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The heart-voice of an Egyptian American

candle night light
candle night light
Derk Dicke

Egyptian Americans continue to endure mental anguish, watching and waiting as the crisis in their former homeland remains unresolved. Walid Hussein, 40, originally from Cairo and a US citizen since the mid-90s, describes sleepless nights and chronic distress regarding the well-being of his family and friends in Cairo. Mr. Hussein explains how communication remains very difficult. Occasional phone calls and e-mails seep through the filters of scattered government control. According to Hussein communication with loved ones in his hometown has reduced more than 90% since the troubles began.

"I often pray through the night," Hussein said, "but it is not only for my family and friends. I pray for a higher purpose for the suffering in Egypt."

Hussein hopes for a greater unity between Muslims and Christians to arise from the ashes of this civil conflict; as through the dark heart of this crisis, the 2 religions have stood side-by-side, hand-in-hand, eye-to-eye; all united against the Mubarak regime. And together they have won a great victory, despite the uncertainty still facing their future.

It has been a historic conflict thus far, Hussein believes, a civil rights victory bearing the potential to dissolve animosity between religious ideologies. He cautiously speculates that if the people of Egypt would continue to stand united – regardless of their religious faiths – then they could win not only a better life for themselves today, but also prevent future bloodshed for their children tomorrow. History will tell whether the events in Egypt will indeed plant a step toward lasting peace – a step the rest of the region could follow – as seemingly paradoxical ideologies loosen the grip of rigidity.

But such unities commonly dissolve swiftly once the greater enemy is defeated. And it may take more than one united uprising to unearth the roots of decay that run deep through layers of generations.

For those such as Hussein, who possess a higher concern for the good of the people than the good for themselves; those who are devoted to their personal beliefs, but also devoted to the respect for those of counter ideologies; those who have fought together to overcome the oppression of the Mubarak regime – there may be a strength of unity able to overcome the depth of history.

But right now Egyptian Americans such as Mr. Hussein can only watch and wait – dream and pray. However alongside the dreams and the prayers there has been paved perhaps an insurmountable strength of the Egyptian people – those who brave the aim of military rifles with only a shield of tattered garments and rundown spirits – those for whom victory has already been won.

Those who only may be killed but never may be conquered.


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