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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Out of Egypt

Freedom to Egypt!  May it be true!  The overthrow of Egypt's 30 year control-hungry dictator in 18 days is absolutely amazing.  We pray it was the power of the people that brought it about.

I posted the following satire to two sites two days ago, the day Mubarak was expected to announce his resignation, but he had not:; I did not post it here then, as I felt that an introductory comment was necessary regarding my own heart of prayer for Egypt, Israel, the Middle East.  May Egypt’s tremendous display of democracy bring forth full democracy; may it s sweep throughout the Middle East; and may it bring forth an awakening of light that shines brighter and brighter. May peace with Israel continue, and may Israel live into its Torah command to “love foreigners, because you were foreigners living in Egypt.”  Finally, may Egypt’s freedom bring about a moment when Egypt, Israel, and the Middle Eastern world sheds the notion of “foreigner” and instead embrace the notion of “brother.”

With the introduction of my heart, now I’d like to introduce the satire.  It is not an LOL satire.  In a more blatant way, it pokes fun at Mubarak, but the real tease is at the world’s response to Mubarak’s “surprising” decision not to resign, in light of reports by those who work for him that he “might resign.”  Thursday morning, NPR made three announcements: (a) that Mubarak’s administration had held a meeting at which Mubarak himself was not present; (b) that highly important officials within Mubarak’s regime and within his army were announcing his possible resignation that evening; and (c) that CIA Director Leon Pinetta announced a “strong possibility” Mubarak would resign that evening.  I put (a) together with (b) and (c) and thought “brilliant!”  Sure enough, events transpired as ought to have been expected: Mubarak did not resign (check!); the people of Egypt were enraged (check!); the international community responded in astonishment (check!); the next day, Mubarak resigned (check – but an astonishingly quick check!)  I would have expected more resistance before the secret meeting’s brilliant strategy worked.  I also would not have expected everyone in the media to continue with their clueless questions regarding “the ‘contradiction’ in Mubarak’s communication.”  They themselves had reported that a meeting had taken place of top officials without Mubarak present, so why did they think his officials were speaking for him?  In any case, what I think transpired, as alluded to in my satire, turned out to be a fully brilliant strategy.  Now, here’s the satire:

“Let yourself go!”

"Let yourself go!" cried the people to Pharaoh, "So that we may be free!"  “Who are the people,” replied Pharaoh, “that they know better than me?  I will let everyone in my Cabinet go, but I will not let myself go.”

Using tools of communication, the people planned a great gathering to cry with a very loud voice.  Together, the people shouted, “Let yourself go!  So that we may be free!”

“What are these tools of communication?” asked Pharaoh “that they work better than me?”  That day, Pharaoh gave the order to break all the tools.

The people returned, “Why have you treated us this way?” and they cried again, “Let yourself go!”  “I have felt all the pain you felt,” Pharaoh replied.  And he sent the army into the streets.

The world’s most powerful king called Pharaoh and said, "I think that you need to write a letter of farewell to your people."  “Why? Pharaoh asked, “Where are they going?”

Under violence and chaos, the people grew in numbers and in strength.  Louder than ever they shouted, “Let yourself go!”  “I will deliver Egypt and its people to safety,” replied Pharaoh, “in seven months.”

Behind the scenes, the army, the world’s most powerful king, the kings of neighboring nations, and even Pharaoh’s own team shook their heads, scratched their hair, and huddled in confusion about what to do.

After seventeen days, a meeting of Pharaoh’s team was called, and all came, except for Pharaoh.  “We’ll start a rumor that he will announce his departure,” they plotted.  “With the people and the world expecting him to announce his departure, he will have to do it,” they whispered.  A call was made to a leader working for the world’s most powerful king.

That day, announcements were made by a general in the army, a leader in Pharaoh’s team, and a leader working for the world’s most powerful king.  They all spoke in a single voice: “Pharaoh might let himself go.”  The people were elated. 

When Pharaoh came before the people, he announced, “I will give my work to my assistant, but I will not go.  Outsiders will not tell me what to do.  Nor even will insiders!”  The people threw shoes at him.

The people under Pharaoh, the reporters in all countries, and the people of the world marveled at the contradiction.  Why would all the leaders say Pharaoh would announce his departure when he did not announce it?  “Why,” they wondered, “did Pharaoh change his mind?"  They knew the people speaking for Pharaoh had to truly be speaking for Pharaoh -- no one could question an assumption so clear.  Therefore, Pharaoh changed his mind!

Meanwhile, in hearing the cacophony of calls for a good-bye, Pharaoh muddles in the deepest confusion of all: "Where's everybody going?"


  1. I don't mourn the "loss" of Mubarak. I do fear that the crowds calling loudest for his departure may not remotely represent the "majority" voice of Egypt. I'm not settled in my spirit that Egypt is really gaining freedom. I echo your prayer for true democracy and peace in the Middle East...

  2. Yes, the road toward freedom is very precarious indeed. Prayers continue . . .


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