Its a very descriptive word, unrest, but for some reason it conjures up fighting, at least in my mind. So often we hear of unrest in the Middle East and how one group of people is fighting against another, often over something I do not understand, that happened sometimes hundreds of years ago. It is all a bit of a blur to me, which country hates which this week and the USA stepping in to say let's try to sort this out but of course no-one ever can.
This current unrest though is entirely different and is something I can understand. This could be the start of a whole different Middle East and maybe even beyond. Never before have I seen families gathered together in such huge numbers as we have seen in Egypt, mostly peacefully demanding change. And never before have I been so moved by their plight, every night glued to the TV news to hear from their own mouths that all they want is a chance for a normal life, like most of us who read gardening blogs take for granted.
For once, this is not based on religion or power. It is not an uneducated, extremist group taking to the streets with ridiculous demands. What is extraordinary and ground breaking is that intelligent, educated people have used the internet to communicate to one another, gathering ordinary families and people of all walks of life together to demand a chance for a better life.
Mobile phone footage uploaded onto the internet has sent out into the rest of the world true life scenes from every corner of the Middle East. Thus there is no denying, by any government, that people are following Egypt's lead to oust dictators and bring some chance of peace where for so long there has been unrest and isolation. It is horrifying to see the extreme violence against such a movement. No-one knows what will happen in the weeks, months and years ahead but I wish them luck; I truly hope this is the beginning of a change in the image I carry of the Middle East.
Even more than all this, I can see the freedom of information and the sharing of lives that we bloggers have come to enjoy so, so much, as a stepping stone to a united humanity. The earth is a tiny dot in a space so big our brains cannot comprehend it. Surely it is time that the human population, educated and informed as so many of us are now, can see the futility of fighting against one another. I do truly believe that blogs, making millions and millions of connections between ordinary people living in every corner of the world, has helped bring hope and understanding where once there was a closed door. Facebook has suddenly become more than just a social networking site just for fun, it has become a site for social justice.
Ignore the power of communication at your own peril.