Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Peace Doesn't Make the News-UPDATED

Asalamu Alaykom,



This was the scene on Sunday night after the election results were read.  I thought about my blog posting below, in which I written earlier.  I had worried about violence in the streets.

There was apparently no problem.  Everyone was happy!

I wondered how I had become an alarmist in Egypt.  No one likes the boy who cries wolf.  Had I become the blogger who cries chaos?

I thought about my co-workers pulling money out of the ATM.  I thought about offices, banks and stores closing early.  We were all bracing for the worst. 

"If Shafik had been elected, it would have been blood in the streets," said a co-worker the next day.

So, she had felt the threat of violence.

What stopped it?

God. 

God's plan didn't include this.  Alhumdulillah.  It's not that it wasn't there.  It was but The Most Merciful spared us.  Alhumdulillah.

On the other hand, today I've read once again about violence against a woman in Tahrir.   I will warn you that it is extremely upsetting to read.  If your sense of safety and well-being gets triggered by hearing about an attack, then don't read it.  It is so unbelievable that others are questioning whether or not it's true.  Astragferallah.  I will believe every single woman who says they were attacked. 

I believe Natasha Smith.  Here is the video of Natasha on CNN discussing the attack.

It's frighteningly reminescent of Lara Logan's account on 60 Minutes.

I've said it before and I'll repeat it that I am a sexual abuse survivor.  I say that because I know one of you reading right now is too.  I don't know your name but I know you're out there.  You're not alone.  If you've never told anyone, then find someone to tell.  If you have told someone and they didn't believe you, then tell someone else and keep telling until you find someone to say, "I believe you."

So, was it really peaceful in Tahrir?  No, not if Natasha got attacked.  We can't say it was a peaceful celebration.  Let's admit that in Egypt, as everywhere, we need Allah's protection.

What did Natasha do as she was in the midst of evil?

She called out for Allah.

Allah.

Allah protected her.  Alhumdulillah.  The Most Merciful spared her.  Alhumullillah.

May Allah bring peace to all the people of Egypt; including the women.






Now here is what I wrote on Sunday, June 24 right before the election results were read:






Asalamu Alaykom,




In half-an-hour the presidental election results will be announced in Egypt.  Workers all across the city have been sent home early.   No one knows who will be announced as the winner but we all know that Egypt will be the loser. 

There will be unrest in Egypt.

There will!

I don't know from whom exactly but I know that there are opportunists waiting to pounce on the tenuous situation.  They have been waiting for the right time and it's today.  The army presence is huge today.  I see it mobilizing on the streets (and may God protect all those young men who must serve this country).  Yet, whoever really wants violence is not thwarted easily.

So, I'm going to leave you with this truism:  Peace doesn't make the news.  Who said that?  ME!  I said that and it's absolutely right.  Just as I wrote earlier this week that 80 million Egyptians are not in Tahrir, not every person will be violent today.  However, that's what will be broadcast across the world if some photojournalist is lucky enough to capture the wrong action at the right time.  Most of the people will be at home praying for the safety of this great country.

It is a great country.  I haven't wanted to say it too much for fear of jingoism settling into my bones but I love this country.  I love the people of Egypt.  I do.  I don't want it to suffer these birth pangs of democracy but I can only hold its hand and tell it to push.

When you around the world see the images of screaming men throwing things, fights in the street, hangings in effigy, and so on, please remember that my family isn't doing that.  No one we know is doing that.  Most residents aren't.  It's a minority who protest violently.  They actually don't represent Egypt.

Pray for them.  Pray for us.  Pray for Egypt.  Pray for peace.

Ya Rab!

Now take a deep breath and listen to this

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