The situation in Egypt is something that has my interests peeked, not just because I have several friends who are currently living in Egypt, and a handful of Egyptian friends; but for me, Egypt brings back memories of Anwar Sadat and his assassination.
Granted, I was only young, 8 years old to be exact, but I was at a stage in my life when the events that flashed before my eyes on the nightly news, actually had meaning to me.
I remember the news reports about the Camp David Peace Accords between Menachem Begin, Jimmy Carter, and Anwar Sadat. The warmth in the handshake between Begin and Sadat, the prospect of peace and change.
So this new wave, the "revolution" as some are calling it, has once again peeked my interest. But its more than that, especially now. Now, I have friends there, I have Egyptian friends here, I am Muslim, I have a vested interest in what is going on over there.
Hosni Mubarak has created a monster in the people with his oppressions and lack of freedom. Most of my friends have never known anyone as ruler but him, and grew up under his rule, and his rules. But this experience goes to show that after a period of time in oppression, poverty, lack of food, the beast will tear off the shackles and fight back. Enough is enough, and the people are rising up.
|The light of the future|
It does seem that this happens in cycles, every couple of decades... Tienanmen, Vietnam, Korea, WWII...
Barring getting on the next plane to Cairo, and join my "heroes" in the journalism field, I could do the next best thing, join in the local protests that were occurring here in Tempe.
One of my friends was one of the organizers of today's rally to support Egypt, Tunisia, and egging on for the rest of the Middle East to rise up and create a "revolution", creating a positive change; so of course I had to go, and lend my voice.
The email said to arrive "on time", as most in the Muslim world know, there is in actual fact "two sets of time"; regular time that most of the world sets their clocks by, and then there is "Muslim time", which tends about 30 [plus] minutes late.
|Protester getting riled up|
Because we were not sure how extensive parking was going to be, and being disabled without the ability to walk too far, we needed to arrive on time, if not early to ensure we had parking.
As we arrived, there were about 20 people already there, holding up signs and others choosing which sign they were going to hold up. While the turnout began a little disappointing, it was not long before more and more people turned up.
As I stood on the street corner with my sign proudly posted towards the cars at the intersection, a young American lady walked up to me and greeted me in the Islamic way "As'salaam alaikum" she said. I was taken aback slightly as this was the first time I have been greeted as such by a non-Muslim.
"Wa'alaikum as'salaam", I responded. She looked a little confused by my answer, I think she might have wondered if I spoke English, with my sun glasses on and hijab, maybe I don't quite look like I do. I mean I do look to be an anomaly anyway, and people are always baffled, but with large sunglasses, it must double confusion.
|Lady in pink shirt asked me if anyone could join in|
"Well, it's an organized event by word of mouth and social media, but not an organization only." I responded.
"Oh, so can anyone join in?" She asked.
"OH SURE!" I answered really eagerly. I was thinking "How cool is this? Just some random person coming off the street wanting to join in."
"Go ahead and grab a sign over there and join us."
She smiled sweetly and disappeared into the crowd of people. I caught sight of her later with her file folder, standing just a little away from the crowd, observing.
We were one human race, with one agenda; solidarity.
To stand there as one people, and to hear the amount of support from those in cars driving by. And then; a fire truck rounded the corner, and the next thing a loud, blaring "honk" from the fire truck, in support and solidarity of us, of Egypt, and of freedom.
|Jamie Steele, of San Carlos Apache Reservation|
|Muslim young ladies taking the advantage of the rally to|
protest against Israel's bombing of Palestine
|Mothers and their children came out to rally|
|Usama Abdallah, of Chandler, along with his 5-year-old son Adam, wave a flag during the protest at a rally on the corner of Mill Avenue and University Drive in Tempe.|
|Ayah Ahmed (left), 19, and Amanda Elgamal, 15, |
protest during the rally .
|Mike Watkiss from KTVK 3 in Phoenix covered |
the event live. KTVK 3 was one of five news
stations that covered the rally in Tempe this
|Omar Hassan, 12, makes a definite statement |
as he protests during the rally.