CAIRO–Egyptians went to the polls Monday and Tuesday to cast their vote in presidential elections. Egyptians went to the polls with enthusiasm, singing and dancing in celebration for the opportunity to elect the next leader of Egypt. They drove through the streets with music playing and Egyptian flags flying. It had the spirit of a peaceful revolution.
I had the opportunity to witness firsthand history in the making here in Egypt. Americans and all freedom-loving people around the globe should be proud of Egypt as they have taken the next significant step along their democratic roadmap, demonstrating to the world that they aspire to be a democratic country. But unfortunately they do it without the support of the United States.
In less than one year, Egypt has passed a Constitution, held presidential elections, and at the same time is fighting a war on terrorism in the Sinai and is winning.
I spoke with various Egyptians about why they went out to vote. Faten Saad said she came this morning because she was very optimistic for June 30th. She said she came “in order to do duty for her country and to ensure Egypt has no religion influence… In particular, to prove that this is a revolution and not a coup.” She said the choice of the Egyptian nation will be to vote for Sisi.
Dr. Enas stated that she came out to “vote for my country… All people are very happy.” She believes the future is very good for Egypt and will be “for freedom and democracy.”
What happened in Egypt is nothing less than a true miracle. If the Egyptian people and their armed forces hadn’t stood strong and united, matters could have been very different today. With an intransigent theocractic Muslim Brotherhood in power the nation could have descended into a civil war. Instead, today the Egyptians are casting their vote for an Egypt free of fundamentalist control. Egypt is changing. The “New Egypt” is being born.
Tera Dahl is the Executive Director of the Council for Global Security.