I received an email this morning from an Egyptian friend who is literally fighting for her rights on the streets of Cairo. Her email is pasted below (emphases are mine), followed by an update from a conversation with her later in the evening.
First, I wanted to write you about the day I spent in front of the Coptic Hospital in Abbasiyya. That dreadful Monday morning on October 10th when we woke up to pure evil: a brutal, ruthless massacre. When my friend Ali broke down in tears in front of me as he watched hundreds of Coptic families mourn the loss of their children, friends and relatives at the hands of our military while I stayed still and empty.
Then, I wanted to write you about a wonderful trip I took two weeks later to Aswan. A trip that confirmed what we all already knew that tribes in Egypt are marginalized, and that the Nubians are the noblest people on earth.
Then I thought of writing about the up-coming elections and my involvement with a group called “Guard Your Voice” which aims at securing the rights of voters and at creating a viable and like minded block within parliament which would oppose un-democratic legislation suggested by other non-democratic forces.
But now, I find myself writing about Tahrir. People have been fighting for over 3 days now. The tear gas is unbearable. Their resilience is admirable. The spirit is beautiful. We buy gas masks from Gumhuriyya street, a special gas mask because the gas they are using this time is 10 times worse than the one they used in January. We buy medical supplies because 5 field hospitals have been set up by the protesters themselves and are constantly in need of medicine, needles, syringes
etc. We arrange meeting points for people to donate their blankets, food and other supplies and transport them to Tahrir. We create rescue teams and buy phosphoric vests so that they may be visible to the wounded. Some of us are in the front lines, others like myself are in the back. We chant “Yasqut Hukm al A’skar” (Down with Military Rule) with all our mind and with all our heart because we cannot stand what the military has done to us. And sometimes we defy those who for the last 60 years have told us that the military is sacred by chanting my favorite slogan: “Aiwa Binihtif Ded el ‘Askar” ( YES! We’re chanting against the MILITARY)
We actually have no idea what the hell we are doing there. We just want those who are in the front lines, those who lost their eyes, those whose lungs have been poisoned to be safe. It’s about making sure you have enough people so that they don’t dare to wipe you out. It’s a question of numbers. But regardless, it’s a miracle.
Last night, as my friend gave me a peanut butter sandwich, out of all things, I thought about how surreal this moment was. I don’t know what this means but we are in a much better position than we were two weeks ago. We are very close to declaring the beginning of the end of a 60 year old military dictatorship, at least this is what we hope.
I am about to head back to the square but I just thought of sharing these thoughts with you.
I hope you are all good and in high spirits like me.
And later, when I asked her permission to post her words here, she told me that things were happening fast and the situation had become catastrophic. The military began diffusing toxic gasses from the metro ventilation below the square on the protestors. Some people are saying it’s pepper gas, others that it’s mustard gas, of the WWI variety. And it’s working to scare away the
protestors; there’s no buy cialis online telling how many will return tomorrow.
She hopes people will continue the fight. I told her to stay safe and that I was inspired by her courage. She said: “Not really. There are people who are much much braver- the people who are still there. I ran out when I started smelling the gas, but some people continue.”
I salute and stand with my brave friend and all of the brave Egyptians who are taking to the streets once again to say ENOUGH.