Letter to State Department

 My Dear Mr. Welch:

I write to you not merely as an Egyptian, whose fellow brothers and sisters are being tormented by the government, but as an American, whose tax dollars have been going to support the very torment that tears at my heart.

You see, I was born in the States to Egyptian parents, which was a great honor, to be sure. I grew up with many privileges that my family back home never got to have. I am now pursuing a path that will allow me to give back to this community and culture that has fostered my love of freedom, democracy, and helping those in need.

You can imagine, of course, that the first people to catch my eye (in regards to "helping those in need") would be my brothers and sisters in Egypt.

For example, I'm sure you've heard about Alaa, the Egyptian blogger who was arrested for peacefully protesting in support of judges and freedom of speech, and who supported the put-upon Christians not two weeks before. (He is a Muslim, by the way.)

You may have heard of another young man, Abdelkareem Nabil Soliman, who was not only arrested and detained for 18 days after his anti-Islamic essay came out in late 2005, but who was recently expelled from Al Azhar Law School for supporting freedom of speech.

I don't know what to do from here, and I don't know how I can help, except for writing to you. I beg you to put pressure on the government to not only release Alaa and the other activists, but to put a mechanism in place that would prevent this sort of thing from happening again.

We are generous enough to have sent over a BILLION dollars a year, and all it's going to is tormenting the very people it should be helping!

And when people in Cairo and Alexandria have to go to sleep hungry sometimes–as many of my friends do–it further convinces me how much they need help. Help they're not getting.

Accountability, Mr. Welch, it's all I'm asking for.

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