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Egypt's Revolt in the Eyes of a Single Mother

 

It takes courage to shout-out: NO!

Dictators are rarely made because they break the law

Dictators are made when nations bend so low!

 

The turmoil that prevailed Egypt, starting late January 25th until mid. February of 2011, stunted the whole world. On a domestic level, the vast majority of Egyptians were initially shocked and dumbfounded but as soon as the air started to clear, amazing synergy saw the light.

 

Suddenly, all of our social, economic and religious differences melted away and the 85 million Egyptians became one heart and one soul. This is how what started as a tragic bloodshed turned into a major victory.

 

On a personal level, no words could ever describe how deeply I was (and still) touched and moved by the whole experience. Starting Jan. 28th, the revolt took a violent turn and we had to adhere to a strict restraining order.

 

To me, it felt no different than home-prisoning, especially when police forces vanished completely, leaving the whole nation at the mercy of thieves and criminals. I was puzzled, confused and scared to say the least. If that's how I felt as an adult, you could imagine how daughter Hania, who was 12 years old at the time, reacted to all this...

 

As a mother, I initially felt that I must put myself together for her sake. Soon enough, I decided to share my own fears with her instead of pretending to be a superwoman!

Still, I communicated my fears to her in a very positive tone, asserting my unshakeable belief that things will turn out for the best. In turn, she felt safe to express her own worries and fears without feeling judged or ridiculed. Her fears were so fictional and blown out of proportion but if you come to think about it, how differently would any other child react to such pressing circumstances?

 

My deep understanding of that simple fact filled me with compassion and deep understanding of her needs, encouraging her to open up even more. In an attempt to wash away her fears in a fun way, I used English and Arabic cartoons that illustrated the latest events to explain what was going on to her. In the process, her social and political awareness were magnified and she was filled with a great sense of loyalty to her mother country: Egypt.

 

Our isolation was compounded when the internet shut down for a few days. I’m proud to say that, once the internet was back, Hania created an English YouTube video where she bragged being an Egyptian to the whole world. Needless to say, she wasn't alone. All Egyptians felt so proud of what our great revolution managed to accomplish in less than 2 weeks!

 

Looking back at it now, I can safely say that what started as a tragedy turned out to be a blessing in disguise. My daughter and I clinked to each other and bonded like we never did before. Suddenly, the two of us were confined to our home and totally isolated from the outer world…no school…no internet…no distractions. We had nothing but each other and we loved it.

 

Having said that, I must admit that the profound impact of Egypt's revolt on me exceeded my relationship with my daughter...It awakened the giant patriot within. The minute things started to settle and it was safe to leave our homes, I immersed myself in volunteer work and donated blood to the revolt's victims.

 

 Moreover, I wrote an English article about Egypt's revolt and included pictures and names of the martyrs to showcase our giant leap towards freedom and reformation. The article title said it all: "Egypt’s Revolt Eye Witness - The Egyptian Avalanche Has Begun….I Double Dare You to Stop The Flood!"

The article received rave reviews and was viewed thousands of times within few days which gave me a great sense of assurance that all nations worldwide are supporting our worthy cause.

 

So far, I was contributing from a distance, so much like a TV news anchor, bringing up the latest events to the audience. It wasn't until I went to “El Tahrir Square” on February 18th (a day we later named as the celebration day) that I finally realized that, in essence, I was an active participant in shaping Egypt's new birthdate.

Every single Egyptian was reborn after this revolution. Prior to the revolution, politics meant nothing to me! I was so passive, careless, and completely detached and uninvolved in any political activity. Thanks to the revolution, my political awareness soared as I attended many political awareness seminars that were held throughout the country to educate us about our citizenship rights and duties.

I compiled the following cartoon from separate cartoons drawn by other artists to showcase Egyptians’ post-revolt makeover.

 

 

 It's amazing how 10 days can change the course of history. I’m happy for Egypt and I’m so grateful for being part of this rich episode of Egypt's history.

 

In 2012, we had our first post-revolt presidential elections. I drew the following portrait to reflect Egypt’s massive leap towards democracy.

 

 

Today, the road is still not paved with roses. We are facing many challenges, including economic setbacks and the ongoing war against terrorists in Sinai.  But we are hanging in there, believing, without the slightest shadow of a doubt, that if we can make today better than yesterday, then most certainly tomorrow will be better than today.

 

May all the other nations that followed our tracks enjoy their rightful freedom and may future generations witness a war-free world. Amen.

 

Prophet Mohammed Movie + Sep. 11 Anniversary = Wake Up Call to the East and the West!

 When an outrageously offensive movie about Prophet Mohammed coincides with the 11thanniversary of September 11th tragedy, I can't help but wonder: When will the East and the West wake up?


WHO AM I AND WHY I AM WRITING THIS ARTICLE

I am a Canadian/Egyptian Muslim woman who has lived in the East and West long enough to deeply understand both cultures. From that special place, I am writing this article and I sincerely hope it will send a message of hope to both sides of the world.

  
THE OVERGENERALIZATION CRAZE!

I immigrated to Canada on July of 2002 and passed by New York on my way to Montreal. It was less than a year after September 11th crisis…The wound was still fresh. That's why; people in NY airport were understandably rude as they shouted at me and threw things from my luggage carelessly!

Deep down, I was screaming: "I am NOT Bin Laden! I am devastated by September 11th incident as much as you are. Please do not punish ME for HIS mistakes!"

At this moment, I saw facts through their eyes and suddenly, feeling insulted faded away and was instantly replaced with deep sympathy and compassion.

Looking back at it now, after I experienced firsthand the bitter taste of overgeneralization, I am NOT going to hold the entire Western world responsible for a stupid movie nor am I going to blame the vast majority of Muslims who reacted in a civilized, non-violent way to it.

Instead, I will be sending messages to the movie writer/director/producer "Sam Basil" and to the minority of Muslims who chose to take the violent route to express their anger. 

A MESSAGE TO SAM BASIL


Mr. 
Sam,

The rumor has it that you are currently hiding in a secret place because of your deeply cherished movie! Allow me to ask you a logical question: Does the culminating rage of Muslims worldwide come to you as a shock? I doubt it!

Now allow me to ask you few more questions if I may…

Although the movie was finished since last year, why was it released at a critical timing coinciding with September 11th anniversary? Go figure!

I read your lame justification for producing this movie. You said that you want to: "Show the REAL Islam to the world!" How ironic! Do you really believe that sarcasm and mockery of religious figures will support your cause? No way!

Believe it or not: The long-term ramification of your movie is serving Islam! That's an astonishing similarity between your movie and September 11th tragedy. Bin Laden aroused the curiosity of many Westerns and as they read about Islam from correct resources, a considerable number of them converted to Islam; while others cultivated a better understanding of it.

Someday, you will hear an American Muslim saying: "I converted to Islam after watching Sam Basil's movie!" Then and only then, you will regret ever producing it!

I am sorry to say this but YOU pulled the first trigger that killed the American ambassador in Libya! Most rational Muslims condemned the movie and stopped right there! However, few extremists preferred to take the blood shed path!

***  In my last statement to Sam, I said: You pulled the "FIRST" trigger that killed the American ambassador in Libya!" 

This is a metaphor. In my opinion, what Sam's movie did was provoking the emotions  a group of people, a minority of which are violent and extremists. Extremists are found in almost every religion and ethnic group so Islam is no exception in that regard. That's what I meant and I wasn't by any means accusing him of the actual killing. 

I had to calrify this part after receiving comments of concerned poeple. ***


But if there is one thing I am sure ANY Muslim will abstain from, it will be insulting Prophets. Our holly book, the Quran, asks to believe in all prophets and "…We make NO distinction between any of his messengers…" [2:285]

In fact, Jesus Christ name was mentioned 25 times in the Quran and the 19th Sura (chapter) in the Quran is named after Virgin Mary. Moreover, she the only woman whose name was mentioned explicitly in the Quran! (Some Westerns converted to Islam when they found Virgin Mary's name in the Quran and didn’t find the name of any of the Prophet's wives. Did Prophet Mohammed give up his "ego" when he made up the Quran or is it really God's word? Just a food for thought…)

See how Muslims must honor and respect ALL prophets? To some extent, I do understand where you are coming from: The outrageous freedom in the West opened the door for unlimited profanity towards religious symbols. "The Last Temptation of Christ" is just one glaring example!

On the other hand, it is important to always remember and appreciate rational and objective Westerns who, though non-Muslims, had the courage to acknowledge Prophet Mohammed's greatness.

For example, Prophet Muhammad was ranked number 1 in Michael H. Hart's "The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History".

In his masterpiece "Awaken the Giant Within", Anthony Robbins (aka my American Idol) described Prophet Mohammed as a "Great Teacher".  (Awaken the Giant Within – Page 229)

And the list goes on and on, Sam! Why would I, or any fair and objective Muslim, give your trivial movie the time of  a day or punish everyone in North America for your own shortcomings?

Enjoy hiding for the rest of your life! God bless America…

Sincerely,

Heba

 A MESSAGE TO MUSLIMS WHO TOOK VIOLENT REACTION TO SAM'S MOVIE

Fellow Muslims,

I understand how enraged you felt about this movie and I don't think any honest Muslim would feel otherwise but let me ask you a hypothetical question: What if Prophet Mohammed was alive today? How do you think he would've reacted to this situation?

Just look at his life: he was mocked at and ridiculed by his closest relatives but when he victoriously returned to Mecca, he forgave all of them.

I can safely say the Prophet Mohammed would NOT tolerate killing the American ambassador in Libya. That was a costly mistake that Islam's enemy will take against us for years to come, deliberately overlooking the fact that the wide majority of Muslims reacted in a civilized manner.

It does not make sense that when you feel angry at a Western filmmaker; you go kill the first Western that you see on the street! As God taught us in the Holly Quran: "…No bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another…" [17:15]

Quite frankly, I don't think that Prophet Mohammed would have killed Sam Basil if he was given the chance. Please correct me if I am wrong.

If you really love Prophet Mohammed, He must be your role model: "There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often." [33:21]

Can't you see how your violent reactions will only raise awareness of a trashy movie?

I am certainly not suggesting that we stand still and do nothing if our Prophet   gets insulted but our reaction must be civilized to gain other people's respect -not the opposite!

A civilized reaction would be producing a "counter" movie that sheds light on our Prophet's greatness.

In addition, we can leverage the internet to get engaged in a productive dialogue with the West.

Right now, I hope that this article would make a difference in Western's readers' perception of Islam.  Wish me luck!

Sincerely,

Heba

IN CONCLUSION

I am Canadian/Egyptian and my Twitter account name is @CanadaEgyptLUV. I honesty and sincerely love both of my countries and I wish that both the East and the West would realize that we had enough share of bloodshed and trash talks!

Can we co-exist peacefully? Can we work hand-in-hand to make the world a better place or it is just me day dreaming?

I can't wait to read your thoughts and comments. God bless all.

 

Egyptian and Proud: Egypt's Massive Leap Towards Democracy… [CARTOON ILLUSTRATION]

 

 

There I was…Standing in an endless queue of proud Egyptians from all walks of life, waiting eagerly to take a stand and have a say in my country's future! The energy was beyond description, the excitement, the rush of the moment….

the future of our beloved motherland will unfold.  We have waited for so long for that day to come!

Finally, we are having "fair" presidential elections that the whole world is raving about! On May 23rd of 2012, Egypt made history!

But before I drift away in the future tense, let's have a flashback to appreciate why this moment is so special….

Paving The Way For Egypt's Revival

Unlike typical Egyptians, I was exposed to the Western culture at an early age. In fact, I was in Toronto, Canada when George W. Bush the son was reelected in 2004.

 I saw how the two candidates, Bush and Kerry, were so close in voting rates  that Bush ended up winning by less than 51%!

One year later, we had "fabricated!" presidential elections in Egypt, during which a whopping10 million U.S. 
Dollars were blown away to end up with Mubarak winning at a staggering 88%!

Can you start to imagine how I felt at this moment? I couldn't help but compare between the two elections and wonder: Will the day ever come when we experience real elections in Egypt? I was hungry for democracy …

I guess I would be speaking on behalf of the wide majority of Egyptians when I say this: Before Jan 25th, I was never involved in any political activity whatsoever! In fact, the election days were the days everyone stayed at home because the results were known beforehand. Thus, any kind of involvement seemed utterly pointless!

However, sometimes massive corruption can turn into a blessing in disguise! In 2010, we had provokingly phony parliament elections that, lucky for us, turned out to be one of the major triggers for…

January 25th Revolt: The Breakthrough 

After few days of uncertainty (until January 28th), it was unanimous; Egyptians shouted out loud: Enough is enough!

In the midst of turmoil and uncertainty, we knew deep down in our hearts that things will never be the same! Call it faith…Call it intuition… You name it!

Last year, precisely on February 10th of 2011, I wrote an article titled Egypt’s Revolt Eye Witness: The Egyptian Avalanche Has Begun….I Double Dare You to Stop The Flood!

The last sentence I said was: "As God is my witness, we will make it happen!" The second day, Mubarak resigned! That's precisely what I meant by we knew it…

Something so profound has changed in every Egyptian's conscious which I illustrated in the cartoon at the very top of the article.

Again, allow me to speak on behalf of all Egyptians: I was transformed from someone who was politically "numb" and indifferent into a deeply involved citizen.

I attended tones of political workshops, participated in post-revolt initiatives and voted in the 3 major political events that took place since then: Constitutional reform referendum, parliament elections and finally…

Egypt's 2012 Presidential Elections : The Day We Made History!

Here is my objective opinion of May 23rd presidential elections:

Is our latest presidential elections pure perfection? No!

Do the initial results reflect Jan. 25th spirit? Again, no!

Still, we have come a long way. In fact, I am so proud that the participation rate was close to 50% of eligible voters which is higher than France!

Also, the diversity of votes was refreshing. It showed that Egyptians with different ideologies are starting to blossom and create a rich political mosaic. Isn't that what real democracy is all about?

More than 50% of votes were in favor of candidates who represented the hopes and aspirations of Jan 25th revolt. However, the fact that more than 3 of them competed for presidency, votes were diluted and we ended up with other candidates gaining highest votes. But we live we learn!

Recapping everything that happened in the past 14 months, we deserve to give ourselves a huge tab on the shoulder. We took a major leap in the right direction but we are not there yet. We still have some obstacles to overcome to reach full democracy. That's exactly what I tried to express in the drawing below.


Finally, I was so thrilled to see people from the United States and other Western countries cheering for Egypt in Tahrir square from as early as February 2011.

Please continue to support us in our relentless quest for freedom and democracy. Go Egypt...

P.S. The signature in the artworks is my name in Arabic alphabet :) 

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Egypt's Revolt Eye Witness:The Egyptian Avalanche Has Begun.I Double Dare You to Stop The Flood! 

“Suppression breeds explosion” Don’t you agree? Well, the Egyptian nation has put up with autocracy and corruption too long until the day has come when the suffering masses had to scream: enough is enough!

Jan. 25th 2011 marks a turning point in Egypt’s history. Although it has been less than a month since the Egyptian revolt saw the light, the rewards are beyond belief! Our brave nation finally did it! We stood up as one and shouted out loud: ”No! “ No more corruption! No more suppression of freedom of expression! No more human rights violation! No more unemployment! No more low wages! And the list continues…

For a whole 30 years, few elites! controlled the destiny of an entire nation and cashed billions, leaving more than half the nation poor and underprivileged. Time for this suppressive government to leave! The nation has said its final word and there is no turning back! The earlier the current government realizes that, the better for the sake of everyone! But playing deaf and spreading stupid rumors about the real motives of this bold move will lead them nowhere!

The Egyptian revolution have stunt the whole world, forcing a great country like China to ban the word “Egypt” from local searches for fear the Chinese nation would follow our tracks! Positive energy is contagious!

And for the first time in the history of revolutions worldwide, a staggering 10% of the population participated in what started as a peaceful demonstration and then turned into a tragic bloodshed. Sad but true! But if you come to think about it, the exact same scenario happened in the French revolution and others. Sometimes lives must be scarified to pave the way for major breakthroughs.

These are the names and pictures of some flowers that bloomed in Egypt’s garden: The 25th Jan. revolt victims.



I am certainly not an advocate of the ”end justifies the means” mentality but I am all for defending a noble cause not matter what the sacrifices may be.

I am asking everyone who reads this article to support us in our massive leap towards freedom and reformation. We will make it happen! As God is my witness, we will make it happen….

Copyright reserved to Heba Hosny, Award-winning marketing expert and SEO Copywriter

 

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Peak Potential: Decide, Commit, Succeed!

"Success is reaching your goals while enjoying every step of the way" 

Susan Jeffers

     Unstoppable, passionate, motivated, daring are some few words that describe those who master the art of life. I invite you to awaken the giant within and live your life to the fullest starting NOW!

     Within you lies the magnificent power to accomplish anything your heart desires. But it will not happen unless you tune into your authentic aspirations. Don't fool yourself into compromising for less than a compelling goal. Get yourself fired up with excitement and pave the way for massive action.

    Create magical yet realistic goals that you can achieve. Divide them into little tidbits that you can accomplish every day, every month, every year. Set yourself up for success.         

     Enjoy reaping the rewards constantly, every step of the way. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done, then move on to the next challenge.  Dwell on the idea that you are compelled to accomplish your goals, and live and breathe them until you have them. You have endless resources at your finger tips. Just decide, commit and succeed!

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Now I Know That Forgiveness is Pure Self Love. Thanks Louise!

          I want to do a little exercise with you: please take a moment and reflect on your past and try to remember that most painful experience in your life. I'm not asking you to do so to awaken your sad memories. On the contrary, I'm inviting  you to be grateful that your name isn't Louise L. Hays!

          Raped at the age of five and being a battered child, Louise was diagnosed of having cancer. The doctor gave her three months to perform an operation. Otherwise, she would loose her life. That's how Louise tells her story: "Like anyone who has just been told they have cancer, I went into total panic. And yet I knew that mental healing worked. Being aware that cancer comes from a pattern of deep resentment that is held for long time, until it literally eats away the body, I knew I had a lot of mental work to do…I immediately began to work with my own teacher to clear old patterns of resentment…A lot of forgiveness work was in order. The other thing that I did was to go to a good nutritionist and completely detoxify my body. So between the mental and physical cleansing, in six months I was able to get the medical profession to agree with what I already knew; that I no longer had any form of cancer. I still keep the original report to remind me of how negatively creative I could be".

          What an amazing story! It just shows how love could work miracles! I don't need to tell you that rap is a tragic experience not to mention if it happened to a five-years-old! Still, Louise managed to somehow tap into her higher self and found the power within to replace the resentment in her heart with love and forgiveness. She INVITED the miracle into her life and HEALED her body from cancer without any medical intervention!

           Since then, Louise L. Hay became a metaphysical lecturer and teacher and a best selling author of 27 books, including YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE and LIFE! REFLECTIONS ON YOUR JOUNERY. Waaaw! I couldn't think of a better role model. I don’t know how she did it but I know one thing: if she did it, then you and I could do it as well because I don't think most of us had past experiences worse than hers. So, we have no excuse to stay at the mercy of our past and allow it to control our future.

           The secret is simple: it's one magical word: love. Love could conquer all even incurable diseases! True happiness comes from peace of mind…it comes when we cultivate kindness and forgiveness in our hearts. One of the most effective ways I know to purify your heart is to STOP JUDGING YOURSELF AND OTHERS.  Difference is part of human nature. Don't you think this life would be boring to tears if we were all carbon copies of each other?!. We are different. That's a fact. It doesn't mean you're better than me or I'm better than you. We're just different! If we learn to accept each others differences and love each other unconditionally, we will make this world a better place.

           Think about it: what's the reason behind all the wars and conflicts in the world? It's simply rigidity of mind. A group of people with certain ethnic or religious convictions take for granted that they're right and JUDGE others to be wrong and use force to impose their beliefs on others! What if we respect other people's right to be whatever they choose to be as long as their freedom of choice doesn't affect us? Don't you think our lives would be more joyful?!

 I wouldn’t think of a better way to sum up this amazing story than to share with Louise’s beautiful “Loving Treatment” Enjoy!

         "Deep at the center of my being, there's an infinite well of love. I now allow this love to flow to the surface. It fills my heart, my mind, my body, my consciousness, my very being and radiates out of me in all directions and returns to me multiplied. I'm a loving soul. Therefore, I behave and think in loving way to all people for I know that that which I give out returns to me multiplied. I'm a loving soul. Therefore, I forgive and totally release the past and all past experiences and I’m FREE. I'm a loving soul. Therefore, I live totally in the now…experiencing each moment as new and knowing that my future is bright and joyous and secure for I'm a beloved child of the universe and the universe lovingly takes care of me now and forever more. And so it is".

      I personally prefer to say “God” instead of “Universe” when  I read these beautiful words and that I guess Louise chose this word so that people from all walks of life could relate to it. I love you Louise and I’m sure that all of you fell in love with her by now.

 One finall word: I couldn't care less if Louise rapist "desereved" to be forgiven! But when she managed to forgive him, she saved her own life which inspired me to write the following quote:

"No matter how much you resent those who hurt you, love yourself enough to forgive them" Heba Hosny

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Run for Fun! Ancient Versus Modern Egypt

Are you fitting to "run" our country?!
Well, prove it: RUN!

"Run to Rule" is a fascinating ancient Egyptian slogan that manifested itself through the Heb Sed, namely Zoser's running festival. In order to assert his power, the Pharaoh performed a running ceremony where he had to perform a four-times running routine around the courtyard, meanwhile the king proudly made various announcements evoking his appeal to the Gods by saying: "I have passed the land and touched the four sides". The courtyard symbolized Egypt and the king,running through the courtyard, revealed his mastery and leadership over the scared land of Egypt.

The king was required to run before spectators intentionally. This way, he could show off his physical strength and prove, by actions not just words, his capacity to rule using his bodily as well as mental capabilities. Interestingly, The Heb Sedrunning festival is known to date back to the 4th millennium BC, which makes it more than two thousand years older than the first Olympic game!

"Run for Fun" is yet another ingrained ancient Egyptian slogan, reflected in numerous marathon races. Ancient Egyptians were fond of races and performed them in several occasions. There's plenty of historical evidence that the Pharaoh, together with those who had the same birth date, participated in very hectic marathons. No one was allowed to have a meal before covering at least 180 stages of the race!

Such traditions clearly reveal the unquestionable significance that running had in ancient Egypt. Today is no exception: tourists visiting Egypt enjoy all kinds of exciting running activities. In fact, I felt so proud when I read about an American tourist who was fired up with enthusiasm as she described her exquisite running adventure in the Egyptian desert.

Sadly though, the same does not apply to the vast majority of the Egyptian population. Think about it: bombarded with heavy responsibilities and endless pressures to make ends meet, do you believe that under such circumstance people would have any spare time forrunning or any rewarding activity?!

The only kind of "running" a typical Egyptian citizen knows is running after an over-speedy bus or running after any imaginable opportunity to increase his income! Most people work in multiple jobs but still barely cover their basic needs.

I guess I would be speaking on behalf of most Egyptians when I say that I wish I had lived in ancient Egypt in order to witness all the beauty and wonder of such mind-boggling civilization. However, until some genius invents the time machine, "Run for Fun" will remain distorted by yet another slogan: "Burn in the Sun"!!!