Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Marching In Egypt: A Firsthand Account


Click here to listen to Youth Journalism International Senior Reporter Jessica Elsayed describe her participation in today's protest march in Alexandria, Egypt. The text is printed below.
We'll have more audio and written reports from Elsayed soon.

By Jessica Elsayed
Senior Reporter
Youth Journalism International
ALEXANDRIA, Egypt – I have just come back from the million man march. I am overflowing with emotion.
I cannot find the right words to describe how proud I am today, how proud I am to be an Egyptian and how proud I am to be an Alexandrian and how proud I am to be Muslim.
I am proud to be part of a movement that could only be called historic. My mother and I ranted as we marched along with doctors and engineers and writers from all walks of life.
We felt freedom, and we felt bravery. Walking next to a million of my brothers and sisters, we were, and still are, invincible.
I feel that no matter what happens today, Egypt is victorious. We have a newfound sense of pride and dignity. We are all one hand, all working together towards a greater good.
People congratulated us just for being in the million man march. We cheered for every man from the military and put food on their tanks.
Together, our voices shook the ground beneath us as we cheered for the vigilant heroes courageously guarding our streets.
I saw my city in new a light today. It was a once-in-a-lifetime, priceless feeling. I’ve never before felt this way, and will fail to ever feel this again.
Today, I officially fell in love with my country and nothing else could possibly compare.
Love, peace, freedom and liberty. Those are the words that embody the Egyptian men and women that we marched together with today.
We marched long, and there are still millions that are camped all over Egypt on the streets that they rightfully own, sharing water, rants and poetry.
The pain in my legs, and the pain in my mother’s legs, are the greatest pain we’ve ever felt.
Today, I’ve inhaled a new air and we feel that victory is near.

1 comment:

Phil Osborn said...

Happening in the OC:

Friday, Feb 4 · 3:00pm - 6:30pm

Little Arabia , Brookhurst and Orange in Anahiem, 512 S. Brookhurst St. Anaheim, CA 92804

Created By Naui Tetl, Basma Radwan

More Info Bring your flags, signs and chant freedom for Egypt, dictator Hosni Mubarack must go!
bring friends and family .

INVITE YOUR FRIENDS AND PASS THE WORD !!!!
Peaceful demostration.

Here's what I wrote in response:

While there's certainly nothing wrong with this rally, I think that what we really need is information, contacts on the ground, and discussion over what the meaning of these events is and how it will impact our lives, as well as our fellow humans in Egypt and Yemen.

The major problems revolve around the lack of experience in governing on the part of most of the protestors. Their heart is in the right place, their commitment is strong, they know what they want to get free of, but they - apart from a few minority organized groups like the Muslim Brotherhood - have a stew of diverse and contradictory notions as to what comes next.

This can be a formula for disaster, as people cannot live normal lives when everything is up in the air as to their future. This kind of chaos often leads
to the group that is best organized and/or most ruthless jockeying its way into power, as happened in Iran.

Ironically, it is the U.S.-trained Egyptian Army that is playing the role of moderator and peace-keeper, and, so far, doing a credible job. At least I don't
now worry for a repeat of the 1968 Mexico City massacre. The Egyptian Army appears steadfast in its commitment to not make things worse.

While any attempt to dictate the terms of the Egyptian or Yemenize revolution from the U.S. or any foreign source is going to be rejected, for certain, those
people in the West and elsewhere who do have good ideas might consider helping the Egyptian students, in particular, to find resources, legal, political,
spiritual, financial, etc., as they are, I think, pretty overwhelmed with the demands of the moment on the Cairo street.

Perhaps those of us who want to do something could establish an online clearing house - or broadcast the addresses of those that we can locate that already
exist - for useful ideas, contacts and general resources that could be turned to good use in Egypt. If anyone is interested in doing an ad hoc meetup to discuss what may be the beginning of a real world revolution, I'm open to suggestions.