The quickly escalating revolution in Egypt that is currently underway has started to reach protests of epic proportions. Last night the President of Egypt Hosni Mubarak was supposedly about to announce his decision to quit and hand over power to his second in command, Vice President Omar Suleiman. The highly anticipated speech led to an early short lived jubilation by the Egyption Protestors. Mubarak instead of quitting and handing over power hoodwinked the world and threw them off guard by then stating that he would continue to hold onto his power.
This speech was more than ill received with the Egyptians who have been rallying for approximately two weeks now demanding for the removal of Mubarak as President. This surprise has now turned Egypt into a ticking time bomb where right now anything could happen. Bloodshed is now expected to occur soon.
With the extensive news coverage of the Egyptian revolution we all know what is happening and how people are reacting to each event that is unfolding. What we don’t know for sure is what exactly set the Egyptians off to hold this epic revolution.
This revolution was completely unforeseen to most due to the fact only terrorism was being monitored in the Middle East. This has left analysts now scrambling to reach the root of the catalyst. So far there are multiple contributions that the Egyptians have seen and have dealt with silently for years but has now built up into a full scale revolution and demands to be met.
Egyptians have known for years about their corrupt government, corrupt leader, lack of civil liberties and lack of free elections. Wikileaks may also have contributed to revealing the true nature of the Egyptian government to it’s citizens. Each issue that has silently piled on bit by bit to the dismay of Egyptians who have been practically craving for freedom now. Despite all the above named reasons one prominent contributing factor that was the icing on the cake to this awaiting revolution was in fact the rapidly rising price of food.
With the drought currently taking place in China limiting wheat exportation and the heat wave that took place last year in Russia cutting all wheat exportation has drastically affected Egypt who is the world’s largest wheat exporter. Inflation in Egypt is now over 10%.
The Federal Reserve Bank which controls all these prices is to blame for the inflation in the Middle East. For two years now the Federal Reserve has been pumping money into the the global economy which has then pushed prices up for oil, food commodities (wheat, rice, milk etc.) and raw building materials.
Egypt is not the only country who has sparked a revolution for the sole reason of rising food prices. In Tunisia the same event has occurred although is now being overshadowed by the revolution in Egypt. The rising prices of food are not constrained to only Egypt and Tunisia. The prices of food are rapidly rising all around the world but is affecting the Middle East at this stage the most. Other countries there may now also follow suit at the possible succession of the Egyptian revolution.
The Federal Reserve is trying to protect America from such a event like the one underway in Egypt. It’s not such a prominent issue right now there but it could also explode sooner or later.
This Food Crisis will continue to escalate throughout the year and years to come but may be centralised to this year alone with the most action so far.
Food is not the only problem on the minds of Egyptians, freedom is a key demand on their minds as well. As I stated before there are other contributions to this revolution. The essence of a revolution is the enlarging of political participation. What the Egyptian government does not have is flexibility within the government to allow larger political participation of the people. They also do not know how to deal with the changing socioeconomic situation currently taking place.
And for that, I believe the Egyptians need a radically different leader in order to re sustain the peace that has been lost. With that comes the immediate removal of Mubarack as President.