Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Walk of Honor

I went with my cousin and his two kids to Al Ka2ed Ibrahim mosque for the Friday prayers, then we joined the protest which moved from there, along the Port Said street towards the headquarters of the military northern command in Sidi Gaber to protest against the fact that more than five months since Mubarak's fall, not one high ranking official has been punished for Killing and injuring thousands of Egyptians since the eruption of the revolution on January 25th.

George Ishak lead the first chants, then the youth, mainly from 6th April movement took over for the rest of the way. We were around two thousand protestors, a low number compared to the numbers of previous Fridays. Seems that the extreme heat and humidity, and the boycott by the Islamists (not sure what this title actually means when most women and girls in the protest were vailed) were the mean reason for the low turnout.

The couple of times, I questioned the wisdom of my decision to join the protest on such a hot day, it was enough to look around to see my fellow Egyptians, old and young, healthy and frail, women and men, strong and handicapped struggling with their with crutches, it was enough to look at them all to forget about anything except our one and only beloved Egypt. Moreover, cold water was never in shortage. People in the balconies and windows of building along Port Said street are used to similar demos and were well prepared. Also, whenever protestors went into stores to buy bottles of cold water, they always bought extra ones and gave them out to whoever needed a refreshing sip.

A couple walked with the picture of their martyr son hanging from string around their necks. Mohamed Ramadan was 14 years old! No words could express how I felt towards them. As a mother, I can't even begin to imagine what they are going through, and not only for losing a son but also for knowing that his killer is free. All I could offer was a pat on the shoulder and a promise that their son's life will not be lost in vain. Two young girls were holding a banner of the martyred brother Ahmed Adel Ahmed. Again a pat and a promise were all I could offer for now.

When the protest stopped at the location where Khaled Said was killed, the car that carried the loud speakers played the beautiful song "ya Bladi ya Bladi, Ana ba7ebak ya Bladi", the tears that chocked my throat finally uncontrollably spilled from my eyes. I never knew I loved Egypt -actually, I prefer to call my beloved country MASR - and all it's children that much.

Credits: Second picture is by my cousin Mohamed Hanno.