The Blood Of The Martyrs
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The many faces of the martyrs - men, women, even children - are forever painted in my mind's eye.
For every martyr slain, another 1000 are born.
My name is Mahmoud, and I am a 19-year-old Egyptian. I am also a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and their political wing, The Freedom and Justice Party. I, along with my father, mother, older brother and younger sister, have been participating in the sit-in at one of the main pro-Morsy gathering sites since the Egyptian military coup which removed our democratically-elected President, Mohamed Morsy, from power on 3 July 2013. We, along with tens of thousands of other opponents to the military coup, had been living there peacefully, simply wanting to make our voices and opinions known. We were calling for one thing only: that Mohamed Morsy be re-instated as the truly legitimate, democratically elected President of Egypt.
We did not go there looking for violence. If that was our purpose, we would not have lived ' peacefully ' in a tent-city for the past six weeks. That does not seem logical to me at all.
Sure, there are "bad apples" in every bunch, and I'm sure that some people who are considered supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood resorted to violent acts to show their disapproval of the military coup. Yet for the most part, nearly everyone who had been at the sit-in for the past six weeks truly desired to simply see Egypt's elected president re-instated into power as a result of the peaceful gatherings and sit-ins.
However, it became clear that we unfortunately underestimated how ruthless The Generals ' and their military ' truly are. How ruthless you truly are. While we knew that the military has always been opposed to Muslim Brotherhood members being in positions of power in the country, we did not know just how far you and they would go to try and destroy us entirely.
Wednesday, 14 August 2013 was a day like none I had ever experienced in my life. It was a day that will never be forgotten. It was a day which saw the blood of the martyrs run through Egypt's streets like never before. The many faces of the martyrs ' men, women and even children ' are forever painted in my mind's eye.
When the massacre began early in the morning with the police and military driving bulldozers and tanks into the tent-city where we had been living since 3 July 2013, I could not have imagined how much further things would go. I should have known however that driving their tanks in was only the beginning of what you and they had planned to do to us.
The sounds of gunfire then began, and within minutes, I was seeing dead bodies, and the blood of the martyrs, all around. The military and police snipers were indiscriminately shooting at us from atop of surrounding buildings. Policemen and soldiers were simultaneously shooting unarmed civilians inside of the camp as well. All of this was, supposedly, to bring rule and order back to Egypt.
One slain civilian, now a martyr, was a long-time friend of mine. We had grown up together in one of the slum neighborhoods in Cairo. He ' Yusef ' was a good person. Another slain civilian, now a martyr, was my 63-year-old mother. She was a good person.
Mark my words: their blood was not spilt in vain though. Truly, they are in eternal Paradise now. Yet here on earth, we, The Faithful, will seek redemption for them as well.
General Abdul-Fatah al-Sisi, you are using the military and policemen to create a new army like you cannot even begin to imagine. For every martyr slain, another 1000 are born. And we will never, ever back down. We will never, ever give up. I will never, ever forget this day.
Truly, your day of reckoning will soon come.
Jeff d. Patterson, Middle East Specialist: While the ashes were beginning to settle in New York City with the setting of the sun on 9/11, Jeff D. Patterson was unpacking his bags far, far away from American shores; far, far away from his family and friends; far, far away from his homeland. He was starting a new phase of life in a region of the world he would call ‘home’ for most of the next decade. Jeff was taking his first breaths of Middle Eastern air, thinking of the world becoming a better place… In contrast to most... (more...)