingly too, the Egyptian experience is providing insight to the American demonstrators. Spencer Akerman in his post in Danger Room “Egypt’s Top ‘Facebook Revolutionary’ Now Advising Occupy Wall Street,” on October 18 talks about Ahmed Maher of the Egyptian April 6 Youth Movement.
The protesters in New York’s Zuccotti Park — and their offshoots around the country — often cite the mass demonstrations earlier this year in Cairo’s Tahrir Square as their inspiration. Maher is one of the founders of the April 6 Youth, which used Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to galvanize Egyptians against President Hosni Mubarak. Recently, however, his attention has turned toward America, where he’s been chatting online with Occupy activists. Those conversations center around practical advice from a successful Egyptian revolutionary. Usually, they occur through Facebook. On Tuesday, for the first time, they happened face to face.It is becoming obvious that ruling powers and money machines whether in Egypt or the world need to sit up and listen to the laypeople. If some are becoming wealthier while the majority is unable to go to school let alone pay bills, then something is wrong. Spread the wealth I say; spread the wealth, and the world will become a better place. Yet in spite of the resonating glory, the Egyptian revolution is facing an impasse. A revolution with no leader and no logical future vision or rationale is bound to face turbulences. The same can be said about the Occupy Movement. And the Occupy Movement should behold this truth if it wants results. However, the stall in the Egyptian movement is seeing cracks. The first sign of a genuine involvement from the Egyptian activists appears in those planning to run for a National Assembly seat: Magy Mahrous, for Maadi, and Amr Hamzawi and Mahmod Salem for Heliopolis are a breath of fresh air amidst the gloom and doom. If more of the activists show true involvement by nominating themselves to the National Assembly, then there is hope. The same goes for the Occupy Movement across the world. Where is it heading? How far can it go with the limited budget and the sporadic outlook on things? Does it have a leader? How far can you go on criticism alone? You must find a clear path to take you towards your goal. Has the Egyptian revolution influenced the activists around the world? Absolutely. But the Occupy Movement may falter like the Egyptian one if nothing is done soon to get the movements around the world united. As James Zoghby says in The Huffington Post of October 22, “Whether in Egypt or America, it takes organization to win.” In Washington, DC