Dear Egypt,

egypt-flag-face

I am an American woman who LOVES your country. I have watched the news here in America, and I have followed your fight for democracy. I have traveled in your country and I was treated with nothing but respect and concern. I have met many of you, both here in America and in your county’s greatest cities. I am not Muslim or Christian – though I relate to the the world on Christian terms sometimes.

One of the things I loved about your country when I visited, was that I could explore and learn about both Coptic Christian traditions, but also learn about traditional Islamic traditions. I wandered the streets of Cairo, an American woman travelling alone. I respected your traditions, and I respected your religion and for that I was treated to a tour of your country that many Americans will never see.

I was allowed to see some things that most tourists don’t get to see. I visited your famous and not-so-famous Mosques. The beauty of these places of worship, be they Muslim or Christian were breathtaking. I didn’t mind covering my head for the first time in my life to enter your places of worship. I valued learning about your culture from my unexpected but amazing guides. When I was in your Mosques, I felt the need to pray and while the Fathers of our faiths are different, I do believe that our God is the same.

The only message I would send to you Dear Friends, is that government without religion is a fair one. If you truly want a democracy – which even we in America struggle to achieve; you must have the best interests of your country in mind; not the religious values that some may hold. I see you acting against a religious regime, and I am insanely proud of you “the people” for demanding a fair and balanced government. It is not an easy road to travel. It is not always popular. In a country like yours that has been dominated for so long, finding that balance will take perseverance. I believe that you will succeed. I believe that America has a lot to learn from you and your children, and the fight for freedom and an economy that thrives; as well as fairness in government. I believe that you will prevail. I find hope for my country in your revolution.

You see, we aren’t so far apart in our hopes and dreams. Regardless of the faith we follow – we want the same things. We want freedom, we want a voice in government, we want peace. You are teaching the world a valuable lesson right now, and I pray for your people who give their lives for this cause in the streets. It IS a worthy cause, and the world is watching. The world is learning from your nation once again. You are the “cradle of civilization” and your people have persevered through centuries of both conflict and peace.  Your people created lasting monuments to the will of human kind and those monuments endure. Please safeguard them.

I want nothing more than to come back to Egypt someday. I want my Jewish girlfriend to experience the history and greatness of your country without fear. I want your government to represent you and I wish you nothing but success in your fight for democracy. To you, these monuments are commonplace. The Egyptian museum in it’s beautiful chaos, is a safe place for the true wonders of the world. When I see it in the background of your protests – I admit, I worry. I worry that civil unrest may erase some of the treasures your country holds. Protect your legacy. Fight for independence, but safeguard your treasures. When I watch the news I look for those men and women I met on my journey through your great nation. There are several people in your country that I love and I worry about them now even though I haven’t spoken to them since I was there.

It isn’t about religion. It is about freedom and democracy and a voice in your government. I wish that this could be achieved without the violence, and I certainly hope that you all will find that way. For those who have already lost their lives in this fight I pray that their souls are at peace and that those they left behind will find more peaceful ways of demanding democracy – although I realize that most changes in government come with violence.

Be safe my friends. May all the Gods protect and guide you in your journey for peace and prosperity. I stand with you against a religious regime, and pray with you for a fair and balanced government that will lead your country into its next era.

12 thoughts on “Dear Egypt,

  1. Thanx so much for doing this and helping carry American thoughts and well wishes outside our country in supportive ways. I just speak for myself — I feel hungry to know Egypt in a way that I have never known through travel or books, or it’s people. I hear the news and feel helpless here ‘at home’.

  2. I am sorry but you haven’t understood the Egyptian politics very well. It is in fact about religion, freedom and democracy. It is freedom to practise their beliefs without having to be jailed and tortured or worse shot down dead. It is also democracy to elect the government they want through elections (which was the Muslim Brotherhood) without a coup.
    Your comment is very biased and unfair, in one sentence you mention how you support freedom and democracy yet in another you say ‘I stand with you against a religious regime….’ I am not sure if you’ve realised but the group fighting against religious regime in Egypt are also fighting against freedom and democracy, Their method is very tyrannical. On the other hand the religious regime are fighting for freedom and democracy. So you either support freedom and democracy or tyrannical oppression, you cannot support both and they don’t coexist together.
    Have a nice day.

    • Yasmin,

      Thanks you for commenting and sharing your perspective. I have not said that I agree with one side or the other. I realize that religion is a HUGE part of why you are fighting, but in a democracy you get to have your religious freedom, as well as voting rights etc. From my understanding of the situation (which I will admit may be flawed) the Muslim Brotherhood was elected but failed to acknowledge or support all the people so they were removed. I am also saying that religion in government can never be a fair one. You do not need a Christian government or a Muslim one – a good democratic government will serve ALL the people regardless of faith and THAT is my hope for Egypt.

  3. l am sorry Yasmin, but you are totally wrong. l live in Egypt and under the Morsi government religious intoletance increased. Friends who chose not to cover were being stopped by people who suddenly felt it was their job to instruct people on how to behave Islamically. The Ba’hai were further marginalized. Also Christians. As for your claim that people wanted to practice their religion freely, there was no problem with practising Islam freely under Mubarak, unless you belong to the fanatics that follow the clerics that want an Islamic state, and a war with Isreal, and call everyone Muslim, Christian or Jews who don’t agree with their puritanical version of Islam kufar. Yes those people have their so-called religious freedoms curtailed simply because they spread so much hate and fitnah.

    • Fatima,

      Thank you for reading and commenting. Also thank you for disagreeing with Yasmin in such a way that promotes conversation and understanding. I know this can not be easy for anyone in Egypt right now. I doubt either side likes watching Cairo burn, or watching museums get looted and destroyed. I am sure the both sides can also agree that all of the death surrounding this fight is something both side would like to see come to an end.

      I will not pretend to know all the in’s and out’s of your politics, all I really know for sure is that the violence needs to stop – it is just a matter of finding the right government that will serve all the people regardless of faith or how they practice it.

  4. sophist6
    l believe your hopes are at the heart of Egyptians. We are a very spiritual people with a deep belief in God, but at the same time we have managed to live in peace with our neighbours, and accepting of the millions of tourists who have come to Egypt irregardless of their personal belief.
    All Egyptians want the violence to stop, and most know someone who has been affected by the violence, whether they were a solidier or protester, they were all Egyptian. There has been a campaign started recently to bang pots as a way to ask both sides to stop the violence.
    There is an article from Cairo Scene called End Game speaks of the feelings and hopes of Egyptians for a democracy . Sorry my phone won’t let me paste the link for you.

    • Fatima, my heart truly is with the Egyptian people and like them, all I would love to see is peace. I am not in the middle of the religious part of this fight, so I will admit my understanding is flawed. However, I believe that separation of faith and government is the only way to ensure that all faiths have the ability and freedom to celebrate their faith in the ways they see fit- rather than having the government dictate faith and how to abide by that faith. It just simply isn’t possible to represent such a diverse country with a religious political party.

Share your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s