National strike planned to mark Mubarak’s ouster

By February 10, 2012

Egypt (MNN) — The threat of a national strike
Saturday and another eruption of unrest prompted Egypt's military to speed up
the transition to civilian rule.

Saturday is also the one-year
anniversary of when President Hosni Mubarak stepped down as president. His
ouster came after 18 days of street protesters against his rule during the
period known as the "Arab Spring." 

Egyptians hoping for quick change are unafraid to show their
anger at the pace. The largest
Christian Arab church in the Middle East sits near the heart of Tahrir Square in
downtown Cairo. Seeing violence as a likely
part of the ongoing Revolution, the church set up a field hospital in its
courtyard. Eva Botros is serving as the field
hospital's coordinator. "We
started on the 18th of November. I [had hoped to start] earlier, but that was
the peak time that numbers and numbers of people were dying and injured, so
that was the best time to do it." So far,
their teams have treated around 3000 people since they opened.

Buoyed by the headiness of their early success, protestors
had great hope once Mubarak stepped down. His departure gave power to the military, initially for only 6 months. However, a little over a year later, that hope
has given way to frustration, Botros says. "People are fighting to get their rights. They will not stop, whatever
happens. People come here to be treated. They keep pushing us to 'Do it
fast! Do it fast! Put on the medication! Make the stitches! I want to go
back!'"

The
good news as a result: the deadline for presidential candidate nominations moved
up three months to March 10, paving the way for a presidential election in April
or May.

However, the snails'
pace and the direction taken by the government has also been the aggravation
that led to many more riots. Even with
the heavier weaponry, Botros says, "People are heartily protesting, so I don't
think they will be calm until they get all the rights they are looking
for."

Botros is referring
to police efforts on February 6 that led to accusations of excessive force
which further inflamed an already tense situation. To quell
Monday night's Tahrir Square demonstrations, authorities apparently used bird
shot on the crowds, a charge the government denies. However, the wounded treated at triage
centers, clinics, and hospitals told a different story, which was backed up by
videos making their way onto YouTube.

There have been angry scenes in the new parliament as some Members
of Parliament (MPs) began a sit-in outside the parliament building and were
planning a hunger strike unless police forces cease their assaults on
protesters near the Ministry of Interior.

The Church has become known as a place of refuge and healing for
whoever needs it. As protestors trod
their own path in the Square of Freedom, the volunteers tending to their needs grow
tired. Botros says this is not the time
for weariness. "The main prayer request in my heart is
that the Lord raise up the people whom He considers His army to spread His love
and to do the mission that He wants us to do, to raise the right people these
days because everything is ready to glorify His name."

The hope of Christ, as it applies to Egypt's revolution, is a kind
of like Proverbs 13:12 come to life. The
Amplified Bible puts it this way: "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire is fulfilled, it
is a tree of life."

Botros says, "We have to be the salt and the light. If
we are not salt, what's the hope? If we are not light, how can the Lord light? We are having a very tough time in our
country. If we don't do this, there is no hope."  

 

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