Ten days ago, when the government turned the phones back on for a few hours, two young Egyptian street activists called us from Tahrir Square: Mahmoud Salem, a well known 29-year-old Egyptian activist and blogger, and Gihan Ibrahim (pictured to the right), a 24-year-old activist who calls herself “Gigi.” The two of them dictated the text for an international campaign over the phone.
It’s become one of the top petitions ever on Change.org. You can add your name here:
Earlier today, we spoke with Gigi and Mahmoud again. Here is their dictated letter to you:
Dear fellow Change.org members,
We’ve been in Tahrir Square — at the epicenter of the Egyptian revolution — day and night since January 25th.
People here are tired. We’ve been beaten, shot at, tear-gassed, rained on, denied medical access, and have lived in a public square for more than two weeks. Mercenary thugs on horses have attacked us with whips, swords, and knives. Hundreds of people have lost their lives and thousands are hurt or missing.
But when we tell people here that more than 41,000 people from 120 countries have added their voice to our campaign, it gives them a sense of vindication, telling us that we are not crazy and what we are asking for is something that all human beings deserve.
The revolutionary feeling here is incredible. Every day this square is full of peasants, workers, students and professionals, engineers, teachers, singers, writers and celebrities, Muslims, Christians, young, old, rich and poor.
We are demanding things which everyone can agree on: an end to corruption, dictatorship and oppression; the ability to vote in free, fair and democratic elections; freedom, dignity and social justice to all citizens.
Yet many governments around the world still do not support us. They call for “stability” in the region, even when we lack democracy and human rights in a “stable” country.
This is why your solidarity is so important. It sends a simple message to those in this square who are risking their lives to support democracy: Even if the governments of the world aren’t with us, the people of the world are.
After just two weeks of protest, President Mubarak has called off his brutal police forces, modified the constitution, and promised to step down ahead of upcoming elections.
But these are only baby steps, which should happen as part of open negotiations after the president’s resignation, not instead of it. We are dealing with a corrupt, brutal government led by a dictator of 30 years. This has to stop, it has to change, and we will not leave until he does.
Are you with us?
أشكركم على تضامنكم (Thank you for your solidarity)
Gigi Ibrahim and Mahmoud Salem
The January 25 Movement
Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt