From Watching News to Being News

By Fakhri al-Arashi

Killing and shelling of unarmed persons is unjustified, no matter what reason is given. The violence going on in Egypt today is no exception. Regardless of who opposed whom, the massacres in Egypt perpetrated over the past few days marks a heavy blow to the pumping heart of the Arab world (Egypt).  Some scholars may suggest that they foresaw Morsi’s downfall, but no one would have imagined the scale of killing going on today in Cairo.

Unfortunately, in light of Eygpt’s unrest, the Arab countries have rent themselves into “pro” and “anti” forces. We see this division here in Yemen, where some revolutionists and Islamists have united in sympathy with Morsi and the Ikhwan against the aggressive actions of Sisi and the Egyptian military and security forces. On the other side, the loyalists to the former regime are backing Sisi and approve of his brutal methods toward the Ikhwan. In the Gulf, we see Saudi Arabia has been praising Sisi’s actions on one side, and on the other we read broadcasts from Qatar championing the cause of the Ikhwan.  It’s a matter for serious contemplation and analysis how the political affairs of one country have split the Arab world both within and across borders.

Syria, Tunisia, Libya, still struggle to overcome their internal conflicts, while Egypt now rages with no end in sight. Will Egypt just become another Algeria, where the government decided to kill hundreds of thousands of Muslim Brothers for the sake of power?

Two decades ago, shelling, killing, and massacre in the streets were merely news items from overseas for the Arab countries. We watched and sympathized and donated for those tragic victims who had lost their citizenship, loved ones, and even lives in conflicts born of power struggles in their countries. And now, after the Arab Spring, those news items have become facts of life for our brothers in Egypt, Syria, and Libya and, who knows, potentially here in Yemen as well.  We now hear in the words of the former president ambitions to regain power. Encouraged by the fall of the Ikhwan in Egypt and the gradual approach of the transition in Yemen, many loyalists seem to be developing evil inclinations, whether they choose to operate by elections or more sinister methods of influence.

It is a scary end, and I am greatly concerned with whatever end awaits Egypt. Yemen, in the long run, has taken Egypt as a key guide to its own lifestyle politically, socially, and culturally.  Many wish that Egypt’s conflict will not spread outside its borders, as the Arab countries, inheritors of the world’s most ancient civilizations, have proven themselves to be easy targets for sectarian issues and conflict of interests between those hungry for power.