Saturday,21 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1155, (4 - 10 July 2013)
Saturday,21 October, 2017
Issue 1155, (4 - 10 July 2013)

Ahram Weekly

Limelight: Rebel

It is rare to find a song such as the one they wrote.
They wrote the song that all the youth would sing!  They wrote the song that would let freedom ring!  And the song was simple and sweet!  And the song was pure and clear!  Like the Pied Piper of old, they sang plaintively, passionately.  Attracted by their dulcet sounds and the silvery strains of their melody, they followed their young Pied Pipers.  And they came in droves by the hundreds, thousands, millions---men and women, young and old, rich and poor, literate and illiterate, they came.  Day by day, hour by hour, they came----peasants and labourers, shopkeepers and clerks, doctors and lawyer, artisans and artists, they came.  They came to join the chorus of the brave young pipers of this most peaceful, most noble, most civilized movement in modern history.  
And they made history together by collecting over 22 million signatures of peaceful protestors against a fanatic rule and a despotic ruler.
During the past year Egypt has suffered the worst of times since the election of a Muslim Brotherhood (MB) member.  It has lived in a sort of tremor caused by Big Muslim Brother.  It is impossible to retell of the terror and fear, the tears that flowed, the blood that was shed. It is ironic that in their extreme grief, many yearned for “the good old days” of the Mubarak years. What followed was inconceivable!
Despite biting criticism from the opposition and the media and the myriad demonstrations near and far an obstinate and unyielding president remained rigid.  His many broken promises and lack of concerns for provision of the basic services necessary for survival caused the volcano to erupt. The appointed date of eruption was devised by the ‘rebels’, June 30, 2013, the date of deliverance from evil and misery.
Egypt has started a new page in its modern history. On this page there shall be no member of the MB enjoying the world’s luxuries while the people beg and cry for bread, for mercy.  Let the many tragedies lie buried and out of sight.  On this page only more legends of my country will be recorded. This page will glow and blaze with inspiration, illuminating the road for future generations.
REBEL is a term that has distant echoes of a past long gone. The act of ‘rebellion’, describes the complexity of human nature when it rises in protest.
The first popular revolt mentioned in history occurred over 4000 years ago.  In 2380 BC, a King Lugalanda was deposed in the city of Lagash and replaced by the rebel Urukagina.  There were 18 famous rebellions in BC the last of which was Julius Caesar’s overthrow of Pompei in 49-45 BC.
Since the year 2000,  37 uprisings took place, not including the Arab Spring which is responsible for 12 more.  In recent days protests in Turkey and Brazil can be added to the list.
One prominent feature of our non-violent uprising is the significant presence of the Egyptian woman. On the popular TV show “Cairo Calling”, host Ibrahim Issa, a strong believer in the role of the women of Egypt, introduced a simple peasant chanting bitter-sweet slogans against the regime.  Her sagacity and profoundness was paralleled by her lyrical and penetrating delivery.  Expressing the people’s discontent she dug deep into our hearts with her spontaneous miracles of condensation and condemnation. With no formal education, she revealed an innate talent of leadership and courage. Such is the genetic legacy of this ancient people of Egypt.
Women in general have played major roles in protesting authority -- and winning.  In the 9th century BC, according to the legendary history of Britain, Queen Gwendolyn fought her ex-husband King Locrinus in a civil war for the throne of Britain.  She defeated him and ascended the throne.
In 131 BC Cleopatra II of Egypt led a rebellion against Ptolemy VIII and drove him and Cleopatra III out of Egypt.
In 270 AD Queen Zenobia of Syria led a revolt against the Roman Empire and took control of Roman Egypt, Arabia and a part of Asia Minor.
Who can forget that noble figure of the brave Joan of Arc who in 1429 led the French army in a revolt against the English Occupation during the Hundred Years’ War.
The French Revolution may have changed the world, but it was a young French woman who started it.  On October 5 1789, she struck a marching drum and led the Women’s March on Versailles in a revolt against Louis XVI of France, storming the palace, signaling the French Revolution.
In 2011 in Egypt we must never forget 26 yr old Asmaa Mahfouz.  Asmaa was instrumental in urging the protests in Cairo that began our famous January 25 revolution.  A week before that date on her blog she called for the people to rise and not to fear.  She made a date with her friends and followers to meet in Tahrir Square.  Little did she know then she was starting the most symbolic, peaceful, modern revolution of our times
They came and they from every nook and cranny to answer Asmaa’s call.  They came and they came in full force, those valiant warriors of men led by their women, to follow the mellow sound of their gentle Pied Pipers.  And they sang their song of freedom in unison, so that the whole world could hear!

“Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God."
Benjamin Franklin
 (1706-1790)

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