Friday, July 5, 2013

The Egypt Sim: Getting Away From the Crisis

In recent days, the counrty of Egypt's been in the news. It was February 2011 in which Mubarak, who had ruled for decades, stepped down from power after many days of protests. But the optimism that change would lead to a free republic was darkened when the elections were won by the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood. While the new president, Mohamed Morsi, appeared somewhat moderate at times, there were calls from the Brotherhood for an Islamic state under their brand of Sharia law, with crushing restrictions for women and war with their neighbor Israel.

More and more of the public grew increasingly upset with the government, and in recent days there have been numerous protests in Cairo, some of which resulted in clashes with pro-Islamist groups. Crowds demanded Morsi resign from office. Finally on July 3rd, the military made it's move and seized control. Morsi was forced out of power and in house arrest. Warrants have also been issued for the arrest of about three hundred Brotherhood members. The result was cheers from the demonstrators. Celebrations went on for hours.

In Second Life, the demonstrations against Mubarak two years ago were reflected at the Egypt sim, followed by celebrations after his ouster. Dropping by the Egypt sim today, the place was much more subdued. The people there were mostly gathered at some gaming tables, chatting with one another in text and voice. The sim owner, Faresgaser Firelyte, happened to be there. Chatting with him, he explained that they were here to relax, and not take their real world troubles with them into Second Life.

But there was one concession to events in real life. Not far from the tables, a memorial had been set up. It was done up in red white and black, the traditional colors of Arab flags, and with a plaque that read "To the memory of all these wonderful people who lost there lives for freedom trying to make the world a better place to live."

Meanwhile, developments in Egypt continue. An interim president has been selected until after the next elections. Some outside the country have mixed feelings as it took the military to oust the Brotherhood from power. But for now, the crowds at Cairo are expressing little if anything but cheer with the Islamists out of power, "No more beards!"

Bixyl Shuftan

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