The Arab Republics

17 Oct 2011

Susanna Rustin’s excellent interview with Wadah Khanfar:

“But the west should be patient with us, democracy will not come in six months or six years, and in the west it took centuries, so let us also have a little bit of time to get used to it. Some of the opposition leaders in Egypt were released from jail after the fall of Mubarak so don’t expect them to behave like polished diplomats.”

Western democracy is not the beacon of perfection that we claim it to be. The many years and wars that we have had amongst ourselves have not come close to resolving our commonwealth.

The Arab Republics are still trying to fly with paper wings and here we are, with cardboard glued to our arms, wondering why they they are not keeping up. We struggle in the wind and sky, but declare that ours is the way to soar; this is the arrogance of the Occident. Our path is but one of many.

Democracy is coming to Egypt. It may not the same democracy that we think best and it will not come easy, nor should it, but, with minds such as Khanfar helping to lead the way, there is a great deal for the West to learn from these new republics.