Ramadan Mubarak and Mubarak’s Ramadan

The supporters and opponents of Hosni Mubarak clash outside his court in the capital, Cairo, August 3, 2011.

The Muslim world, Hosni Mubarak and all of Egypt are observing Ramadan this month; only to say the least, for Mubarak the observance this year is unique.  How far the mighty have fallen; the pictures of Mubarak in white, lying on a bed, inside of cage and pleading not guilty make a very strong contrast to the pictures of Mubarak  a few months ago, firmly in control of Egypt and his world.  It is the contrast of the Arab world in 2010 and the Arab world in 2011.  Mubarak’s sons and some of his former ministers are caged and standing trial also.  The trial will be broadcast on state television; it will be, the first time anyone has seen Mubarak in public since his resignation in February.  And while he no longer has power or control in Egypt,  Mubarak does still have some supporters; they were in the streets demonstrating support and scuffling with his enemies, many of which are family members of people who died in January.  Mubarak and his fellow defendants stand accused of stealing money from the state and of ordering the killing of protesters on January 25th.

The trial could help to unify the country and heal some of the political wounds or it might stir up more discontent, pain and social unrest.  It is difficult to understand what one might feel watching a former head of state being tried and possibly executed on public television. But it is not so difficult to guess at the feelings of other Arab leaders watching to proceedings. For certain, the images are likely to solidify the resolve of Assad and Gaddafi to fight on; each could look forward to a public trial of their own.  Assad is reported to have increased the attacks on protesters, cynics accuse the Assad government of using Ramadan and the Mubarak trial as a shield. Gaddafi is said to looking for a public relations firm to improve his image and his son Saif al-Islam says they have negotiated a deal with one of the rebel factions to work together and keep Gaddafi in power.

To the average Muslim, this is one of the most important seasons of the year – the annual fast of Ramadan.  It is a time of religious reflection and putting more emphasis on the principles of Islam.  One might suspect that Assad, Gaddafi and Mubarak have much reflection to do.  Ramadan Kareem or as some say Ramadan Mubarak – but one Egyptian said, after 40 years of Mubarak rule you can’t expect us to say that.  It was however, the greeting on Al-Jazeerah’s website today.


1 Response to “Ramadan Mubarak and Mubarak’s Ramadan”

  1. 1 lynne rosner August 4, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    I had to look up a translation of mubarek and kareem. i had to look up the calendar of Islam too which created a dull pain behind my left oye.

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