Friday, September 13, 2013

Remembering Rabaa

Asalamu Alaykom,

This year, I didn't write a blog post about September 11.  It is incredibly sad that 2,977 people died and we should never forget their lives were taken from them.  May God accept them to Jannah and give their families peace.

One month ago, in Egypt, there was a new and different atrocity that engaged my mind and heart.  I'm still thinking about Rabaa.  This was when the Egyptian security forces removed protesters.

I don't agree with everything from Side A or from Side B.  I'm not taking sides with any people.  I truly want to be with Allah.

There's gray areas "makruh" in life when you're not sure if something is right "halal"  or wrong "haram".  When one person dies, you feel like you might not have all the facts.  There might be a reason you don't know.  You wonder who is right or wrong.  You realize that only Allah can be The Ultimate Judge.

When a handful of people die, you still can wonder if there was a legitimate reason that those particular people were killed.  Could it be that those people were wrongdoers and killing them was justified?  You don't actually want to believe that their deaths were done without provocation.

Tens of people die?

Hundreds of people die?

A thousand?

When is the moment we STOP and say, "There can't be a justifiable cause for so many human lives to be taken at one time."  Is there a magical number when you can't stay indifferent?

Amnesty International says the number of people who died a month ago in the Egyptian clashes is 


Let me break that down for you:

That's one thousand and eighty-nine homes where people sit with wardrobes full of old clothes from someone who will never wear them again---yet, they can't be thrown out because that's all that's left.

That's one thousand and eighty-nine family members at least who remember a little baby being born and blessed.  Maybe it's a mom or a dad, or an aunt or an uncle who remembers.  Maybe it's a brother or sister.  Whoever it is, they remember all those milestones of a naughty little boy,

of learning how to behave in kindergarten,

of becoming a responsible kid,

of growing older and taller,

of starting to achieve and ----where did it end?  How many of those dreams did those one thousand and eighty-nine achieve?

That's one thousand and eighty-nine graves filled with Egyptians killed by Egyptians.

Astragferallah.  Israel doesn't need to kill off any Egyptians in 2013 because Egyptians are doing it to themselves.

It was called a, "clearing," the way other countries before called it a, "cleansing," but it still feels like a dirty business.  We should not continue with our lives as if their deaths had to happen.  Take a moment to remember Rabaa.

1,089 people died in a one-week span in Egypt during August, 2013.  What is your feeling?  Do you still feel or have you become numb?  Let's not lose our humanity.

Never before have I placed a photograph of the dead on this blog.  I haven't because I've always found it very upsetting.  I didn't want to be upset and I didn't want you to be upset.  Yet, I want you to see the life and death of Khaled Ben El-Walied.  Somehow, I feel differently about his picture.  Look at him after he had passed into death.  This man was mashahallah a beautiful man and in death he only became more beautiful.  Subhanallah.

I didn't know him.  I only learned about him when his brother, Ahmed, was contacting photographer Mosa'ab El Shamy on Twitter and I fell upon their interaction.

Thank you very much for your heroic effort , you did photo me & my brother who was killed in in 2 different places !

My brother is in the IMG 3040 , the martyr with red shirt at the left , is there a better shot for him ,please ?

Do you hear the hope for just one more picture?  That's all Ahmed could hope for...just one more picture.

Thank you for reaching out. I'm so sorry to hear about your brother. Is he the one in the background? Don't have a better one.

I find it incredibly sad that u r searching for ur brother's image I realize what love n hope that takes. Peace

Maybe we, as human beings, can't fathom what 1,089 people dying means.  Maybe we can only understand what the loss of one beloved brother means.  In the same way that Anne Frank symbolizes the atrocities of Germany in WWII, maybe you can have Khaled Ben El Walied symbolize Rabba.

If you don't agree with my choice, feel free to choose someone else.  There were 1,088 others.  Some were women.  Some were children.  All of them were loved.

May Allah forgive the believers on both sides of the struggle.

May Allah give us in Egypt increased iman faith and  show us the way hadiya.

May Allah right the wrongs in the world and knock down any oppressor and release the oppressed.

May Allah heal those still grieving and prevent more times of sorrow.



Anonymous said...

Salam alaikum Yosra , Thank you for reminding us that everyone of the 1,089 people have a story and are loved and cherised in life and death by many . Sometimes we do get numb and overwhelmed by the numbers but each life is precious no matter their religion , race or gender and i thank you for bringing this young mans life and death to our attention .
May Allah be pleased with him and grant him a place in Jennah Ameen
regards A'isha

abdo said...

Its the normal end for heros .. Khalid is a hero from childhood till his birth day in heaven