Kids talk

24th June 2011 at 01:00
S3 pupils Shereif, originally from Egypt, Tagwa, from Libya, and Theo, from Scotland, share their thoughts on the Arab revolution with Julia Belgutay

Shereif: I think the Arab revolution has had quite a positive effect on most of the Middle Eastern countries. It is showing them they don't have to just sit there and take this abuse. Libya is much worse than Egypt, but in Egypt there is a bigger knot to untie, because there is so much happening behind the scenes, whereas if Libya was to get rid of Gaddafi, they would recover much quicker. In Egypt, the whole government probably has to be replaced.

Tagwa: I think it is a good thing that all the revolutions are happening. I am just hoping that Gaddafi leaves soon. People are trying to persuade him, and he ends up playing chess with them. Nothing is happening.

Theo: I don't think he is going to leave at all. I agree, I think the revolutions are good and it is good that people are fighting and standing up, but I don't agree with what NATO is doing in Libya, because it is not dependable. Really, what it is trying to do is kill Gaddafi, but it's not allowed to say that.

Shereif: He is either going to have to flee and completely go under the radar, or they are going to try and kill him. Without help from other countries, they won't be able to get rid of him.

Tagwa: But if you do get help from other countries, it is not going to be without strings attached. Once he is gone, they are obviously going to want something.

Theo: Oil.

Shereif: Egypt definitely needed the revolution. I lived next to the former president's house, and soldiers are allowed to open fire at anyone who hangs around in the area too long. Over here, I can walk about, go to the park, and over there, I could never go anywhere without a car.

Tagwa: Over here, you can say anything. If you don't like the government, you can say that. In Libya, if you don't like the government, you get arrested, and you get hanged or something.

Theo: Or you disappear. It is probably quite difficult to imagine. We don't know what it is like to be persecuted for what you think; you are allowed to do whatever you like. Everyone must think it can't be that bad, it's fine, they will sort it out, but they have no experience of what it must be like.

Shereif: In September, a new government will be elected in Egypt. There is still no stability, we are still untying the knots. The whole government needs to be replaced. We have to wait for a good government to be elected, hopefully.

Theo: So does the way that the governments work need to be changed as well?

Shereif: Completely. It needs to be more open - democracy, votes, whatever. There is no way we can survive another dictatorship. If another dictatorship happens, after all that, they are going to go straight back into revolution, and there are going to be more casualties.

Tagwa: I don't even know how it is going to end in Libya, but I hope soon. Normally, I would be going back to Libya every summer, but this year we can't.

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