Vibrant, conscious activists push human rights, freedoms
Some may find it a stretch to compare the election of college students to Canada's Parliament with the youthful optimism of Egypt's Jasmine Revolution, however the effects of the Arab Awakening's Spring of Hope are washing out over the world like an organic cleanser, with many more dominoes to fall. People are tired of being ruled by psychopathic despots and are seeking humanity and justice in their national leadership.
Before we get into the young democrats in Egypt and Canada, let's first take a look at several young martyrs who inspired the North African revolutions.
June 6, 2010 - Khaled Said (also translated Khaled Mohamed Saeed) was a young Egyptian man who died under disputed circumstances in the Sidi Gaber area of Alexandria on June 6, 2010, after being arrested by Egyptian police. Photos of his disfigured corpse spread throughout online communities and incited outrage over allegations that he was beaten to death by Egyptian security forces. A prominent Facebook group, "We are all Khaled Said", brought attention to his death and contributed to growing discontent in the weeks leading up to the Egyptian Revolution of 2011.
December 17, 2010 - Tunisia: 26-year-old computer-science graduate and fruit vendor Mohamed Bouazizi sets himself on fire after policewoman slaps him and orders him to pack up his street cart in Sidi Bouzid. It was the last straw to add to his list of grievances (including not finding employment after graduation and having to resort to selling fruit to support his seven siblings).
Mohammed Bouazizi, a 26-year-old man trying to support his family by selling fruits and vegetables in the central town of Sidi Bouzid, douses himself in paint thinner and sets himself on fire in front of a local municipal office.
Mohamed Bouazizi of Tunisia
Police had confiscated his produce cart because he lacked a permit and beat him up when he resisted. Local officials then refused his hear his complaint. He is taken to a hospital near Tunis for treatment of his third-degree burns.
Bouazizi's act of desperation highlights the public's boiling frustration over living standards, police violence, rampant unemployment, and a lack of human rights. The protests begin in Sidi Bouzid that same day. They quickly spread across the region, then the country.
December 22, 2010: Houcine Falhi, a 22-year-old, commits suicide by electrocuting himself in the midst of another demonstration over unemployment in Sidi Bouzid after shouting "No to misery, no to unemployment!"
Mohamed Ammari waves Tunisian flag
December 24, 2010: Mohamed Ammari, an 18-year-old protester, is shot and killed by police during violent demonstrations in the central town of Menzel Bouzaiene.
Chawki Belhoussine El Hadri, a 44-year-old man, is among those shot by police at the same protest.
Hundreds of protesters rally in front of the Tunisian labour union headquarters over rampant unemployment, clashing with Tunisian security forces in the central towns of al-Ragab and Miknassi. Skirmishes break out when security forces stage overnight crackdown campaigns. Protests also break out in Sidi Bouzid and spread to Kairouan, Sfax, Ben Guerdane, Sousse. Police fire on demonstrators.
2010-2011 Tunisia Revolution Wikipedia webpage
Tunisian lawyer Abderrahman Ayedi was arrested and tortured by police for supporting the protesters.
Please find below info on and images of the key player's in Egypt's revolution, plus a range of young Parliamentarians elected to the Canadian Parliament (including and 19 year old guy and a 20 year old gal!).
Young Canadian and Egyptian political leaders
Muhammad Adel, Egypt
If Abdel Maher is the April 6th Movement’s national coordinator, Muhammad Adel, 22, a college junior majoring in computer science, is its technology wizard and media coordinator. Online he jokingly calls himself “The dead Dean,” in a reference to his young age and what could be in store for him from the secret police.
Mohammed Adel, "Dean of the Dead"
In November 2008, he was arrested at the age of twenty, detained and placed in solitary confinement for over 100 days because of his political activities on the Internet. He was denied any means of communications with his family during the whole period. His interrogators pleaded with him to stop blogging so he could be freed. He refused to give them any commitment until he was freed in March 2009.
According to the “April 6 Youth” movement’s platform, its main concerns include promoting political reforms and democratic governance through a strategy of non-violence; constitutional reforms in the areas of civil rights, political freedoms, and judicial independence; and economically addressing poverty, unemployment, social justice and fighting corruption. Their focus is primarily the youth and students. Their means of communications, education and mobilization relies on the extensive use of technology and the Internet.
Charmaine Borg, Canada
Charmaine Borg, 20, new NDP MP for Terrebonne-Blainville
Charmaine Borg (born 1991) is the New Democratic Party Member of Parliament-elect for the riding of Terrebonne—Blainville in Quebec, having been first elected in the 2011 Canadian federal election. She defeated incumbent MP Diane Bourgeois of the Bloc Québécois.
A Montreal resident, Borg was born in Keswick, Ontario, and is fully bilingual in French and English. After creating a drama program for at-risk youth, she won the Lieutenant Governor's Community Volunteer Award in 2008.
At the time of her election, she was a student studying political science and Latin American studies at McGill University and was also working as the Labour Relations Officer for the Association of McGill University Support Employees. She was also co-president of the student New Democratic Party club at McGill University.
She was one of five current McGill students, alongside fellow undergraduates Mylène Freeman, Laurin Liu, and Matthew Dubé, and graduate student Jamie Nicholls, elected to Parliament in the federal 2011 election following the NDP's unexpected mid-campaign surge in Quebec. Not only did Borg win a seat in the 2011 election, but that election was the first time she had ever voted in an election.
During the election, Borg did not own a cell phone, so Le Trait d'Union newspaper had been unable to reach her throughout the campaign despite making repeated attempts. Originally planning to spend the Fall 2011 term as a foreign exchange student in Mexico, she will instead remain in Canada to serve as a Member of Parliament.
Ruth Ellen Brosseau, Canada
Ruth Ellen Brosseau (born April 26, 1984) is a Canadian politician. She was elected to the Canadian House of Commons as a New Democratic Party candidate in the 2011 federal election. Brosseau's father, Marc, is a francophone who is also fluent in English. The Brosseau family lived in Hudson, Quebec until the younger Brosseau reached Grade 2. From there, the family moved to Kingston, Ontario, where she continued to take French immersion classes.
Brosseau attended St. Lawrence College in Kingston. Her online biography initially indicated that she graduated from the college, but it was later clarified that she left before graduating, while being two credits short of completing her diploma. The NDP issued a statement that Brosseau had never claimed to have received a diploma, adding, "When her bio was posted on our website, a party staffer inadvertently changed the wording. We apologize for posting this information in error and regret any inconvenience this has caused Ms. Brosseau." She is also an animal welfare activist who has worked to find homes for stray animals and help injured animals recover.
As of May 2011, Brosseau is a single mother who resides in Gatineau, Quebec. Brosseau held the position of assistant manager for Oliver's Pub, a bar on the campus of Carleton University in Ottawa.
Brosseau ran for a seat to the Canadian House of Commons in the 2011 federal election. She stood as the New Democratic Party candidate in the electoral district of Berthier—Maskinongé in central Quebec. She was the second nomination choice of the party as the original candidate, Julie Demers, decided to run in Bourassa instead (where she lost).
Initially, Brosseau was considered a paper candidate who had been selected by the party due to the lack of a viable local nominee. She never put a serious campaign together and never went to the riding, which straddles the regions of Lanaudière and Mauricie, during the writ period. However, on election night, Brosseau defeated incumbent Bloc Québécois Member of Parliament Guy André, former provincial Liberal MNA Francine Gaudet and three other candidates, winning with a plurality of 5,735 votes and taking just under 40% of all the votes cast. André finished a distant second, with only 29.4 percent of the vote. Her victory was part of a wave of NDP support in Quebec, a province where the party has historically not done well. The NDP increased its standing in the province from one seat in Montreal to a surprising total of 59.
Brosseau's victory was one of the election's biggest upsets. Central Quebec has historically been a very nationalist region, a factor which made it a Bloc stronghold for nearly two decades. Most of the riding's residents had been represented by Bloc MPs since the Bloc's 54-seat breakthrough in 1993. Previously, the NDP had never finished higher than fourth in the riding's present incarnation (dating to 2004), and every previous NDP challenger had lost his or her deposit.
Brosseau did not address the media or take questions from reporters for several days after her election. Her father, Marc Brosseau, felt that her silence was an act of caution. "There's so much bad publicity that's surrounded all of this, and there's so much misinformation. She wants to make sure that when it does come out, it'll come out properly. This is maybe another stage in her life that's gonna put her in a whole new different sphere."
Concerns had also been raised about her proficiency in French, given that 98 percent of Berthier-Maskinongé's residents are francophone and 77 percent of them don't speak English. Of the NDP's Quebec MPs, she was the only one who was not fluently bilingual at the time the writs were dropped.
Early in the campaign, she granted an interview with CHHO-FM in Louiseville interviewed her, but station officials opted not to air it due to concerns about the quality of her French.When asked about his daughter's French proficiency, Marc replied, "The quality of (her) French is good. It's just if she wants to rise to the occasion, she speaks it, but let's just say it's not at a high proficiency level."
At a press conference held the day after Brosseau's election, NDP co-deputy leader and Quebec lieutenant Thomas Mulcair addressed her language issues. While conceding that Brosseau's command of French was "not at a level we would expect for a riding like Berthier—Maskinongé," he personally promised to "help organize her office" and "give her all the help that's needed." Mulcair also offered Brosseau moral support saying, "if ever there are things that need to be taken over by the party, or by me personally, I will be there." He also said that he was willing to handle most of Berthier-Maskinongé's constituency issues in the short term while Brosseau improves her command of French.[
On May 6, Brosseau gave her first interview since being elected, with Le Nouvelliste of Trois-Rivières. Brosseau acknowledged that she had not expected to be elected and that she had not been to her new riding, but planned to go there soon. The Globe and Mail noted that the interview was conducted "almost entirely in English."
Earlier, the NDP sent an automated telephone message introducing Brosseau to her new constituents, in which she spoke in "rehearsed and passable French". She said that she was shocked by her election after agreeing to have her name placed on the ballot as a favour to the party. “It was just symbolic,” she said. “I was approached to put my name on a ballot but I was a supporter of the NDP for many years.” However, she added that she is excited by the opportunity to serve in parliament and is trying to improve her French so that she can be fluently bilingual.
On May 11, she made her first public appearance in her new riding. She attended a museum opening in Lavaltrie where she made a speech in French although an article by the Toronto star reported that neither the museum nor the media were informed of her news conference appearance. She also met with the mayors of Lavaltrie, Louiseville and Trois-Rivières and was granted an interview with Trois-Rivières television station CHEM-TV, also in French. Louiseville mayor Guy Richard had praise for her, describing her as "composed and competent" while Lavaltrie mayor Jean-Claude Gravel said, "she expressed herself well in French."
Pierre-Luc Dussault, Canada
Pierre-Luc Dussault, 19; Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
Pierre-Luc Dusseault (born May 31, 1991) is a Canadian politician who was elected to the Canadian House of Commons in the 2011 federal election at the age of 19, becoming the youngest Member of Parliament in the country's history. He will take office the day before his 20th birthday.
Born in Granby, Quebec, and educated in Magog, Dusseault is the son of a daycare administrator and a warehouse manager. He received a secondary school diploma in social studies from Cégep de Sherbrooke.
Dusseault was a first-year student studying applied politics at the Université de Sherbrooke at the time of his election as an MP. He was the co-founder and president of the university's student NDP club, having joined the NDP in 2009. He has told the press he would like to finish the degree once his political career is over.
As a New Democratic Party candidate in the riding of Sherbrooke, Dusseault defeated the incumbent Bloc Québécois MP Serge Cardin (four decades Dusseault's elder), and was elected at the age of 19 years, 336 days, making him the youngest Canadian ever to be elected to the House of Commons, surpassing former Liberal Party MP Claude-André Lachance, who was aged 20 years, 94 days when elected in 1974. Dusseault will turn 20 on the day after the 41st Parliament is sworn in.
He was elected in the same election as five McGill University students, fellow NDP MPs Charmaine Borg, Matthew Dubé, Mylène Freeman, Laurin Liu, and Jamie Nicholls, following the NDP's unexpected mid-campaign surge in Quebec.
Dusseault voted for the first time in this election and had originally planned to work a summer job at a golf course but will serve in Parliament instead.
Three days after the election, Toronto radio host John Oakley conducted an interview with Dusseault, who drew himself into the debate on the Quebec sovereignty movement by stating, "Sovereignty will be done in Quebec. And Quebecers will decide if they want to be a country." He later clarified his remarks, saying that he was a federalist who respects sovereignty.
Mona Eltahawy, Egyptian-born journalist
Mona Eltahawy -Dream TV interview with Wael Ghonim galvanized a nation
Mona Eltahawy is an award-winning columnist and a public speaker. Born in Egypt and now based in New York, she regularly published opinion pieces in the Washington Post, New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Jerusalem Report, Qatar’s Al Arab newspaper, and beyond. She has won the Samir Kassir Prize and the Anna Lindh Journalism Award for her reporting.
Wael Ghonim Dream TV Parts One and Two, video in Arabic
English online ttranslation of Wael Ghonim Dream TV interview transcript
Isra’a Abdel Fattah, Egypt
The April 6 Youth Movement began as an Egyptian Facebook group founded by Isra’a Abdel Fattah, 29, and Ahmed Maher, 30, in spring 2008 to support the April 6 workers strike in el-Mahalla el-Kobra, an industrial town along the Nile Delta.
Isra’a Abdel Fattah, Human Resources specialist and co-leader of Egypt's Revolution
Esraa worked as a human resources administrator, when she co-founded April 6 Youth Movement Egypt in 2008, a Facebook group that was made to support the workers in El-Mahalla El-Kubra, an industrial town, who were planning to strike on April 6. this group gradually became a popular political movement.
She was arrested by Egyptian security in 2008. The detained Facebook Girl drew the attention of few Egyptian newspapers challenging by this the state's censorship policy, turning her into an overnight symbol for resistance and resilience against corruption and injustice. After two weeks in prison she was released. She made a brief public statement renouncing political activism for good.
Esraa Abdel Fattah reappeared again during the January 2011 nationwide protests in Egypt, that called for the end of Hosni Mubarak's regime. She was active on the internet, and also on the ground, updating Al Jazeera TV with the latest news related to the opposition.
When the state security buildings were attacked in early March, 2011, in the wake of signs of files there being destroyed, a file for Isra’a was found which contained ten pages of documents detailing three years of wiretaps and hacked e-mail, including some focused on her divorce. "The feeling of violation was indescribable," she said.
Mylene Freeman, Canada
Mylene Freeman, 23; Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Mylène Freeman (born 1989) is the New Democratic Party Member of Parliament for the riding of Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel in Quebec, first elected in the 2011 Canadian federal election after defeating incumbent MP Mario Laframboise of the Bloc Québécois.
Born in Stouffville, Ontario, she is the daughter of an Irish Canadian father and a French Canadian mother.
She studied political theory at McGill University, where she was co-president of NDP McGill (the New Democratic Party student group at the university) and coordinator of the university's Women in House program, which has young women shadow female MPs in hopes of fostering their interest in getting involved in politics.
Expecting to come in second, Freeman described her victory as "very surreal" when she defeated powerful Bloc Québécois MP Mario Laframboise by 8,000 votes inArgenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel. She had not been to the riding at any point during the election campaign.
In the 2009 Montreal municipal election, Freeman stood on behalf of Projet Montréal in Outremont as a candidate for borough councillor in Claude-Ryan.
She was one of five current McGill students, alongside Charmaine Borg, Laurin Liu, Matthew Dubé and Jamie Nicholls, elected to Parliament in the 2011 election following the NDP's unexpected mid-campaign surge in Quebec. While Freeman was a former co-president of NDP McGill, Borg and Dubé were the incumbent co-presidents of NDP McGill at the time that they both won election to Parliament and spent the campaign working to re-elect Thomas Mulcair in the nearby riding of Outremont. Freeman is fluent in both French and English.
Wael Ghonim - Egypt
Wael Ghonim arrested, detained, released; Rapid rise to prominence
In January 2011, Ghonim persuaded Google to allow him to return to Egypt, citing a "personal problem". After his arrival, he disappeared on 27 January 2011 during the nationwide unrest in Egypt. His family told Al-Arabiya and other international media that he was missing. Google also issued a statement confirming the disappearance. Many bloggers like Chris DiBona and Habib Haddad campaigned in an attempt to identify his whereabouts. Ghonim was released on 7 February, after 11 days in detention. Upon his release, he was greeted with cheers and applause when he stated: "We will not abandon our demand and that is the departure of the regime."
The same day, Ghonim appeared on the Egyptian channel DreamTV on the 10:00 pm programme hosted by Mona El-Shazly. In the interview he praised the protesters and mourned the dead as the host read their names and showed their pictures, eventually rising, "overwhelmed," and walking off camera. The host followed. In the interview, he also urged that they deserved attention more than he did, and calling for the end of the Mubarak regime, describing it again as 'rubbish'. He also asserted his allegiance to Egypt, saying that he would never move to the United States, the homeland of his wife. Becoming a symbol of the revolution in Egypt, Ghonim stated that he is "ready to die" for the cause.
"At the end ..., he gathered himself for a few seconds and tried to make the most of the platform [El-Shazly] had given him. 'I want to tell every mother and every father who lost a child, I am sorry, but this is not our mistake,' he said. 'I swear to God, it’s not our mistake. It’s the mistake of every one of those in power who doesn’t want to let go of it.'"
On 9 February, Ghonim addressed the crowds in Tahrir Square, telling the protesters: "This is not the time for individuals, or parties, or movements. It's a time for all of us to say just one thing: Egypt above all."
Wael Ghonim - Google exec, web leader of Egyptian Revolution
Wael Ghonim gets a hug from the mother of Khaled Said:
Wael Ghonim "ElShaheed" Facebook page We Are All Khaled Said
Wael Ghonim web on Wikipedia
View Wael Ghonim interview with CBS TV show 60 Minutes:
Gigi Ibrahim, Egypt
Gigi Ibrahim, revolutionary journalist
"Nobody can hijack our revolution"
Gigi Ibrahim (Arabic: جيجي ابراهيم) is an Egyptian journalist, blogger and socialist activist. She has been credited as being a part of a new generation of "citizen journalists" who document news events using social media. For this she was featured on a cover of Time magazine as "one of the leaders" of Tahrir Square during the Egyptian Revolution in 2011. Ibrahim however states, that while the internet was important for coordinating people in the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak, "it was the battles on the streets that were crucial... It was their power that made the revolution." She is a member of the Revolutionary Socialists and a graduate from the American University in Cairo where she earned a political science degree.
Gigi Ibrahim - American University of Cairo student journalist
One of the most crucial citizen reporters in Cairo was 24-year-old Gigi Ibrahim, a major supporter of Egypt's Jasmine Revolution. Armed with little more than her Blackberry and a webcam, Ibrahim - who spent her high school years in California and recently earned a political science degree from the American University in Cairo - is on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and Vimeo. She tweets and posts, shoots stills and video, all in an effort to chronicle the unrest.
In a Skype interview with The New York Times, Ibrahim said her role "is to be part of this wave of change. I tweet a lot while at the protests; I tell everybody the security situation, how many people are at protests. I'm trying to spread accurate information and paint a picture at the ground for people who aren't here, via Twitter and Facebook."
Ibrahim's smartphone lacks an Arabic keybord, but she said "a lot of my followers are from outside of Egypt. I want to try to use a language most everyone would understand. It's important for me to be a citizen journalist, because with our press here... not everything gets broadcast."
Videos of PBS Frontline interview with Gigi Ibrahim
Her family is part of the Egyptian elite, but 24-year-old Gigi Ibrahim says she's fighting for her country's future. With thousands following her Twitter feed, Gigi has become something of a celebrity in Cairo's Tahrir Square. In this video, we see her attempts to convince her family of the righteousness of her cause. But will they come around?
Alexandrine Latendresse, Canada
Alexandrine Latendresse, 27; Montreal, Canada
I don't know much about this chick just yet, however she has an endearing rebel streak that makes me love her, and also methinks she may get into some awesome Parliamentary debates / tiffs.
Watch for this young lady to light a few fires under some dormant fat asses!!!
Laurin Liu, Canada
Laurin Liu, 20, the newly elected member for Riviere-des-Mille-Iles, is in her second year of a joint-honours program in history and cultural studies.
Laurin Liu, MP (born 1990 in Calgary, Alberta) is a Canadian politician who was elected to the Canadian House of Commons in the 2011 federal election. She represents the electoral district of Rivière-des-Mille-Îles as a member of the New Democratic Party.
She was one of five candidates, alongside Mylène Freeman, Matthew Dubé, Charmaine Borg and Jamie Nicholls, who were McGill University students when elected in the 2011 election following the NDP's unexpected mid-campaign surge in Quebec. At the time of her election, she was pursuing a double major in History and Cultural Studies. She was active on campus as a board member of CKUT radio, a representative to the CKUT Programming Committee, an employee of McGill university's undergraduate student union, and a staff member of the McGill Daily.
Prior to attending McGill, Liu was a student at Royal West Academy and Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf. At Jean-de-Brébeuf, she became politically active by founding the NDP campus club. She later moved on to be co-president of the youth wing of the Quebec section of the NDP.
Liu, whose parents came to Canada from China in the 1980s, is fluent in French, English and Cantonese.
Ahmed Maher, Egypt
Ahmed Maher, civil engineer, co-leader of Egyptian Revolution
April 6th Movement for Youth wikipedia page
Ahmed Maher, civil engineer, co-leader of Egyptian Revolution
On their Facebook page, they encouraged thousands to protest and join the labor strike. Within weeks, over 100,000 members joined the group, who were predominantly young, educated, and politically inexperienced or inactive. Moreover, by making extensive use of online networking tools, they urged their members to demonstrate their support for the workers by wearing black, staying at home, or boycotting products on the day of the strike.
As the secret police cracked down on the April 6 labor strikers, both Abdel Fattah and Maher were arrested, tortured (in the case of Maher, threatened with rape), and detained for a few weeks. Both came out of the prison experience more committed to the cause of freedom and democracy, as well as more determined than ever to carry on with their program of political reforms.
Asma'a Mahfouz, Egypt
Asma'a Mahfouz, spokesperson for Egypt's April 6th Youth Movement
Asma’a Mahfouz, 26, a petite Business Administration graduate, is another prominent figure in the April 6 Youth Movement. By her account she did not have any political training or ideology before joining the group in March 2008. With her two colleagues she immediately helped set up the Facebook page urging Egyptians to support and join the strikes.
Asma'a Mahfouz, spokesperson for Egypt's April 6th Youth Movement
More significantly, Mahfouz played a critical role in the mobilization efforts for the current popular revolution. She posted passionate daily online videos imploring her countrymen and women to participate in the protests. In a recent interview, she elucidated her role when she stated, “I was printing and distributing leaflets in popular areas, and calling for citizens to participate. In those areas, I also talked to young people about their rights, and the need for their participation.”
She continued, “At the time when many people were setting themselves on fire, I went into Tahrir Square with several members of the movement, and we tried a spontaneous demonstration to protest against the recurrence of these incidents. However, the security forces prevented us and removed us from the Square. This prompted me to film a video clip, featuring my voice and image, calling for a protest.”
“I said that on the 25th of January, I would be an Egyptian girl defending her dignity and her rights. I broadcasted the video on the Internet, via Facebook, and was surprised by its unprecedented distribution over websites and mobile phones. Subsequently, I made four further videos prior to the date of the protest,” she added.
On January 18th 2011 a video that changed the world was uploaded by Asma'a Mahfouz, for in it the young Egyptian urged her countrymen to take to the streets to protest the injustice. Take a look:
Ahmed Salah, Egypt
Ahmed Salah, youth leader and journalist
On February 10th, 2011, Ahmed Salah published an eloquent piece in the UK's Guardian newspaper, and here is an excerpt from his article:
Why has the west been silent about this corruption, about the terrible violations of human rights in Egypt and the region, and about the torture and killing? The west, including the UK, has been complicit in all these crimes by providing support and safe havens. It has mistakenly believed that democracy and freedom is dangerous if implemented in the Middle East, fearing that Islamists would take power.
The world can see now, in both Tunisia and Egypt, how false this assumption was. It is clear those revolutions encompass all elements of society and seek values aspired to by people around the world – the most important of which is freedom. We were systematically punished for decades for a notion that only resides in the minds of western politicians and the lies of tyrants. We lived in a police state, occupied by a two million-strong militarised police force. Given this, isn't there now a moral responsibility that the west bears?
Britain, and other western powers, must take a moral stand in support of the people of Egypt and their demand for the right to be free. This should not be mere diplomatic words: real tangible support should include measures to ensure power is passed to the people, and to put an end to the regime's efforts to kill this revolution.
This is the least compensation our people deserve for the years of western support for these injustices. The money looted from Egypt should be returned and a democratic government should use it to resolve the huge problems this regime has been creating for decades. Dare we hope that these calls for support won't be ignored again?
Rathika Sitsabaiesan, Canada
Rathika Sitsabaiesan, 29; Toronto, Canada
Rathika Sitsabaiesan (Tamil: ராதிகா சிற்சபேசன்) (born December 23, 1981) is a Canadian politician from Toronto, Ontario, who is the New Democratic Party(NDP) Member of Parliament for Scarborough—Rouge River.
Sitsabaiesan attended University of Toronto for the first two years of her university education. Sitsabaiesan served as the vice-president of the Tamil Students’ Association while at the university. For the next two years she attended Carleton University, and completed a degree in commerce. While attending Carleton University, she served as a vice-president of the Carleton University Students’ Association, as caucus chair of the New University Government, and as operations manager with the Rideau River Residence Association. She finished her education by obtaining a master’s degree in industrial relations from Queen’s University.
In the 2011 Canadian federal election, Sitsabaiesan became the first Canadian of Eelam Tamil heritage elected to the Canadian Parliament. She was born in Sri Lankaand came to Canada at the age of five.
Justin Trudeau, Canada
Justin Trudeau, 29; Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Though Justin is a leading member of traditional Canadian political party the Liberals, he is a son of iconic Prime Minister Elliott Trudeau and potentially the next leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. If that happens, and it likely will, it could be the spur that unites the Greens and the New Democratic Party, for to compete separately against Trudeau would be the kiss of death, whereas merging would create momentum and a political force that could elect revolutionaries to become the new Government of Canada.
Justin Trudeau, MP (born December 25, 1971) is a Canadian politician and the Member of Parliament for the riding of Papineau. He is the eldest son of the late formerCanadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and Margaret Sinclair Trudeau Kemper.
Trudeau and his younger brother, Alexandre (Sacha), were both born on December 25, Justin in 1971 in Ottawa, Ontario, and Alexandre (Sacha) in 1973. Pierre and Margaret Trudeau separated in 1977, when Justin was 6 years old. Pierre retired as Prime Minister in 1984. Of his mother and father's divorce, Trudeau told an interviewer in September 2008, “I realized that my father had two priorities: this country and his children. His wife didn't really fit into that the way I know she would have wanted.” Trudeau was only the second child in Canadian history to be born during a father's term as Prime Minister; he was preceded by John A. Macdonald's youngest daughter Margaret Mary Macdonald. His younger brothers Sacha and Michel (1975–98) were the third and fourth, respectively.
Pierre Trudeau raised his children in relative privacy in Montreal. Justin recalled fond memories of his father in a 2008 interview, saying that of all the family outings he enjoyed camping with his father the most--because "that was where our father got to be just our father—a dad in the woods.” Justin studied English literature (BA,McGill University) and Education (B.Ed, University of British Columbia), eventually becoming a social studies and French teacher in Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School in Vancouver, British Columbia. He is currently completing a Master of Arts in Geography at McGill University. At his father's funeral in 2000, Justin delivered a memorable eulogy.
On May 28, 2005, Justin Trudeau married Sophie Grégoire, a former model and Quebec television host. They have two children: Xavier James Trudeau (born October 18, 2007) and Ella-Grace Margaret Trudeau (born February 5, 2009).
Trudeau is one of several children of former Prime Ministers who have become Canadian media personalities. The others are Ben Mulroney, Catherine Clark, and Justin's younger brother, Alexandre. Though Pierre Trudeau and Brian Mulroney were longtime foes, this rivalry did not carry over to their sons, as Ben Mulroney was a guest at Justin Trudeau's wedding.
In January 2007, rumours were getting persistent about Justin Trudeau entering politics, especially after being highly active in the 2006 Liberal convention. It was rumoured that Trudeau was going to run in the Montreal Outremont riding which is a traditional Liberal stronghold, after formerMinister of Transport Jean Lapierre resigned from the House of Commons to become a political commentator.
A nomination vote for the Liberal candidate in Papineau was held on April 29, 2007, which Trudeau handily won. Trudeau received 690 votes, while runners-up Mary Deros received 350 votes and Basilio Giordano received 220. 634 votes were needed to win the nomination. Trudeau defeated incumbent Bloc Québécois MP Vivian Barbot in the 2008 election. Trudeau was one of only a few Liberal candidates to gain a seat at the expense of an opposition party in the election.
CBC Television announced in April 2007 that Justin Trudeau would appear in the two-part miniseries, The Great War, portrayingTalbot Mercer Papineau (1883-1917). Papineau was killed in action in Ypres, Belgium and was among Canada's first Rhodes Scholars. Coincidentally, Trudeau is now the Liberal MP-elect for a riding named after Talbot Mercer Papineau's lineage: this includes his great-great-grandfather, seigneur Joseph Papineau (1752-1841) and Talbot's great-grandfather, reformist PatrioteLouis-Joseph Papineau (1786-1871).
As of Stéphane Dion's resignation as leader of the Liberal Party following his defeat in October 2008, Trudeau had been considered among the potential leaders to replace him, despite his inexperience.[ However, in an interview with the Canadian Press shortly before Dion's resignation, Trudeau stated that "if there is a leadership (race) right now I will not be running for any leadership role." Edward Greenspon, editor in chief of The Globe and Mail, said in a September 2008 interview, “The day he arrives on Parliament Hill he'll be viewed as few other rookie MPs are—as a potential future prime minister—and scrutinized through that lens.”
In autumn 2010, Trudeau was assigned to be the Official Opposition Critic for Youth, Citizenship and Immigration.
After the Liberal Party's disastrous showing in the 2011 Canadian Federal Election, and Michael Ignatieff's resignation as party leader, Trudeau was immediately mentioned as a potential candidate to replace him.
Sources: Wikipedia.org, Google.ca Images, Yuya-Joe.blogspot.com