Egyptians now are 'all Libyans'

An Egyptian man who fled from Libya through the Salloum land port gate carries his belongings at the Egyptian-Libyan border, in Salloum, Egypt. (Hussein Malla / AP Photo)

The bloody suppression of dissidents in neighboring Libya is galvanizing Egyptians. About 300 gathered in front of the Arab League building near Tahrir square in Cairo to demand (no doubt fruitlessly) that this pan-Arab organization do something. They chanted "All Arab regimes are the same" and "Lift up your heads, Oh Arabs!"

Psychologist Mohsen Mahmoud, visibly. agitated,  was carrying a sign saying "I was Egyptian, now I am Libyan, Bahraini, Yemeni. I'm an Arab."

This sign accurately captures the ripple effect that the Egyptian rebellion has has on the Arab world.

No one knows how this domino chain of explosions will end (tho I'm sure Qaddafi will fall). Many journalists here have scattered to  Bahrain or the Egyptian-Libyan border.  

But I still believe the Egyptian revolution is the most important, because of Egypt's size and renewed standing in the Arab world. Libya is a human tragedy; Egypt is a test of whether a democracy with an active civil society can develop, for the first time, in the Arab world.