Monday, February 21, 2011

From Cairo to Madison

February 21, 2011, 7:30 p.m.

"ONE world, ONE pain, ONE humanity, ONE hope!"
(bought to you by*)

This evening I want to share with you a message from Cairo that you need to see, but may not run across elsewhere.

It is from a young Egyptian engineer who does not precisely identify himself. He runs a WordPress blog he calls "Politirature." As he explains it, "Politirature is a word invented by Me, it’s the mix of Politics and Literature. Me is an Egyptian young man, engineering student & activist seeking freedom and fighting oppression everywhere." But he goes on to provide an email address (, and adds, "You can also follow me on Twitter: M_Nusair."

A couple days ago his blog entry was headed, "From Tahrir to Wisconsin." Here's what he wrote:
Dear activists, protesters & workers from Wisconsin, Ohio and other states,

I was truly touched by your hundreds of thoughts and comments on my photos from Tahrir holding that sign. I thank each and everyone of you, even those who thought the photos were shopped, but I have few things to say.

I’m an Egyptian ordinary young man, activist and Engineering student. I turned 21 years old last December, I love to read and write using both Arabic and English (although my English is kind of weak). and like other thousands, or even millions of Egyptians, I was very busy since Jan25 with our revolution in Tahrir square and all Egypt. we spent very hard days in that square waiting for death to come anytime from air or ground. anyway, what happened in Tahrir is not our subject now, everyone knows what happened there. the point is that I was too busy to know full details of what’s going on in other parts of the world. I knew that people protested in Wisconsin for their rights but didn’t know more details till Thursday, the 17th of February and it was by luck through a wall post of an American friend on Facebook, then I immediately began to search it and read more, then I decided to show support! decided to make the sign and take it with me to Tahrir next morning (Friday).

Many people thought it’s something extraordinary or something that stands out. but I really want to say that me, and many other people, were raised this way. were taught that all human beings are brothers and sisters, were taught that we live in ONE world and under the same sky, so I don’t see what I did as something “abnormal” or “super cool”.

again, as I told many of you, we are all human beings. we shouldn’t let borders and differences separate us, we were made different to complete each other, to integrate and live together. If a human being doesn’t feel the pain of his fellow human beings then everything man created and established since the very beginning of his existence is in great danger.

So…again & again . . . ONE world, ONE pain, ONE humanity, ONE hope!

Now I will leave you with this SUPER FUNNY video

[The song (but not the video) is a creation of the famously hilarious "Capitol Steps" group in Washington, D.C. Here's a link to the group's Web page, where you'll be able to find the way to order their albums and learn about their forthcoming concerts near you. Unfortunately, the video has been taken down from our Egyptian engineer's Web site. I hope my posting of it will remain -- because if not, I'll need to take down this ad for the Capitol Steps as well, and I'd really like for you to become more familiar with them.]

Three years ago I saw revolution coming. I blogged here about it in an eight-part series, "Golden Rules & Revolutions: A Series." The final entry, part VIII, has links to each entry. In that final blog I summarized the others, including, "Part I of this series noted not just the gap in income between the rich and the poor, but the fact that this gap is continuing to grow ever wider, and that history -- as well as the daily news -- provides ample warning that this condition often produces revolution." "Golden Rules & Revolutions: A Series - VIII," April 19, 2008.

As this young engineer reminds all of us, the oppression, and the ultimate popular resistance, know no national boundaries -- from Cairo to Madison.

We are, as he reminds us, "ONE world, ONE pain, ONE humanity, ONE hope!"

[My thanks to my colleague Burns Weston for alerting me to this story.]

* Why do I put this blog ID at the top of the entry, when you know full well what blog you're reading? Because there are a number of Internet sites that, for whatever reason, simply take the blog entries of others and reproduce them as their own without crediting the source. I don't mind the flattering attention, but would appreciate acknowledgment as the source -- even if I have to embed it myself.
-- Nicholas Johnson
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