We sat, transfixed, taking in every chunk of light beamed into our brains from the gogglebox. The entire nation of Egypt was undergoing a huge transformation*, its people had taken to the street in their millions to demand a shift in power – people weren’t just sitting around and taking it anymore. It was in part horrifying, it was in part beautiful, it was in part a bit boring on rolling news channels.
Then came the defining moment of recent weeks – a speech by Hosni Mubarak. With the power of words alone, everything changed. Let’s see what he said:
“To the people of Egypt – to my friends, my brothers, sisters, daughters and sons – we have seen a period of chaos in our nation for many days now. I am here to assure you: we are listening. We hear you. We have heard your cries and we have spoken to each other, deliberating long and hard on what should become of our great nation that we all love so dearly.
It has been hard, but we will get through this. I can announce that part my power will be delegated to my vice president, and that I will remain in charge of Egypt until September, where I will stand aside for fair, democratic and free elections to take place. I must implore you, those who have been causing such a menace on our streets, to go home. Go and sleep. Rest. Wake up in the morning, and go to your jobs. You are needed – your country needs you, and you have been heard. You are part of the history of this nation, of the next step in Egypt’s evolution. This is what will come to pass, and this is what will become of our country – we have listened, I have listened.
The future is bright… the future, is Orange.”
Suddenly, we all realised it was one giant marketing campaign for the mobile phone company known so well for its pretty good cinema deals on Wednesday. We feel cheated.
*Unless it doesn’t.
[Idea shamelessly stolen from these two, and ‘the future is bright’ was actually said by the vice pres. Soz.]