Hello, my dear Egyptian blogging brother.
I just read your blog from prison, and how it hadn’t really sunk in that you were there.
I read some comments from people cheering you on, and others who thought that thirty days were nothing, and still others who asked you to say “hi” to Ayman Nour.
I’ve browsed through blog postings of people who have known about your news from the moment it happened, and others who didn’t know until they talked to me.
“Sara, can it be true? Alaa is the most famous Egyptian blogger in the world! They COULDN’T have snatched him and his crew off the street, could they??”
But they could. And they did.
While I wasn’t surprised to hear of your arrest/kidnapping, Alaa, I was sad to hear it, very sad.
Not because you’re a talented computer guy who is generous with your talents, not because you are what everyone thinks of when they think of great Egyptian blogs (which they could not have read without the Bit Bucket).
Of course those things are true, but there’s a different reason for my sadness.
See, when Christian Egyptians are/were discriminated against in, say, the issues of occupation or church-building, I could understand it. That’s just the way things are… “the tyranny of the majority” and all that.
Not to say that the majority—Muslims—were the bad guys, only that since there were more Muslims in Egypt, there was a (much) bigger chance that the officials of Egypt would also be Muslim, and that the law and culture of the land would lean towards the Islamic rather than the Christian. (Or Jewish, for that matter.)
But now it seems that the government’s ravening and bloodthirsty appetite is no longer content to feed on Christians. It seems that “modern
Egypt” has moved on to her own Muslim children, as well.
The ones that aren’t content with a status quo that winks at the almost-legalized persecution of Christians, the ones who speak out against a government so rife with corruption that it would be very kind (and conservative) of me to wager that more than 80% of its officials are bribed in some fashion.
Why? Because these children, in their quest for freedom, are going against the very things that the government now is and that it’s come to stand for. That is, tyranny, lack of transparency, and “every man for himself, unless you’re one of the privileged few.”
I know what you’re thinking, Alaa. You’re thinking “Well, Sara, since you’re so gung-ho about making a more livable Egypt, why don’t you come to Cairo and hang out with me and the other detainees in prison?”
And I want to tell you something, Alaa. If it would bring about liberty and freedom of speech for all Egyptians, I’d be there in a second, protesting something and sitting in jail with you, or even coming down for a visit.
Economic factors prevent me from doing so, however.
So for now, I must content myself with trying to get you out of there… from outside of Cairo.
But letter-writing won’t help a thing if I’m the only one doing it!
And so, my friends (since you’re reading over Alaa’s shoulder, of course), I want to URGE you in the strongest language possible to GET OFF YOUR DUFFS and WRITE.
Your brother and dozens of other friends are in trouble and, we’re in a position to help.
If 10,000 Egyptians march on Cairo, can they really arrest all of us?
And if they really did arrest all of us, do you think we’d be in there for a long time? (I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m actually slavering at the chance to kick some “shorty” butt. Then again, that would sort of nullify the whole “turning the other cheek” thing, wouldn’t it..? Sigh.)
The eyes of the world are watching Egypt now, and I have a feeling that, as more and more young free-thinkers are growing up and taking control of governmental and economic positions in Egypt, the time of Tyranny is coming to an end.
Will the end be swift? It might be.
Will people suffer? Probably.
But, at the end of the day, FREEDOM will prevail, inshallah. Inshallah!