Wednesday May 22, 2013
Message from an EgyptianSalem-News.com
"You all saw what happened in Tunisia. The people stayed in the streets and did not leave until the Tunisian dictator and his full regime fled the country. And I am telling you that will also happen in Egypt..."
(CAIRO) - "Dear fellow human,
I write this email about the *real* situation on the ground in my country, Egypt. As you may know, there have been protests across all the cities in Egypt asking for the resignation and dismissal of the 30-year-old Mubarak regime. By the time you read this email, things may have changed dramatically, but I feel an obligation of clarifying what is going on in the ground.
The Egyptian people took to the street asking for certain rights. They are asking for rights that you may take for granted. They are asking for freedom of speech. They are asking for free and fair elections. They are asking for an end to a three-decade long emergency (marshall) rule. They are asking for the end of police brutality (police has been using methods such as sodomy, raping family members, beatings, etc for extracting confessions).
They are asking for a government and parliament that is selected by the people, for the people. They are asking for the end of an autocratic rule that has led to 40% of the population living on the equivalent of $1 a day. Pretty basic rights, eh?
You may be wary of what happens next. You will hear the media in the US, as well as the Egyptian media blaming the Muslim Brotherhood. You will hear commentators warning of extremists taking control of the country if the Mubarak regime collapses. To answer all these cynics, let me tell you who were the people who took to the streets. The people who took the streets were people just like me looking for a better opportunity. They were teenagers and young adults looking for a better future. In fact most of the people were not "poor" or hungry. They were men and women. They were people who were religious, and people who were not. They were bearded and veiled, and they were clean-shaven and wearing the latest fashions from Paris and New York. They were Muslims and Christians. They were…Egyptians, and their message was one. "Down down with Hosni Mubarak".
There were no religious slogans, there was no political representation. Which is exactly why the protests prevailed. There was no single "head" of protestors or organization that the current regime could silence. They were the Facebook and twitter generation. That's why the regime cut off the whole Internet and cell phone communication when the protests went into its second day.
What you see now is chaos. A trusted friend of mine who was in the regular police force was ordered yesterday to "take your weapon and go home". What you see are thugs, criminals and convicts who have been armed by the regime to loot the streets and create havoc, so that protestors would have to go home to protect their business and families.
My family, most of which live away from downtown heard gunshots on the street and saw all the businesses being looted and broken down. Teens and young adults are standing at the entrance of their buildings with sticks and knifes to protect their families. The protestors in downtown have reorganized to protect important buildings, and regular people have acted as human shields to protect the Egyptian museum from being looted.
Why am I sending this? Because the reaction of the US government has failed the people. The White House has backed the current regime. When Vice President Biden was asked if Mubarak was a "dictator", he sidestepped the question and said that "He is an important ally in the region".
Yet Vice President Biden failed to recognize the rights of the 80 million people. He did not stand with the people who are asking for democracy. Isn't this the role of the US? To spread democracy? Such responses, while most people on the ground in Egypt have not heard them yet, will create nothing but hatred towards the US. All people look at the US with awe and envy at the freedoms you have. Yes, many will chant anti-US sentiment for the US support for Israel, but other than that, they yearn for a Visa to the land of opportunity.
You all saw what happened in Tunisia. The people stayed in the streets and did not leave until the Tunisian dictator and his full regime fled the country. And I am telling you that will also happen in Egypt. Therefore I ask you to support the Egyptian people in their struggle for freedom. Their message is united. We do not want Hosni Mubarak or ANYONE from his regime, not in the government, not a vice president, NO ONE. Please help Egyptians see that the US is a true ally and big brother by supporting the people and not the corrupt regime. Egyptians are simple people, and they take favors seriously. If they know the US has helped them gain their freedom, they will be a *real* ally for the US.
You have a choice. You can call your Senator, representative or the White House and ask them to stand by the people of Egypt. Or you can stay silent and listen to all the cynics in the media outlets here (I would recommend Al Jazeera English or BBC for an accurate reporting of the situation). And remember, the fact that you have a choice and that your voice can be heard is because you have that right, a right the Egyptians are looking for.
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