A few days ago, this author had the privilege of meeting a man named Yousef who moved to Minnesota from Alexandria Egypt. Youssef said that he came here because he wanted better opportunities for his children, but he still misses his homeland. Yet he also admitted that his homeland is not the place that it used to be.
When Yousef was asked about the ousting of President Morsi and the instituting of Sharia law in Egypt, he shook his head sadly and said, “He was a bad man and he didn’t understand what the country needed.”
While Morsi was in power, the Muslim Brotherhood was behind him with the main agenda of enforcing Sharia law in all aspects of life. But in January, Egypt saw a referendum passed that was reportedly popular by 98% of the population and took Sharia law out of the country’s constitution. For more on Sharia law and the new constitution, see the following link-
Yousef illustrated his point by telling a story about the Egypt that he remembers:
“My best friend since early childhood was a neighbor boy who was a Christian. We were so close, we spent all of our time together. When he was at church, I would wait outside until the services were over so that we could go and play. When I was at the mosque, he was waiting outside for me.” We never fought about religion, or even talked about it. “Even as children we understood that religion should be about your personal relationship with God. It should not be a cause of fighting amongst people, because we all have to live together. When I was a child we all did live together. Now we have a poor country where the military controls everything and no one is happy.”
When asked about the future of Egypt, Youssef says, “I am hopeful about a new potential leader who used to be a judge.” (Here, Yousef was referring to General Sisi, who is the favorite in the upcoming election in May. For more information about Sisi and the current situation in Egypt, see the following link-)
Yousef said he was recently reunited with his childhood friend who has also left Egypt because of the current fighting. It was so good to see him, he is a grown man and happy with his family, but seeing him, it was just like we were children again.”
Looking toward the future, Yousef says about General Sisi, “ He is not bound by any community, so he will not be working for the Muslim Brotherhood or for some other organization. I am hoping that he will be fair, and that he will be working not just for one group but instead for the people. Leaders need to understand that good people only really want two things in life; love, and mercy.”
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