I picked up my morning paper – The Norwalk Hour – to read about a 20 year resident of Wilton, Hesham El Abd, now living outside of Cairo since 2005. The newspaper has a photo of him with an automatic rifle, patrolling his Cairo neighborhood Wednesday night. He talked of neighbors taking up arms to defend themselves and protect their apartment buildings, city blocks and communities not only from “state security hooligans” but also from thousands of prisoners (political as well as rapists, drug dealers, and murderers) released from a facility near his home.
Yet he had this to say about the revolution, “They are revolting against economic peril, sub-par education, decades of police-state repression…It’s an organic demonstration by people – young, old, rich, poor, educated, uneducated. All of them simultaneously, they want a better life…are seeing that they don’t have to live that way anymore.”
The following was forwarded to me this morning from the BBC’s twitter feed with updates about Egypt:
1321: The BBC’s Lyse Doucet has been speaking to one protester who has brought her young son along to Tahrir square, saying: “I see that this is part of educating my child, how to speak out, how to say his word. I don’t want him to be a coward. I want him to be a brave man when he grows up. I will never put him in danger but he has to come and see that people can speak out and be brave.”
And one more that came across my desk today, this headline found in The Christian Science Monitor, “For Egypt, no looking back – citizens clearly have broken through a barrier of fear in the Arab world’s largest, most influential country.”
Who among us has not felt at some point in our lives the hope of righteousness, of liberty, impelling us forward? I pray that the citizens of Egypt, without regard to what side they are on, continue to be guided by this hope.