Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Saturday, March 19, 2011

Because of my interest in ancient Egypt, I have followed the news of the revolution in quite a lot of detail.  How can I properly write about reports of attacks on antiquities unless I have at least a passing familiarity of the political environment within which the sources are operating?  I'm now following the situation in Libya with one eye as well.

One of the key questions is how can there be peace afterwards when there has been such division during the revolution?  This article Thug Life from Almasry Alroum offers a comforting, if gritty, tale of how some people who thought for Mubarak in Egypt have changed sides.  For one of the interviewed men, it was an apparent moral conversion; in the other it was freedom from former coercion.  In other cases, it is likely to be unglamorous expediency.  People do get caught on the wrong side.  One of the lessons from South Africa is that peace can be secured if any overwhelming majority can be united in a new view of the future whatever their past.  It's a bit grubby; but it is reality.