Friday, December 5, 2014

Extra Cedit- Cory Smith


“The lights are out all over the world.”

Director of The Square, Jehane Noujaim did a really good job at sharing what has been happening in Egypt, when the news cameras are off. Seeing stories like this are really eye opening, especially in America. We are fortunate enough to be a well-developed country with a good founding support. But there are places all over the world, where everyday people are fighting over even the basic rights that we have and almost take for granted. Jehane Noujaim starts off his movie with this idea of, “the lights are out all over the world.” It is a problem when the news we are given is biased or controlled by corrupt leaders to fool everyone across the world about what is really happening. The lights are out not just in the country but all over the world. Noujaim risks his life along with others just show everyone, the perspective of a civilian in a situation where they have been fighting for 30 plus years for social reform.

Mubarak, leader in Egypt made the world and even some Egyptians believe he was looking in interest of the Egyptian civilians. Noujaim uses actual live footage and personal experiences of civilians to show the corruption of Mubarak. There was starting to look like there was no hope for the future of Egypt. Tahir Square became a central place for protesting and growing in numbers to eventually get Mubarak out of control. Tahir Square really becomes Egypt’s voice of its civilians. It was scary as military started to take action because Mubarak stated, “youth who want change will suffer the consequences.” Peaceful protesters started to become victims of violence. One Egyptian, Khalid Abdullah, actor in The Kite Runner in the US went back home to be with family and fight for what he’s been fighting for all his life. After seeing success in their protesting he realizes and says, “People are the true power.” After fighting alongside with others for social reform for 3 generations, on February 11, 2011, Mubarak stepped down. Abdullah and others thought they had won and reclaimed their freedom but almost a reoccurring theme, they are dealt with new corrupt leaders who want nothing but power. No changes or a new constitution was made. They returned to Tahir Square. The military who was now in charge stepped in and used violence to end the sit in on March 9th.  Civilians were arrested and beaten. The civilians felt hopeless. Abdullah decided to get more of a voice and shine light on the real Egypt to the rest of the world, they started putting YouTube videos up of the terrible injustices they dealt with.

The country was still corrupt, military used people to turn on themselves. The Muslim Brotherhood betrayed the rest of their fellow Egyptians. Instead of a revolution Tehrir Square turned into a war. They held elections quick and put the Muslim Brotherhood in control. The new leader Morse, again abused powers and caused more fighting between civilians. They continued to use popular media to spread the truth. Hopefully their voices can be heard and the future of Egypt can turn out. One leader fighting for reform said he, “dreamed all of Egypt would look like Tehrir Square.” “Voice is our only weapon… We are looking for a conscience.” Noujaim main theme is getting Egypt’s voice heard. Hopefully if other nations see how much the civilians really need, they will step in and help get there country a good founding base started for a positive future.  Noujaim uses powerful words and images to keep his audience interested and feel for the Egyptian people. I feel that it is important to have firsthand accounts but he could lose some attention as for an hour and fort five minutes you’re reading subscript in English.

 

Egypt 2-3 years later now hasn’t changed much. Another Islamist president is in charge and abusing his power. Life might be better now and more fair but problems from Mubarak and Morsi are still effecting the country. Laws were just placed to criminalize revolutionist. I can only hope after this many years justice and democracy will take place in Egypt soon. Even countries such as America were even funding the Egyptian military. Hopefully through socio media we realize what is truly going on now in Egypt. In The Square we look like bad guys, how can we be okay with funding a government who represents the complete opposite of what America stands for. We literally funded a military who attacked its own civilians who were peacefully protesting. Another place where social media has proved to be a successful way of spreading news and promoting reform, is Ai Wiewie. He is a political artist in china. He uses his art work to openly criticize the Chinese government and show how their views on democracy and the way they treat their civilians is unjust. In a technology based age we are in, omen positive way social media has proven to be positive is in instances like these. With one video, one tweet, one comment, millions of people around the world are open to what you have to say. News can spread faster than ever and your voice can be heard by whoever is willing to listen. Seth Godin, an American author and public speaker had this wise quote to say about social media in Today’s age, “How can you squander even one more day not taking advantage of the greatest shifts of our generation? How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable?”

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