18 Days to Freedom

The Egyptian revolution feels so long ago.  The optimism and cheers have subsided, but at least they did make us feel there is good in the world, and perhaps some day things will become better.  I decided to compile the most awesome videos and articles about the Egyptian revolution, for myself to look back on whenever the mood strikes.  To be quite honest, I think the mood will strike quite a bit, which is why I need this post.  There are so many, some hilarious, others that will move you to tears, and a lot more that I haven’t even seen.

January 18, 2011 ~ Asma Mahfouz, the most amazing Egyptian Muslimah, in a video uploaded to Facebook, urging the Egyptian youth to join her in protests.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgjIgMdsEuk

January 24, 2011 ~ Asma Mahfouz, on the eve of the Jan 25th protests.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UUbVr3eB9c

January 25, 2011 ~ Asma Mahfouz, following the Jan 25th protests

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndb5RPUPCs

January 25, 2011 ~ Al Jazeera report about Khalid Saeed, may Allah have mercy on him.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGhoJ6FPFEA

January 25, 2011 ~ A peaceful protester is shot as he holds up his arms in surrender. [Distressing.]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiB1rAPtNvM

January 27, 2011 ~ A peaceful protester is shot, Muhammad al Baradei arrives in Egypt. [Distressing.]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XnhHzs91MY

January 28, 2011 ~ Day of Rage.  Raw footage of the aggression and use of force by those upon evil toward peaceful protesters on a bridge over the Nile River. I don’t think I’ll ever loose admiration for those brothers who managed to stay in salaah as water was being blasted full force at them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTiJ5hgLrvs

January 28, 2011 ~ “Diplomatic” van runs over protesters.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKceG9KjlNw

February 4, 2011 ~ Protesters break into a song in Tahrir Square.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sn9VKz5ZnIk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ud7_I_bnYos

February 5, 2011 ~ Something to lighten the mood: funny chants in Tahrir Square!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMWbUvDK0uc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1y5zEx5bqaY

February 5, 2011 ~ Al Jazeera film Egypt Burning

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3FQXYdyHCg

February 5, 2011 ~ Dua in Masjid al Nabawi for the people of Masr.

February 7, 2011 ~ Reflections from an American student in Cairo: Part I; Part II

February 9, 2011 ~ Today’s Opening of the Red Sea, by Yasmin Mogahed

February 10, 2011 ~ A picture uploaded by Ayman Mohyeldin, a rainbow over Cairo, as hopes rise for Mubarak to resign.

February 10, 2011 ~ Reaction to Hosni Mubarak’s speech

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQ_G11PQ-UQ

February 11, 2011 ~ A beautiful sunset over Tahrir Square

February 11, 2011 ~ Beautiful Jumuah salaah and dua in Tahrir Square, prior to Mubarak’s resignation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uw2p4e8fMX4

February 11, 2011 ~ Du’a by Sheikh Jebril in Tahrir Square

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FU3X08agyg

February 11, 2011 ~ Maghrib salaah going on, as Suleiman announces resignation of Mubarak, and Tahrir Square erupts into cheers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z06GVWJgTWU

February 11, 2011 ~ ‘Isha salaah in Tahreer square and celebrations.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l96wRjM4EEg

February 11, 2011 ~ ‘Isha salaah and Du’a qunoot, by Sheikh Jebril in Tahrir Square

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0nGNVAaaXo

February 11, 2011 ~ A message from Suhaib Webb about Egypt

January 25 – February 1, 2011 ~ Assortment of clips put together from the days of protests.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HGfFyqJMrk

18-day video, including a flashback to 1989 with the Berlin Wall moment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J56oGIznUOQ

Wishes of the Egyptian people.  May their wishes come true!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQOG27iZRmk

March 2, 2011 ~ Long after the revolution, but a very awesome piece.

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Absolutely!

While I see Bahrain’s issue as a Sunni vs Shia fight because it is only the Shia’s standing up in the protests and they are not united with other oppressed people in their country, I also see it as a oppressed vs oppressor issue.  In Egypt, our brothers and sisters who were suffering at the hands of a Sunni government, were Sunni themselves.  In Saudi Arabia, the ulama who are in prisons while some are Shia, there are overwhelming number that are Sunni.  Same with Tunisia, Libya (that is, if Gaddafi is even Sunni, but his population definitely are), Pakistan, and I don’t want to sit here naming the endless stream of countries.  So, I won’t.  I can’t help but be perplexed that people are choosing this moment to be ashamed of themselves being Sunni.  The stance the governments are taking against their people is not a reflection of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jam’ah, it is only a reflection that they are high on power.

That said, I am saddened that the same people who are defending the lives of the Shias, are not giving the same respect to the Pakistani Sunnis in Bahrain.  If they were killed by government thugs, it proves that the government is blindly killing people.  If they were killed by the Shias, I can only wonder what possesses an oppressed person to oppress another.

Devastation

It was a warm day, and even though two of us weren’t quite as motivated to, we headed out for a walk on the beach again.  A two mile walk suddenly became a lot faster, or literally speaking came to a snails speed, as we stopped to snap pictures of the randomness catching our eye, tried to decide whether a shell was just right enough to accompany us back home, or simply to gaze at the awesome beauty that is the ocean as the waves gently went back and forth and the afternoon sun reflects off the water in such perfection that makes you realize the Power of the Creator.  I picked up too many shells, given the fact that I only intended to pick up one and end up with maybe ten.  I even saw some stones that I couldn’t resist.  At one point my brother muttered, why can’t we find gold here instead, this is California after all.  Sure enough, at that very moment his eyes landed on a stone that was mustardy gold in color, and for the memory of it I insisted we take it.

Those moments of fun should never be taken for granted.  I am in horror by what just happened in Japan.  We live in a time where we can watch coverage live as it’s happening, and I think that makes it scarier.  Living in safety and watching a disaster unfold brings you down more than a peg.   Watching it at first, I was under the impression that they had an earthquake, and I stared at the TV dumbfounded trying to understand why things were moving until they said for the fifth time tsunami.  As devastating as this was, they mentioned that Indonesia’s 2004 tsunami was worse. That I don’t want to imagine.  When you tune into the news for morbid news from Libya and see this, well, it makes you wonder what leaders are thinking.  They are so blessed to be living in safety, and decide that simply won’t do.  If chaos doesn’t come to them, well, they’ll bring it on.

Prayers for people all over the world suffering.

Behind the…black cloth?

Saudi Arabia.  The worst country in the Middle East. *shock* Yes, women can’t drive or vote, women who want to be doctors ultimately have a hard time getting married, women who are raped often face lashes, women who go out without a mahram get stared at.  Basically, just like about every other country on this gorgeous planet: it’s a man land.  I cannot and will not stand in defense of any of these things, because it is repressive.

It is well known that Sayyida Asma (Radiallahu Anhu) was walking alone once in the desert heat when Sayyidina Rasulullah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and some companions (Radiallahu Anhum) crossed paths with her.  Seeing that she was carrying a heavy burden, they offered a ride.  She rejected, presuming that it would displease her husband, who in turn felt shame that his wife had to walk with a burden and would have much rather she accepted their offer.  They did not question her for being alone.  Some of the companions did not linger around to harass her.  [Yes. Duh.]  Her husband even felt embarrassment for hardships she underwent.  They all had the sentiments that Muslim man is supposed have.  It can never cease to amaze that us in the 21st century have fallen behind those in the 7th century.

The problem with Saudi Arabia is that it has driven itself into a brick wall.  Niqaab is regarded as fardh by the ulama, but not by the people. We’ve all seen the princesses who once out of the Kingdom, yes even when visiting France prior to the niqab ban, dress like any other Western girl.  Better yet are the girls who have web cams in their rooms for pleasure of random men in chat rooms.   The manner they live in Saudi Arabia is for an outward show.  It is who they are culturally, and culture always comes first before Islam.  It’s funner that way.  Due to a lack of true attachment to Islam, they cannot appreciate the laws of the Quran and Sunnah.  They use the excuse of “times have changed and we need to progress” while citing other laws of Islam that suit them do keep with the times.

So, are these rights being demanded because Islam has granted them the rights?  Or are the rights being demanded as pathway to shedding away the niqaab, wearing the hijaab in a weird way for the funky highlights to show, and for the abayas to be more tight and glamorous?  Are they going to attempt seeking liberation from oppressive men while further falling into the trap of those same men?  Is it the typical case of seeing other people’s lives and simply wanting it withing realizing the richness of their own history?  Everybody deserves freedoms, male and female.  Allah created us with free will, but everybody also has to have the sense of responsibility of treating those freedoms with care.  Denying them of their freedoms does not solve any of the issues, but neither does letting men and women get away with their base desires.

Funny thing about Saudi Arabia is that they allowed a Saudi woman to fly.  Flying before you can even drive.  Genius.

Disclaimer: I am not painting the entire society with one brush stroke.   I am certain there are many amazing Saudi women who uphold their traditions and wish for progress without letting go of who they are.

Let’s watch the child abuse show!

I was watching Tom Hanks parody of Toddlers & Tiaras, which I have to say was hilarious.  I have to say, I’m not completely clueless.  I’m aware of child pageantry, and the obsessive nature of over-weight and not really pretty mothers whose lives have hit a dead-end and have decided they will live through their children.  What I was clueless about was that there are reality shows about child pageant contestants.   I guess that must be the other joy of having cable, the first joy of course being able to watch Anderson Cooper when your internet is crazy without having it buffer on ya.  No, wait, the other joy would be watching Top Chef, and not having to wait for it to be uploaded to the internet.  *thinks* Yup, most definitely!

The idea of giving these twisted beings a show where the world can peek into their sorry lives is shocking.  I would doubt the sanity of person who could watch such shows on a daily basis, and does not come out at the end of each episode scarred.  It’s pretty disgusting watching them not only make their adorable children look like adults, but dance and say gross things like adults.  One mother, who claimed to have a background in Child Development *insert mad laughter here*, decided since she didn’t have daughters she would let her sons be girls.  Thankfully, she wasn’t cross-dressing, but the idea of having boys enter in a pageant because you want them to be like girls is male abuse.  Her facial expressions were pained, maybe she’s suffering postpartum depression and this humors her.  Another mother was fidgeting with the wig on her daughters head and ignored the child who was crying because she was starving and tired.  The same child also said her mother puts make up on her to make her look pretty.  Her words, not mine.  What caused my jaw drop, for like the 100th time, was when one mother said she entered her child into these things because people would pass by and tell her how cute her child was.  No duh, Sherlock.  That’s what people do when they see a cute child.  I’m pretty darned sure they weren’t thinking, she’s so cute, turn her into a china doll and make her talk dirty.

I would be more understanding if the purpose of the show is that the finale would include law enforcement entering and taking these children and putting them in more loving homes.  But I’m guessing it’s meant to be a legal bonus for the perverted men out there.  I wouldn’t even be surprised if there are creeps, besides the freakish parents, who show up to watch the pageants live.

Before anybody thinks I’m a weirdo, I didn’t even watch entire episodes.  I only had to watch maybe 5 clips to be left traumatized, yet thankful for the parents I’ve been blessed with.  It’s not just pageant parents who freak me out, but gymnastic and figure skating parents too.  As a kid I mildly resented them for not letting me learn to skate, out of fear that I was skinny and I’d break some bones.  But heck, better they prevented me, then try to abuse it and go “oh hey, she wants this, let’s go make her a pro and try to make some money of this.”  :/  I could still go learn it now anyway, if I weren’t so scared.  I should.  I will.

Maybe.

It Does Not Stop Here

The words at the top are from Omar Mukhtar.

Fighting today only means standing outside defenseless.  What a sick, twisted, and scary world to live in.  Me standing by Libya means nothing, for what is this weak person’s support when leaderships stand in silence as the blood pours forth.  In moments of hardships, you find out who your friends are.  Power to Egypt and Tunisia for doing all they can.

Quite a day…

Original taken from the Big Picture.

Today is the day I choose to wake up late.  By late, I mean 8:30.  Ideal would have been 7:00, which is when my alarm harshly awakened me.  I retaliated by smothering it with my pillow.  More ideal would have been staying up to watch the Friday prayers.  Anyways, I hop onto Facebook, not really paying attention.  First I see a dua for Egypt.  Normal, right?  Ok, ameen.  Keep scrolling.  Wait, what, Mubarak’s down?  Keep scrolling.  Wow, 5 status messages.  Must be true, then.  Jaw drops.  What an evil father!  He’s abandoning his beloved children?  Typical deadbeat!   They were pretty ungrateful over the last couple weeks though. 🙄  I hear my mom coming up the steps, and I run out, turning Al Jazeera on on my sister’s computer, and telling her Mubarak’s out.  I excitedly wait for the computer to turn on and for Al Jazeera to load, and yet I’m also nervously thinking: I better not be opening Al Jazeera to find out it’s a rumor or to see him on the screen laughing at my naïvety. Thankfully, it was true.  The crowd was electric, and their feelings were contagious.  My parents make enough noise to wake up my sister and after like 30 minutes my brother figured something was going on, there was simply too much laughter in the air as we read the tweeets, and he decided to wake up too. 😛

This video is the coolest, right after the resignation was announced by the ex-step-father of the country.  The Muslims were performing Maghrib as he announced, and the rest of the crowd started cheering. ❤

Al Jazeera rocks.

May Allah bless the people of Masr with guidance first, peace and unity always, and the sense of human dignity and safety that they’ve waited their entire lives for.   And may He make the next ruler a true blessing.  Ameen!

I think I’ll go to sleep now.  Watching this much TV has made my eyes tired!

Since you have a surplus…

Dear King ‘Abdullah,

It’s nice to see you have feelings for your fellow brother in dictatorship.  In case you missed Arab News, there are plenty of young men* and women who are working harder in one day than you have in your entire comfy life.  Working hard is fine. Being abused as if they’re not even human, is not fine.  Being underpaid, when you know full well that they need to support a family back home, is not fine.  Since you have so much money, how about you give ’em a pay raise, and maybe hand out some money to those whose family members have been murdered senselessly in Saudi Arabia by your little princes and princesses?

Get a heart.  Please.

Sincerely,
I’m-not-the-pinhead-here.

*PS: I can’t seem to find anything about foreign males in your country, but I let you play around with the Search feature and figure it out!  Or just ask your grandson.  Y’know the sick one who killed a guy in the United Kingdom and is being tried.