August 03, 2011

Ramadan Mubarak

Each year, around this time in the (lunar) calendar, Western newspapers are usually filled with stories about the latest exciting Ramadan soap opera everyone is watching. Nothing happens during Ramadan, the story goes, so most reporting on the Arabic-speaking world is of the human interest variety.

It's worth pausing to consider, then, how remarkable this year has been and continues to be. I woke up this morning to images of Hosni Mubarak in a cage, on trial in Egypt. This is a stunning image for me to see, so I can only imagine the effect it has on 83m Egyptians and about 250m other people in the region.

Elsewhere in the Arabic-speaking world, meanwhile, violent civil wars and upheavals continue to press for the fall of the Qadhdhafi regime in Libya, the al-Asad regime in Syria, and the Saleh regime in Yemen. If I had to place my bets, I would bet all will ultimately and bloodily be successful.

Remarkable. Ramadan mubarak indeed.