A Great Day in Egypt

Thanks to technology, we all are witnesses to history as Mubarak steps down.

Posted: 02/11/2011 03:21 PM EST
Tahrir Square, Egypt

Well! If the hairs on your arm didn’t stand up when you watched the scene and heard the crowd at Tahrir Square today following the announcement that President Hosni Mubarak had resigned his post, you have different sort of arm than I do. What an emotional, exciting, frightening, momentous three weeks this has been in Egypt. What an amazing day today is.

Getting to watch history unfold in real time, video-fed from places across the globe, is a strange and new thing we humans are getting used to. There’s good and bad to it, I’m sure. Today, it feels good. And one would hope that the ability to see people so far away from us, in such different circumstances, experience such an event, and the feeling of shared humanity that that can allow—"It's the greatest day of my life," said Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mohamed ElBaradei—outweighs the blatant voyeuristic aspects, and the tendency to rush to judgment without careful consideration, and the danger of becoming inured to it all.

Because there’s responsibility that comes with it. As Elie Wiesel said in today’s New York Times:

“Because of technology, and because of the progress made in technology, especially in the field of communication, no one has any excuse anymore to say, ‘I don’t know; I didn’t know; I wasn’t aware.’ … We know. We cannot not know. Whether you want it or not. We are witnesses.”


Image:  REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh