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.