One of the hopes mentioned in the Hope Unites Globally HUG Award Guidelines is the hope for freedom for all citizens of the world.
U.S. National Freedom Day
The U.S. celebrates its National Freedom Day while other places in the world such as Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Syria are still struggling for their freedom from oppression.
The official U.S. National Freedom Day began subsequent to June 30, 1948, after U.S. President Harry Truman signed a bill, which proclaimed February 1st as U.S. National Freedom Day.
February 1, 1865, was the date U.S. President Abraham Lincoln signed a joint resolution that proposed the 13th amendment to the United States Constitution. On December 18, 1865, the 13th amendment that outlawed slavery was ratified.
A former slave, Major Richard Robert Wright Senior, founded the National Freedom Day Association. Major Wright was a Philadelphia community leader who was active in politics, business, education, and media.
Because he wanted to see a day dedicated to celebrating freedom for all Americans, Major Wright Senior played a large part in creating the future observance of the U.S. National Freedom Day.
Although the U.S. National Freedom Day was not yet a law, the first commemoration of it began on February 1, 1942. This is also when a tradition began for laying a wreath at the Liberty Bell.
Tunisia Continues Its Fight for Freedom
After twenty-three years of dictatorship, Tunisia was the first Arab country to overthrow its dictator. Tunisia overthrew Zine al-Abidene Ben Ali; and, in October 2011, Tunisians voted freely for the first time.
Tunisia is now in the process of freeing itself from many years of oppression and injustice.
A newly gained freedom of expression allows young people to take part in the country’s evolution. At the present time, Tunisian students are on hunger strike over their right to wear niqab in classes.
Egypt Awaits New Constitution
A year ago Egypt’s dictatorship fell; and since then, there has been an Egyptian struggle for power between revolutionaries, Islamists, and the army. Egypt is currently awaiting the drafting of a new Constitution that its new parliament must start.
The new Egyptian Constitution will decide: 1. whether Egypt will be governed by a presidential or prime ministerial system; 2. whether Egypt will be governed by secular or Islāmic law; 3) the framework for civil-military relations.
New Libyan Regime Continues Abuse, Torture, and Execution
The Libyan Gaddafi regime, which relied heavily upon torture, was overthrown after Gaddafi had been in power for forty-two years. On October 20, 2011, when Muammar Gaddafi was killed, Libyans proclaimed that day as their independence day.
The new Libyan regime, however, continues to brutalize many Libyans and others. Statistics from the United Nations show that 8,000 prisoners held in 60 detention centers across Libya are suffering widespread abuse, torture, and sometimes execution.
Doctors Without Borders left Libya due to claims that authorities were torturing detainees. Doctors Without Borders and other charities are calling for a human rights revolution in Libya.
Amnesty International and other human rights and humanitarian groups are calling for the ceasing of Libyan abuse.
Syrian Youth Use Social Media In Their Fight for Freedom
Syrian youth are using social media such as Facebook in their fight for freedom. They have been instrumental in spearheading a mass uprising in Syria, and many Syrians are now living against the back-drop of a civil war.
Unrest continues in many parts of the world as people continue to demonstrate, struggle, and fight for their freedom. Let us all hope that freedom will ring throughout the world!
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