14 Feb 2011
Over the past several weeks, Egyptians have bravely and proudly shown the world what a people united can do to create a peaceful revolution and drive positive political change. In that same spirit, it is now time to show each other what the same people united can do to revolutionize the way we deal with each other. Said differently, we must ride this current tidal wave to create equally positive cultural change in Egypt.
If we want to truly be a decent and civil society, let us abandon the previous ills that have been happening between men and women, the rich and the poor, the educated and non-educated, urban- and rural folk, the working class and the unemployed, Muslim and Christian, and younger and older generations. Let us live the true meaning of dignity and respect for all humankind.
If we want to truly be a decent and civil society, let us also abandon the previous ills on our country; ills in the form of littering our streets, spitting in public, and burning trash in residential areas. Let us nurture our land back to health so that she can continue to give back and sustain us for generations to come.
And finally, if we want to truly be a decent and civil society, let us abandon the previous ills in our social habits such as driving dangerously, not waiting our turn in public lines, and giving or accepting bribes. Let us create order out of chaos so that we can carry out our day-to-day activities without undue stress and hardships.
From this day forward, let us hold each other accountable for the new Egypt we now want and need to build:
If someone verbally or physically taunts or teases our young girls and women, kindly remind him that he has a wife/daughter/mother/sister too and that such treatment should stop. If someone asks you to stop harassing a young girl or woman, kindly listen and do what you have been asked.
If you see someone littering our streets, ask them kindly to pick it up. If someone asks you to pick up your trash, kindly listen and do what you have been asked.
If someone drives in a disorderly fashion, ask them kindly to adhere to traffic rules. If someone asks you to follow traffic rules, kindly listen and do what you have been asked.
و إذا رأيتَ شخصا ما يرمي القمامة في شوارعنا، اطلب منه بلطف التقاط الأوساخ التي قام برميها. إذا طلب أحد ما منك التقاط القمامة التي قمتَ برميها، استمع إليه برحابة صدر و نفذ ما طلبه منك.
و إذا رأيت البعض يقودون على نحوِ مخالف، اطلب منهم بلطف التقييد بقواعد المرور. إذا طلب منك احدٌ ما إتباع قوانين المرور. استمع إليه بلطف و نفذ ما طلبه منك.
Egypt has a glorious history; and we will always retain the many aspects of our already great culture. However, the time has also come for Egyptians to rise up to a higher calling; one that defines, practices and upholds values of tolerance, dignity, trust, compassion and respect. Let us say, “no more injustice upon us, no more injustice towards one another, no more injustice to our beloved land Egypt”. No more, no more, no more….for ourselves, for our children, and for our children’s children. Surely then, will Egypt be able to realize its many hopes for a better today and tomorrow.
Hanan Heakal Giza, Egypt February 12, 2011
12، شباط 2011
Hanan is a member of Meedan's Board of Directors, the views she expresses herein are her own.