Since last September, I've been connected to an Egyptian family. We've never met. I simply connected to them through the internet. I wrote about the family's martyred son Khaled Ben El-Walied. Later, I interviewed his sister Yousra.
What you maybe don't understand is that the interviews I make are done over emails. There are many emails going back and forth over time and often over many miles. My wish, with whomever I interview, is to create an understanding. In the end, if we understand each other, we forge the foundation of peace. You simply can't have peace without understanding.
I have understood the family's plight. They wanted to have a normal life in Egypt but the events of this past summer changed everything. The family's young men, Khaled and his brother Ahmed, protested against what they saw as injustice in Egypt. They were camped out at Rabaa with other anti-coup and pro-Morsi protestors. It was during clashes that Khaled died.
It was through Ahmed, who actually is Dr. Ahmed, that I learned about his brother's death. I was on Twitter and saw these sad tweets from Dr. Ahmed asking now famous photographer Mosab ElShamy for just one more picture of his brother. Did he have just one more? No, he did not.
That moment was gripping for me because I really felt Ahmed's hope for one more split second of his Khaled while he was alive. I then went to Facebook and saw how alive Khaled had been. I saw the love others had for him. In a way, I felt love for people I didn't know and had never met.
I do call Yousra "sister". I do feel that she is one strong sister in Islam. I admire her great faith, mashahallah.
What do I do with the new knowledge that Dr. Ahmed has been arrested? I learned of this yesterday. It hurt my heart. It did. It hurts to learn of new suffering for a family that has already suffered so much.
The video shows him confessing to crimes with a table of weapons in front of him. His family says he has been tortured into confessing. I don't know. I wasn't there when the crime was committed. I wasn't there when he was arrested or jailed.
God knows all. I put my trust in Allah. Whether or not Dr. Ahmed has committed any crime in Egypt, I pray for him and for his family. I feel very sad that the surviving brother has been taken from them. No sister should have to go through this ...and no mother either.
I realize that by continuing to support the family, I run some risk. I'm not sure if the risk is big or small. What I do know is that I have a connection to a family in pain and I feel for them. I can't abandon them as if they were a casual hobby. Once I love people, I care about them for my entire life.
Should you care? Of course you should. You should care that Egypt has jailed so many in such a short amount of time. Are they all guilty? Only Allah knows. Allah knows who is the terrorist.
Please, on Fridays, remember Egypt and those other countries struggling through change. Pray for positive change using peaceful means.
I want to leave you with one of the greatest forces of goodness who has shared this earth with me. Listen to him be such a GOOD person.
There's so much bad. We have a choice to choose the good. We do! I haven't been as good as I can be and neither have you (sorry, but you haven't). So, let's re-commit ourselves to staying good, pure and true.
Let's acknowledge that this world often has hardships. If you are in a hardship, thank God and know that staying straight on the Path of Righteousness is the only way out of that problem. If you are not in a hardship, thank God and know that you can help others who are.
Ya Rab! Ya Rab. Ya Rabee.