Stories from Egypt –When Humanity Buckled

on Thursday, September 12, 2013

We keep hearing stories about how the protesters, who ousted Mobarak, were the enlightened Egyptians, how Morsi was the change Egypt had been waiting for, how Morsi became a grave mistake, how the protesters were enlightened again and how the army was the savior. Then the time came when another rebellion made it to the news, it started small, but now it has reached undecipherable heights.

The commentators keep commenting, the brooders keep cashing on the ratings these incidents bring to their loved talk shows. Do we really understand the worth of one’s life before we go onto counting the thousands that have died?

I ask you, for once, can we stop debating over who is right and wrong, and simply appreciate the fact that human lives are being lost? My point is that we can hate the rebels, and we can hate the administration; this does not change the fact that they are humans who are killed!

I am not writing to condone either party or label the other as rightly guided –people with eyes can already see that. I am writing to share some of the small leveled atrocities. I am doing so to make people understand that the killing of one human being does not become small even when hundreds are dying every day. I am writing to convey that every single human’s life is priceless.

Ahmed Asem, a young man looking forward to his marriage and a photojournalist made the news pretty virally. His last moments of life were spent making footage of the sniper who killed him. While Ahmed was shooting a video of some peaceful protesters, he turned his camera towards a sniper atop a building, while he was at it, the sniper turned towards him and shot him through and through. His fiancée was protesting in Rabaa at the same time, and she was found murdered the day after the Rabaa massacre. Surely, the army ensured the couple was together and at peace.

What do you make of a child who had to sleep among the dead for days?

Mustafa, a kid who has now lost his ability to speak. This happened after he certainly lived through his worst nightmare out in the streets from where he landed up among the pile of dead bodies that were being collected at Imam Mosque only to be found alive a day later. Whether it was the atrocities he witnessed out on the streets, or the fact that he was sleeping among the dead or the fact that maybe somewhere among that pile of dead laid his parents; Mustafa has now lost his power to speak.

Let’s accept that those who were killed were terrorists, murderers and fanatics. What do we call the authorities who won’t let their families perform the last rituals and burials until they accepted that all of those who died had committed suicide?

I found out from Twitter that the Egyptian Ministry of Health refused to provide death certificates for a number of dead bodies who were collected at a mosque until their families agreed in a report that all of them committed suicide. Now that’s what we call swift justice.

A savvy journalist shot a picture of a woman with her husband and child in the streets of Rabaa. The only problem was that this woman was the only one living. The blood from the bodies of her son and husband stained the pavement, she sat holding the hand of her 7 or 8 years old boy who lost his life with his father at the hands of those who were supposed to ensure their safety. This story doesn’t need to be elongated –words run shy.

I came across a video of a dead woman who lied on the street, the blood was everywhere, and a child was crying, shouting, pleading for her to wake up. Were they terrorists? Were they the law breakers who deserved this?

No. What will become of this child? Will he be one of those terrorists that the army and police are going to kill? Maybe.

So here’s the only question I am left with; Are we still humans?

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