Mubarak Spectacle Captivates the Middle East

NYT – Excerpts: “Everybody is watching from all parts of the society, young and old, pro-democracy or pro-government,” said Hussain Abdulla, 23, a human rights activist in Bahrain, where the monarchy has suppressed, sometimes violently, a democracy movement inspired by the events in Egypt. “Of course all the people who are pro-democracy are happy with it and it gives them a push to continue struggling.”

Salam Ali, 48, a former teacher in Baghdad, said that many of his friends and relatives had watched the opening of Mr. Mubarak’s trial. “It’s fair for them to show it on TV, because he’s been the servant of Israel and America,” he said. “They should execute him.”

In Yemen, the Middle East’s poorest and most unstable country, where a movement to oust the autocratic president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, has been underway for months, protesters camped at an antigovernment demonstration in Sana, the capital, gathered around large screens showing Al Jazeera’s coverage of the trial. Many said they wanted to see Mr. Saleh and his family put on trial as well.

“Yemenis will learn a lot of lessons from the trial of Mubarak,” said Nabil al Hubaishi, who runs a small shop on Sana’s southern outskirts. “They will learn that everyone should be held accountable, even the president.”

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