Saturday, February 5, 2011

The video that helped spark a revolution

A video of a soft-spoken girl named Asmaa Mahfouz was recorded on January 18th and immediately went "viral".

This is a translation of the transcript.

"Four Egyptians have set themselves on fire, to protest humiliations and hunger and poverty they had to live with for 30 years.

Four Egyptians have set themselves on fire, thinking maybe we can have a revolution like Tunisia, maybe we can have freedom, justice, honor, and human dignity.

Today, one of these four has died, and I saw people commenting and saying:  "May God forgive him, he committed a sin, and killed himself for nothing".

People! Have Shame!

I posted that I, a girl, am going down to Tahrir square and I will stand alone, and I'll hold up a banner, perhaps people will show some honor.

I even wrote my number, so maybe people will come down with me.

No one came except three guys!  Three guys, and three armored cars of riot police!

And tens of hired thugs, and officers, came to terrorize us.

They shoved us roughly away from the people.

But as soon as we were alone with htem, they started to talk to us.

They said:  "Enough, these guys who burned themselves were psychopaths!"

Of course, on all national media, whoever dies in protest is a psychopath.

If they were psychopaths, why did they burn themselves at the Parliament building?

I'm making this video to give you one simple message.

We want to go down to Tahrir Square on January 25th.

If we still have honor, and want to live in dignity on this land, we have to go down on January 25th.

We'll go down and demand our rights, our fundamental human rights.

I won't even talk about any political rights.

We just want our human rights and nothing else.

This entire government is corrupt--a corrupt president and a corrupt security force.

These self-immolators were not afraid of death but were afraid of security forces!

Can you imagine that?  Are you also like that?

Are you going to kill yourselves too?  Or are you completely clueless?

I'm going down on January 25th, and from now till then, I'm going to distribute fliers in the street everyday.

I will not set myself on fire!  If the security forces want to set me on fire let them come and do it!

If you think yourself a man, come with me on January 25th.

Whoever says women shouldn't go to protests because they will get beaten, let him have some honor and manhood and come with me on January 25th.

Whoever says its not worth it coz there will be only a handful of people, I want to tell him, you are the reason behind this,

And you are a traitor, just like the president or any security cop who beat us in the streets.

Your presence with us will make a difference, a big difference!

Talk to your neighbors, your colleagues, friends and family and tell them to come.

They don't have to come to Tahrir Square, just go down anywhere and say it, that we are free human beings.

Sitting at home and just following us on news or Facebook leads to our humiliation.

Leads to my own humiliation!

If you have honor and dignity as a man, come and protect me and other girls.

If you stay at home, then you deserve all that's being done to you.

And you will be guilty, before your nation and your people.

And you'll be responsible for what happens to us on the street while you sit at home.

Go down to the street, send SMS's, post it on the net.  Make people aware.

You know your own social circle, your building, your family, your friends, tell them to come with us.

Bring 5 people, or 10 people;  if each of us manages to ring 5 or 10 to Tahrir Square

And talk to people and tell them, this is enough!

Instead of setting ourselves on fire, let us do something positive.

It will make a difference, a big difference.

Never say there's no hope!  Hope disappears only when you say there's no hope.

So long as you come down there with us, there will be hope.

Don't be afraid of the government, fear none but God!

God says that He "will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves" (Qur'an 13:11)

Don't think you can be safe any more!  None of us are!

Come down with us, and demand your rights, my rights, your family's rights.

I am going down on January 25th, and I will say "NO" to corruption.  "NO to this regime!"

This is the video:


Moriah Untamed said...

This comment was left but when I approved it for publishing it disappeared. Not quite sure why.

Hi, Moriah,

A rally, protests....a march...your post points to why SaveOurSchools has formed and we will be taking action. We have an upcoming Blog Campaign that we would "love" for you to participate in. It takes place this Monday, Valentines Day, and it is called: "I Love Public Education Blog Day"

Everyone who cares about young people cares about our schools. Our best schools nurture our children, make them feel safe, and able to take the risks they need to in order to learn. But our schools are in danger of becoming even more narrowly focused on test preparation, while class sizes rise, and teachers are blamed for the ravages poverty inflicts on their students.

We are responding. We love our schools. We declare Valentine’s Day, 2011, to be I Love Public Education Blog Day. On this day we will write our hearts out, about why it is that public education is so important to us, our children, and our democratic society. If you or your readers will join us and tell why you love public education too, send your comments and posts to

Writing will be displayed at the website, and will be tweeted with the hashtag #LovePublicEd. We offer the march and events of July 28 to 31st in Washington, DC, as a focal point for this movement, and we ask participants to link to this event, so we can build momentum for our efforts. If your readers wish to repeat this post on their own blog, we would love it!

Thank you!
@TeacherReality on Twitter

Moriah Untamed said...

I can't think of a better way to spend Valentine's Day. Well, yes I can--but this is a close second. Count on me for tweets.