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Egypt – a Revolution in Hope – Not Violence

i Feb 11th No Comments by

Insha allah! God willing! In the name of God the merciful and compassionate. Let this revolution of hope be a beacon for the world.

Have you ever seen such rejoicing as the scenes today in Egypt? I haven’t, especially among so many, so uncountably many?

As someone who worked in Egypt and loved the people and was sorrowfully evacuated at the end of the Six-Day War in 1967 these days have been very gripping to me.

I’ve been checking on my computer for news as soon as I get up in the morning and again sneaking a peak during the day and again in the evening. It is been an emotional roller coaster. I discovered Al Jazeera for the first time, that’s Al Jazeera English, since my Arabic is very little and not the written kind. What excellent and balanced coverage, not at all like the media here tends to make it seem like. I also have been accessing DemocracyNow.org most mornings at eight and sometimes during the day to see their take on what is happening in Egypt.

These beautiful and openhearted people who managed to keep violence out of their protest and show something to the world that was really never seen before in terms of such a mass of people so peaceful and yet so determined to end injustice and create democracy.

Don’t let anyone tell you this is an Islamic plot. It is a cry of a suppressed people for freedom, ready to risk a lot because of an oppression that began before most of them were born.

The spirit in the streets is the one that I knew in Egypt where a woman at that time was safe to travel alone at night. I have beautiful stories from Egypt. One time I was riding the train from Ramses Station in downtown Cairo to the suburb of Mataria where I lived when not in upper Egypt where I ordinarily worked. A loud whistle indicating sundown and the ending of the Ramadan fast sounded. Lunches and treats in celebration from the fasting people appeared seemingly from nowhere and everyone wanted to share with each other, and with non-fasting me, clearly a foreign woman.

Another poignant memory was during the first week I was in Akhmim the 4000-year-old city I would come to love. Gail, who had already been in Egypt for years and spoke perfect Arabic, was taking me around to visit some families of the girls we had been working with. The streets are narrow with the walls of houses on either side. We came to a small passage and started inside when a young girl, maybe seven, pushed by us with happy flashing eyes to run out into the street. She came rushing back shortly carrying a little piece of paper with something wrapped in it. We’ve moved through the our winding alley and came to a woman dressed in black holding a little tray with two small glasses of tea on it. It was strong, sweet, typical Egyptian tea. I learned that probably that little girl had been sent by her mother when she heard that we were visiting, to buy that little bit of tea or sugar for us for a few pennies.

I was with a generous people who were poor, but willing to share what little they had. I learned much from them.

I rejoice with them today. Let’s say with them the prayer that is the custom to say when beginning so many things from meals to meetings.

” In the name of God, the compassionate and merciful.” May this revolution, accomplished without violence by such an overwhelming number of people bring about a new way to to see what true democracy looks like.

Insha allah! God willing! Let this revolution of hope be a beacon for the world.

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