February 5, 2011 @ 11:03 am by Jacqui Lewis
I was riding in the car this morning, running some errands and thanks to the ease with which news travels around the globe, I felt like I was in Tahrir Square, a square whose name means liberation. I can hear the chanting of the protestors. I don’t speak the language but I know that they are saying, ‘Leave! Leave! Leave!” They are saying, “Mubarak is illegitimate, The National Democratic Party is illegitimate…” It’s Friday, 11 days into the revolution, and the protestors want Mubarak out. Today. Now. But not until after evening prayers.
Today is a peaceful day, relatively peaceful. Not like two days ago, when violence took the lives of 13 people and left 1,200 more wounded. The NPR reporters are being harassed, but not threatened with violence like their colleagues have endured, not today. There is an old woman poking her finger at them, “You make Egypt look bad! You are spies,” she says, but they can shake off words from an old woman.
Today the crowd moves with more care, aided by the police and the military. Today they lift up one man in a wheelchair, up over the crowd into the square, so he is close to the protest, which is pulsing with the energy of liberation and freedom. He waves his fists in the air and I am reminded of the friends who lower their disabled buddy right through the roof of a house so Jesus could heal him and make him free.
Today is a different day; it is the “Friday of Departure.” The protestors have been assailed by police on camels, had cement hurled at them, endured a rain of bullets, and still they are undaunted. They can smell the freedom they desire. If Mubarak loves Egypt, they say, he will leave.
Right after evening prayers.
Right after evening prayers, the Mubarak regime says, they will squash the rebellion.
And the sun has gone down on Cairo, dipping into the night sky. Mubarak is still in power. The protestors are still on the square called liberation. They have come across the Nile River, they have camped out with their children. They are hoarse from singing and shouting. They are determined to live in a new way.
The deadline has come and gone. But not the prayers; they will pray again tomorrow, five times on mats facing Mecca. And in between, they will pray with their feet, and with their voices. They will pray with their stamina and their actions. They will hold each other up and keep each other standing. They will shout and march and sing the national anthem and wave flags and insist on democracy.
We should pray, too. For change, for hope, and for peace.
Do something: get informed, sign a petition, ask great questions, and get involved.
Want to stay informed? Here are some links:
About This Blog
Preparing ethical leaders for a just society. Posts by Jacqui Lewis, Senior Minister.