In the Name of God, the Kind, the Beautiful
I was on the phone with my wife, helping her set up her new cell phone (our VERIZON iPhones!), when she screamed out in sheer joy: “He stepped down!” Immediately, I knew exactly what she was talking about, and I could hardly believe it: President Hosni Mubarak, the only dictator this American of Egyptian descent has ever known, has stepped down from power in Egypt. I never, ever thought I would live to see such a day. For me, it was a foregone conclusion that his son would take power and continue the Mubarak Dynasty for years to come.
Not any more…the Egyptian people had something to say about that.
Previously, I was never more proud to share the ancestry of the Egyptian people, that brave group of men, women, and children who stood up to their brutal dictator and said, “No more!” Now, my pride, joy, elation, awe, and amazement has me almost in tears. The brutal man who was President Mubarak stepped down from power, ending his 30 year reign of terror and brutality upon the Egyptian people. The people have made their decision, and Mubarak blinked first. Energized by the taste of freedom, the people of Egypt stood up to a brutal criminal who was drunk with power, and they defeated him. They won the test of wills. They took back what has been rightfully theirs.
They stood firm in the face of batons, tear gas canisters, water cannons (sprayed on worshipers in the street), and even police cars that run over innocent pedestrians. They stood firm in the face of the “disappearance” of the police and the release of criminal thugs to wreak havoc and insecurity on the populace. They stood firm when government-paid mercenaries were leashed upon innocent and unarmed protesters, killing at will. As the government, shown to the whole world to be completely illegitimate by its actions, became more brutal and desperate in its attacks, the Egyptian people – my heroes – stood firm. And Mubarak went running, for he could not stem the tide of human dignity shining forth like the sun.
I am so very, very, very proud, and humbled, and grateful to God to say that the very same blood of those heroic Egyptians runs through my veins.
Indeed, the days ahead are very likely to be dark and difficult. There are most probably more questions that have yet to be answered. But, I am not afraid of the looming darkness, for the light of the Egyptian people – reflecting the Lord our God’s Infinite Light – will shine forth, just like Lord shone forth from Paran with the “ten thousands of saints” and the fiery law. The amazing Egyptian people have shown the world the power of human dignity, the power of human tenacity, the power of non-violent struggle to force change. This is the most potent form of jihad that can ever be. So many people must understand this.
As the days, weeks, and months pass, I pray that the Egyptian people will find the freedom and dignity that has eluded them for so long. I pray that their country is blessed with so much prosperity. I pray that the future is bright for the children and grandchildren of Egypt, who truly deserve a better country than their parents and grandparents were forced to live with.
All day on February 11, a brand new holiday for all people of Egyptian ancestry, people kept congratulating me for what happened over there. But I don’t deserve anything. It is the brave people of Egypt that deserve all the praise and congratulations. For me, I am just so ecstatic that I share the very same blood as they. For me, it is a tremendous and amazing honor.