I remember the first time an Egyptian burnt himself in front of the parliament. I cried feverishly. It’s not like I have never had suicidal thoughts before, in fact for over two years of my life, all thoughts I had were of the desired end. So, I know the desperation, hopelessness and darkness one finds himself in when those thoughts overtake his mind. However, to burn yourself alive? Well, that requires a different kind of desperation. I remember the feeling of utter loneliness; as if someone threw you in a deep rabbit hole and closed the top, so that you’re unable to see a glimmer of hope, but this man, Abd El Moneim Hamada, saw some hope. He hoped, desired and wanted change for the future Egyptian generations, but he knew he had to sacrifice his life for it, and in the most painful of ways. He ran through the street, a burning flame of awakening in the hearts of every Egyptian, reminding us that there has to be an end to the nightmare we are living. He reminded us that there is something called dignity, which has been lost, starting with Khaled Said’s incident in which he was brutally beaten to death by the police, just because he refused to be treated like an animal. He reminded us that there something called security, which we have ceased to feel a long time ago and it rang clear when on the eve of the New Year, just as the clock struck one, devout Christians saw their loved ones blown into bits and pieces before their eyes. He reminded us that even travelling is not safe when another Egyptian was shot dead in a train, sending shivers down the backs of other commuters.
He reminded us that the lives we are leading are tarnished with danger, humiliation, and ill-will. One walked in the streets expecting that this car will hit him and that man will steal from him; a sense of safety and trust were lost. Good Egyptians were forced to remain incognito in a world ruled by thugs and outlaws. Meanwhile, young Egyptians, who are educated, cultured and willing, found it hard to work, get married and simply walk in the streets. However, we never saw the hope, we never saw the light at the end, and we never thought it could change. However, Abd El Moneim saw the hope and trusted us to make that change for him. He sacrificed himself to make us feel his pain and urge us to move.
HE ENTRUSTED US.
We shouldn’t betray this trust, we shouldn’t let anyone guilt us into believing that now is better than tomorrow.
We shouldn’t let anyone convince us that minor changes are enough.
Abd El Moneim, Khalad Said, and martyrs of EL Kedeseyeen Church bombings were followed by 300 martyrs during the past eight days of the people’s revolution against the regime. People who chose to go down in the streets of Cairo, Suez, Alexandria, Mansoura, Ismailia and North Sinai to say “The people want to take down the regime”. They spread in the streets demanding the rights that were taken from us for the past 30 years, where we were forced to bow down to the whims and wills of those who are in power, to those who were supposed to protect and support us, for those who were supposed to make our hopes and dreams come true. Instead, the opposite happened, we became the tools for them to make their hopes and dreams come true while they suck on our youth, our hopes, and our wishes to become Egyptian zombies walking around in the streets.
For all those who were brutally murdered during the past eight days and during the past 30 years just for wanting to be granted their rights, don’t give in to pathetic attempts to calm us down.
For the men who have been staying in the streets at night, protecting us from the thugs and prisoners in the streets, do not give in to someone’s conceited demands.
For those who were lost, arrested, never to be seen again, don’t allow them to divide us.
For those who can't speak, let your voices be theirs.
The Egyptian people have spoken and it is time we are heard. NOW.