In the Name of God, the Kind, the Beautiful
As I watched the protests and popular uprising in Egypt unfold, I was never more proud as an American of Egyptian descent. I was never more proud to share the ancestry of the people who marched on the streets of Cairo and asked for their freedoms peacefully and, sometimes, even festively. I was never more proud to share the ancestry of the people who formed human chains around the Egyptian Museum to protect the precious artifacts housed inside. I was never more proud to share the ancestry of the people who stood their ground in the midst of a brutal police crackdown, inspiring the entire world with their courage and heroism.
Then came the vicious, brutal Government crackdown: sending in "pro-Mubarak" thugs to attack innocent and unarmed protesters with the utmost of brutality; having police cars
Then came the ugly attack on journalists all over Cairo: Americans, Arabs, Europeans; they were all equally targeted. They were accosted, attacked, detained, beaten, stabbed, and hospitalized. The offices of Al Jazeera were closed. One was threatened with beheading. It was clearly a systematic attack on those brave souls who dared to report what was happening on the ground in Egypt, and it was clear that the Government were trying to keep the rest of the world, watching in horror, in the dark about the truth. It was state-sponsored terrorism, and my heart has been tremendously heavy over what has happened.
Watching the dark side of the Egyptian Government and its tactics, I have never been more disgusted.
What was the crime of those people being run over by a police van? What was the crime of those people who were killed? Over and over again, the protesters wanted this to be a peaceful movement. Over and over again, they kept saying, "Selmeya, Selmeya" or "peaceful, peaceful." When an Army officer was clearly terrified, pointing his gun at unarmed protesters, the people shouted, "The people and the Army are one." This was no "Islamic revolution," as some are claiming. It was a grassroots, popular uprising against a regime that has brutalized its people for well over three decades.
And the response? Brutal violence and state-sponsored terrorism. I have never been more disgusted.
Today has been dubbed "Day of Departure," an anticipation that, on this day, President Mubarak will finally leave office. Indeed, there are intense diplomatic discussions regarding this very topic currently ongoing. An Al Jazeera correspondent reports that Christians and others are forming human chains around Muslims performing Friday prayers in Alexandria. Hundreds of thousands of people are coming together and saying, "No!" to the brutality and depravity of the last several days. I hope and pray that this day will bring back that feeling of awe, admiration, and hope that I had just a few days ago. And I hope and pray that the brutality that so disgusted me never again rears its ugly head, and that those responsible are brought to justice.
I have never been more disgusted at the brutality of the regime, but I also have never been more hopeful for the future of Egypt. May the Precious Beloved Lord our God bless the people of Egypt, grant them the freedom they so rightly deserve, and give all peoples on this earth the gifts of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
In Your Most Holy Name do I ask this, Amen.