Monday 24 June 2013

The Death of a Country

You hear the mob approaching, slogans against your religion are being shouted out as the masses wielding their sticks and daggers get closer and closer. You look out the window, you might get a chance to run, but it's too late, they've spotted you and their cheers get louder. They enter into your house and drag you out. You feel the first blow on your head, the rest of your body has been subjected to beatings from different directions since the very second they laid eyes on you. You try to speak "I didn't do anything, I'm innocent." But the chants of the crowd drown out your voice as you fall to the ground. You struggle to get up and your eyes meet the eyes of one of the aggressors. In that second, that moment of time, your eyes attempt to plead for mercy. 

The blows on your head and body keep coming and you look into his eyes. You see death, you see hopelessness and cruelty. You think to yourself "I'm Egyptian" but you have nothing in common with those Egyptians, they see you as an enemy, a threat to be exterminated. They have been hearing from politicians, sympathizers of the ruling party, that you are an agent for foreign powers. You think "I am a Muslim", but they've been told by the sheikh in the nearby mosque that you insult the Prophet and that you deserve to die, you're not one of them. The TV preacher told them that you'd burn in hell. Chants of "Allah Akbar" surround you as your teeth get smashed in by a large wooden stick. You taste your blood as you fall to the ground again. This time your eyes look up and meet the eyes of another assailant. You plead, thinking "I am a human being", but there is no humanity left in them. They have become like wild animals, their savagery fueled by the smell of your blood. 

You are on the ground now, choking on your blood, unable to breathe, pain has overtaken your entire body. You can no longer see, maybe it's for the best, you can no longer gaze in front of you to see yet another one of your killers reveling in cruelty, reveling in your pain.

Everything has gone dark, you can still feel the blows to your body, the cuts from the sharp knives, but it is as if you've left your body and are looking upon it from afar. You hear the chants, one woman was ululating in joy. And then silence comes over you, the only audible thing is your feeble heartbeat... it stopped. 

Hassan Shehata, the Shia cleric who was brutally murdered by a mob.

You are no longer. All that remains of you is a memory to those who loved you and a curse from the mouths of those who killed you, damning you to hell. Your countrymen - but is it even really your country? - have always known you were in danger. They too have been listening to the sheikhs proclaiming you as enemies of religion, a danger to society, a threat to all that is godly. They have done nothing. They haven't condemned them sufficiently, they never worried enough about you, they were never disturbed by the amount of hatred that was spreading in all corners of society. They haven't done anything to help you, to fight them. And they will not. Until one day they feel the first blow and fall to the ground and taste their blood as they gasp for air. They have lost their sight already...

Disclaimer: Egypt has been plagued with sectarianism for a long time. It has infiltrated all corners of society. Warnings are ignored and the danger is underestimated. This account was based on this (graphic) video documenting the lynching of 4 Shia men in Egypt. 


  1. what happened hurts me so much....and this shows exactly how minorities get treated in Egypt and justifies why coptics are fleeing the country to the states and canada or anywhere else....Egypt is now ruled by a big gang and there will never be any progress unless we get rid of these assholes....great post, keep writing

  2. If we would all put ourselves in the other person's shoes on any subject, we would understand so much and have more respect for each other. Brilliant article. thank you Sara.

  3. We are all minorities when we travel to Egypt. Last Easter I travelled with British Iranians. And sometimes with those of Jewish descent, or blacks or just plain 'western'. Ahlan wa sahlan fi musr......I love the country with a passion but am beginning to see its fascist side and am not sure I wish to promote it any more.

  4. So powerful, thank you for sharing Marie.
    Sara, thank you for the strength and honesty of your writing.

  5. politics from it's most humane and honest perspective! Great job, Sara!

  6. Thank you all for you comments.