It was an odd and unfamiliar feeling as the world’s most powerful man sat transfixed by helplessness.
With his chair tipped precariously at the head of a long table inside a tiny makeshift war room high in a Dubai skyscraper, he stared unmoved as the world erupted before his cold, calculating eyes. Two massive banks of flat-screen TV’s blared simultaneous live news coverage from a dozen different global networks. All had subtitles. None were muted.
The chaotic jumble of excited reporters and shocked newscasters rose in a roar of sound that was almost deafening but the superpower sat in stone-faced silence. Hope and desperation could be manufactured, utter helplessness was something new altogether.
The BBC news channel switched to a shaky live cut of a shouting young American woman and the French-born media mogul at the head of the table snatched up the master remote and muted all but the captivating image of the young woman. Her high-pitched yet surprisingly strong voice sliced through the suddenly reduced volume in the steamy room.
“Martin Luther King had a dream!” she screeched through a hiss of feedback from the reporter’s mic. “Martin Luther King had a dream! But I have a scream! I have a scream! This is my scream for justice!”
The crowd picked up chanting the phrase. People of all ages were rallying behind her in droves and she didn’t seem to know or care that it was happening.
The shaking camera panned back and zoomed toward her. She had a pretty face, delicate features engulfed by a mass of windblown auburn hair. She was wearing a flowing white summer dress with a pair of low red heels, and gorgeous by all counts.
And those eyes.
Her gray-violet eyes burned with a dangerous mixture of passion, rage and patriotism as she carried on in an unrelenting fury. And it was a candid shot of her sheer intensity and those enrapturing eyes that became the image of the century and the face of a pauper’s revolution.
When asked by the rumpled reporter what her name was, her reply was firm and steady and resonated across the world’s airwaves.
“Rosie,” she said. “Rosie the Revolutionary.”