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We Are the New Egypt

By Warren Turner

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February 11, 2011: WE ARE THE NEW EGYPT

Noon, Friday, February 11, 2011

Warren Turner 

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As I watched TV in America today, and witnessed the culmination of many days of an unfolding demonstration of unity of a people and a nation to remove a dictator and a repressive government as leaders of their country, tears streamed down my face when the announcement was made that Hosni Mubarak would step down and relinquish the power he has wielded over the people of Egypt for the past 30 years.

By what criteria does an American—or a citizen of any other nation--celebrate the bravery of a people and a nation thousands of miles away, in a land that they have never seen, nor the soil of which their feet have ever touched?  By what criteria do worldwide citizens of all nations experience emotions very similar to the emotions of the people who stand in the streets of Cairo and Alexandria and all other cities and villages in Egypt where Egyptians now stand, disregarding their own safety and their very lives, without knowing the outcome of what their actions will bring?

Freedom!  Freedom!   Freedom!  Say the word and feel the emotion!

Without removing a sword from its scabbard or firing a shot from a gun, the Egyptian people have thrown off the shackles of a repressive regime and are now reborn as new world citizens who seek and will achieve freedom for themselves and their country. 

The hopes and prayers of all world citizens go out to the brave Egyptian people who have begun and will continue their quest for freedom, sought even at the very real cost that many could lose their lives in the process.

Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!  Say the word and feel the emotion!

Relative to Americans, the people in the streets of Egypt are no different than America’s founding fathers who risked their lives to declare their freedom from an oppressive government: farmers, doctors, students, bakers, and soldiers--ordinary citizens from all walks of life who seek their ultimate dream to live free from oppression, the goal to which all world citizens most surely aspire for themselves and their countrymen.

Freedom!  Say the word aloud and experience the emotion.

And with the Egyptian quest for freedom comes a new understanding of the cyber-age in which we now live.  Because of a previous lack of communication, or by antiquated communication at best, movements toward freedom and equality and democracy that once took decades and (sometimes) centuries to achieve, now are facilitated by worldwide communication that exists at cyber-speed. 

For other people and other nations seeking equality, democracy, and freedom from oppression, this can only be a prelude of things to come.  As of February 11, 2011, and because of the bravery of the Egyptian people, we now have a glimpse into the future. 

To those governments who collude with the (already) wealthiest members within their own societies to bring them greater wealth, do you now foresee your own future?

Freedom!  To those so oppressed, say the word aloud and experience the emotion.




Egyptian Cleric:

I am humbled as I take to the streets in support of my Egyptian countrymen.  Never have I witnessed such desire of the human spirit as my countrymen risk their lives in the face of military might and the iron fist of a repressive regime. 

I could not be prouder of my people and I freely take to the streets with them to show my support for them and their worthy cause.  For all those who have defamed the Muslim faith---here is your proof of the peaceful soul of a true Muslim.  Do you see it in the streets?  Do you see it on television, do you hear it on the radio, do you read it in the newspapers and do you see it on the internet?  For those who dare paint true Muslims as violent, how did you come by your own freedoms?  Did you achieve it in the peaceful manner you now witness in the streets of Egypt, where in many days of peaceful demonstration in opposition to a repressive regime, not one firearm has been brandished?

Peace and freedom for all of Egypt.

I am an Egyptian.

Egyptian grocer, Egyptian baker:

We are Egyptians who provide food to our fellow countrymen, and for years we have seen a majority of them live in poverty, deprived of food to feed to their children; and in many cases we have given them our leftover food so they might sustain themselves and their families.  We cannot watch our countrymen starve while the richest members of a repressive regime share wealth beyond belief. We shall help feed our brothers and sisters so we can prepare for the day when we will all have the strength to join together and seek our freedom.  That day shall come.

We are Egyptians.


Egyptian Student, Egyptian youth:

Our own studies of freedom and of the human spirit lead us to question the manner in which Egyptians are governed, and we are saddened for our fathers and mothers who have lived under oppression for all their lives.  We choose not to live this way, and we choose not for our children to live as a repressed Egyptian people.

Through higher education and a free exchange of democratic ideas provided to us through a modern and highly visible world order, we also choose to live free at any cost—even at the cost of our lives.  And with this choice made by all Egyptians, we, the youth and the future of Egypt, will not allow our country and our people to ever again be governed by any force other than the will of the Egyptian people.

We are Egyptians.


Egyptian Soldier:

I am an Egyptian soldier.  Until today, February 11, 2011, I have been paid well to guard the President of Egypt and the regime he has put into place and into power, and I, until today, remain as a last bastion of defense for President Mubarak and his regime.   But today, and in the days leading up to today, I saw my brothers and sisters and all my Egyptian countrymen display the most peaceful and patriotic  quest for freedom I have ever witnessed in my life.  At the cost of their own lives, and in the face of guns and tanks and military might that could kill them all, they have stood in Freedom Square united by one motivation, and my heart and mind and soul and psyche are deeply moved, and I am touched by emotion to my core in their brave and dignified quest for freedom.

I, too, am an Egyptian, and the blood of Egypt flows through my veins. Will I spill the blood of my countrymen to preserve the regime of a dictator and a despot?  I cannot: I choose to discard the garb of a warrior before I dare to kill my brothers and sisters.  Allah be with all Egyptians as we choose to throw off our shackles and enter a new world order as a free society. 

I am an Egyptian.

We are the new Egypt.