My husband’s mother, Laila, and sister, Deena, both live in a suburb of Cairo and have recently experienced (luckily from a fairly safe distance) what the rest of us have only watched from afar. This is a letter I recently received from Laila – writing with a voice she says she “thought had died a long time ago.”
Thank you very much for caring. I have lived history for the past nine days. Many of my friends have been in the square almost every day. I would have gone myself but I am staying near my American teachers we are trying to all manage with three cars. Most of my drivers live pretty far away. Millions of Egyptians have marched shoulder to shoulder in peace asking for a change.
Treason did take place on Friday when the Minister of Interior Affairs ordered the police forces to retreat. He wanted to teach the government a lesson for asking the army to help. There is an investigation going on as I am writing to you . We hope the people responsible for this decision will be tried and in my opinion severely punished. The president announced that he will leave in six months , that he will help prepare a transition that will not cause chaos. Our new Prime Minister gave several interviews asking the people to trust the new government. The new Prime Minister is by all accounts a very respected man, but he is not a politician. He is known to be a very honest man. I do believe we need today an honest man to guide us out of this mess.
Some men from the old regime, very wealthy powerful men, paid thugs and criminals to disturb the peace in the square. They tried to force the Prime Minister to order the army to use force and crush the uprising. Once president Mubarek leaves in six months these men risk to lose millions of dollars. The thugs and criminals they hired and paid caused the horrible attacks that you all saw on CNN. The young people in the square defended themselves bravely. The army kept their cool and the government refused to ask them to fire on either party. This was the worst night for me. I was so sad to see greed take over.
Many writers, poets and artists pleaded with the young people in the square to hold on to their ideals, but to allow the country to go back to normal. The Prime Minister promised the protesters that he will continue to protect the protesters and their right to express their opinion. He apologized for the attacks. He promised to bring those responsible to justice. The situation as you can see is much more complex . Nothing in Egypt is black or white. The Moslem Brotherhood refuses to leave. They will only do well in the presence of chaos.
If you want to know what I have been doing , well I have been writing twelve hours a day. I believe that the answer to Egypt’s major problems is to educate its people. As most of you know I have been working very hard with my daughter Deena, who is the Head of ISE to educate young Egyptians. I invite you all to visit our web site at www.isegypt.org .To encourage the street to take over today would hurt the entire country. The street is vastly uneducated. We are all praying for a peaceful transition.
The young people who started the whole movement were able to do what no one in Egypt was able to do for thousands of years. It is close to a miracle. We are all worried now because many political parties particularly the Moslem Brotherhood, aided by Tehran, are trying to ride the wave of the protest and rob the revolution. The brotherhood is very well organized, wealthy, and capable of taking over if Mubarek were to flee today. This could very well turn into Tehran. This is my fear for now. Most Egyptians are praying today for peace and a lot of them are now in the square.
We are all praying that Egypt will prove to the world that as an ancient great civilization we owe the world today a different type of protest. I will keep on writing. I hope one day to be able to publish what I have written in the past ten days. I promised some of my students from Radnor that I will give them the chance to work on the movie. So for those of you who know me well I just refuse to grow up and stop dreaming.
Founding director of the International school of Egypt (ISE)