All it took was one simple speech and Egypt’s paradigm of existence shifted from one of aggressive political posturing, to one of integrity and peaceful deliverance. It all hinged on the reactions of the people who took part in the peaceful protest.
The significance of the solidarity of an oppressed people’s republic, such as Egypt, in lieu of a violent outcry, cannot be underscored enough. In those tense moments of February 10, 2011, when Hosni Mubarak declared adherence to the status quo, the provocation to violence was at its highest probability.
The question on everyone's mind: who was going to cast the first stone?
As with many countries in the Middle East, Egypt shares a violent history of regime change that has virtually guaranteed retaliatory actions from one faction or another.
Whether it is political overthrow, military coups, shared alliances with opposed states, or dynastic fallout, regime change has historically come at the cost of many lives and the appearance of yet another dictatorship.
In the past the old tactic of divide and conquer has traditionally been an effective ploy in gaining power. However, this time Egypt’s now former government invited attack by the simple means of invalidating the hope of the masses.
Was it a test? Did Mubarak’s entourage anticipate a violent backlash from the insistent masses? Was the passing of power to Omar Suliemon an attempt to goad the people into desperate acts of violence?
Perhaps, on the face of it.
Recent reports, however, point to those actions as the dying efforts of a regime too deep in its own internal turmoil to put up a fight.
If the truth is, in fact, stranger than the fiction that surrounds it, the actual internal events of these last days remain compelling.
What stands out as remarkably true, in spite of the historical odds against such an outcome, is how Egypt’s diverse citizenry stood its ground and refused to cast that one provoking stone.