Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Egypt's Descent into Chaos

I have been trying to write about Egypt, but couldn't. The pain, the confusion, the conflicted feelings deepen when I write--and that sometimes makes it impossible to do so. 
But I decided today that the only way out is through. I decided that I will face my demons and say it like it is. 
Rabaa Massacre: PhotoCredit: Wael Abbas FB
The sign is a "Happy Eid" sign
that literally translates to "May you be well every year"
Irony at its finest

Nothing is harder now in Egypt than being human, maintaining sanity and saying the truth: that no one knows the truth! 

No one knows precisely what happened in Rabaa' Square on August 14 2013--except perhaps the bloody generals that ordered the massacre. 
Freedom Mask-
Courtsey of General Sissi
by @Ganzeer

What is undeniable is the outcome of the massacre: more than 600 people killed. Granted, the sit-in had Jihadists and armed thugs in it. But the majority were just regular people who believe that Morsi should not have been overthrown by the Egyptian military. I guess now is that time for a disclaimer: I am not writing an exposé about the events that went down since June 30. This is merely my opinion, as a human being seeking enlightenment and longing for peace. 

In the past few days, I've watched Egypt descend into chaos. Pro-military Junta asking their leader El Sissi to "finish off the Muslim Brotherhood and their sympathisers". While the Islamists declare Jihad and their readiness for martyrdom. What is utterly ridiculous is that both sides use verses from the Quran supporting their arguments. Both parties attack those who do not side with them and both parties want to see us dead--or at the very least locked up. 

Longing for peace in Egypt now is a heinous crime. Any one who dares speak against bloodshed is called a "traitor", sometimes even by their own family!  Any one asking for Rule of Law in Egypt is being called an "Idealist" and a dreamer. Even by Beatles-loving elite who sing to the tunes of the peace-loving John Lennon's "Imagine"!

Any one who dares oppose police and army officers shooting people on the streets are shunned from public life. Any one who dares blame the police and the military for not protecting churches and enforcing laws is mocked, ridiculed, ostracised  and will be soon arrested and tortured--mark my words. 

No one wants to face the truth. 

The circle of violence can only in bloodshed end. 

You think you are big and bad because you condone the killing of civilians on the streets,and you call me a "wuss" for wanting to put an end to the rivers of blood. 

But the truth is you will regret your blood thirst. When the chaos sweeps someone you know, respect or love, you will regret it. When Egypt becomes a blood bath and no one feels safe, you will regret it. When civil war eats away at the country, you will wish you would've listened to us--the dreamers. The voice of reason. 

P.S. لو عايز تقرا حاجه بالعربى لإنسان عاقل و محترم أنصحك تروح مدونة أحمد زكى

Thursday, January 3, 2013

How To Change the World

Happy new year dear readers. And yes I am back, but this time with a slightly different oulook on things. Politics has drained me.

In fact, talks of politics and religion have drained a whole country. All Egyptians suffer now. I walk down the street and I can sense the change--that twinkle, that glimmer of hope that we witnessed all across Egypt after the Uprising of 2011 is now, officially, extinct. 

Religious extremism, poverty, and corruption existed back in 2011, as they do now. But what had changed since the early days of the revolution was people's heartfelt belief that a change is possible. The hope in people's hearts gave them resilience and it empowered them. Everyone believed that what they do matters, and that they have the power to change their world. 

The fanatics are like the angry mob in the illustration, yelling "$KULL&BONES!#$&@." 
Don't fear them. 
They are puppets. Their insecurities pull their strings. 
Don't shout back at them. You can't win at the game of ugliness. Instead, show them love. Show them happiness. Show them fullfillment. Show them gratitude. Show them all the things they miss out on by being who they are. And slowly, one by one, you will convert them. 

Stand in the Face of Fanatics and Change the World One Heart at a Time

You may be skeptical but have faith, I have witnessed such "conversions" myself. Inside every human being is the need for connection, and the yearning for transcendence. They may not show it--or know it for that matter--but it is there. 
Just lead and show them the way. This is how to change the world, by touching one heart at a time. 
P.S Thank you  Robin Möller  my colleague in the RMT institute for sharing this inspiring comic strip. 

P.S. I tracked down the artist behind this brilliant comic strip, it's Nathaneal Lark. You could catch more of his artwork at NLarkArt