Course: Government 2305
Professor: Mr. Moses Omane-Boateng
Semester: Fall 2012
Egypt and Libya recently went through hard times, and maybe fortunately or not, they revolted against their governments. In both circumstances, they suffered hard economically and mentally. As I read through articles about these countries, I learned they both had very similar reasons for uprising so close to each other in time. Both Egypt and Libya heard stories of other North African revolts and decided if they could do it and succeeded, why not us? Dictators took over their countries and put unfair and inhumane laws out unto the citizens. Throughout this whole ordeal, citizens feared the worst and kept on with all they had. They either won or lost. Only time and determination could tell whether or not they could pull it off.
Egypt, under the rule of Hosni Mubarak for thirty years, revolted in January, 2011. These people were rising against Mubarak for freedom, social justice, and human dignity. Mubarak used emergency law against the people of Egypt. He prohibited political rights and civil freedom and took away free and fair elections. With him at the head, unemployment was big, low income was a problem, and inflation on food prices was on the rise. On top of all of this, they had a lack of healthcare services and had high inequality.
Social networks were hard at work keeping up with the activists and government talk. The spread of Wiki-leaks was a strong force here. A local goods-stand owner, Mohammed Bouazizi, sacrificed himself in the middle of the street to hopefully help his fellow citizens win their war against Mubarak. Unfortunately, police brutality took a big toll. It scared the people and only helped Mubarak. Fortunately, this ended up being somewhat bloodless. For the Libyans, however, it turned into a real blood bath. Over 1,000 activists were killed but not even 200 government officials were killed during February, 2011.
Muarmmar al-Gaddafi, official rule of Libya, first came to power came up with a system that gave the people all the power. With it, he said even he could not have more power than his people. He named this system Jamahiriya. Of course, this was only a scam to keep him at the highest power gave power to certain advisers and prominent tribesmen loyal to him.
Gaddafi controlled the oil rents, allowing him to keep up the façade by pacifying the country’s elites and keeping extensive patronage programs. With this he generally had his people pay all the taxes keeping him and his posse safe. This left it hard for Libyan citizens to have financial gain and keep the country’s individual economic opportunities from growing. With oil distribution being the main form of income, it left hardly any opportunities for economic growth from other industries. In turn, all of this led to high rates of unemployment. Extensive welfare was provided to the public, but basic goods were heavily subsided to “help” with availability. Control of oil was not a main