Was This The Video That Started The Egyptian Revolution?
By Asma Mahfouz
04 February, 2011
Asma Mahfouz is one of the founders of the April 6 Youth Movement, a group of Internet activists credited with a leading role in organizing theRevolutionary protests calling for Mubarak's departure. Her video blog helped spark the Egyptian Revolution
Here's the transcript, transcribed by the Mumbai mirror
Four Egyptians have set themselves on fire, thinking maybe we can have a revolution like Tunisia... maybe we can have freedom, justice, honour and human dignity.
Today, one of these four has died, and I saw people commenting and saying: "May God forgive him, he committed a sin, and killed himself for nothing."
People, have some shame. I posted that I, a girl, am going down to Tahrir Square and I will stand alone... and I'll hold up a banner, perhaps people will show some honour.
I wrote my number, so maybe people will come down with me. No one came except three guys! Three guys, and three armoured cars of riot police!
And tens of hired thugs, and officers, came to terrorise us. They shoved us roughly away from the people. But as soon as we were alone with them, they started to talk to us.
They said: "Enough, these guys who burned themselves were psychopaths!"
Of course, on all national media, whoever dies in protest is a psychopath. If they were psychopaths, why did they burn themselves at the Parliament building?
I'm making this video to give you one simple message: We want to go down to Tahrir Square on January 25th. If we still have honour and want to live in dignity on this land, we have to go down on January 25th.
We'll go down and demand our rights, our fundamental human rights. I won't even talk about any political rights... We want our human rights and nothing else.
This entire government is corrupt - a corrupt president and a corrupt security force.
These self-immolators were not afraid of death but were afraid of security forces! Can you imagine that? Are you also like that? Are you going to kill yourselves too? Or are you completely clueless?
I'm going down on January 25, and from now till then I'm going to distribute fliers in the street everyday. I will not set myself on fire! If the security forces want to set me on fire, let them come and do it.
If you think yourself a man, come with me on January 25.
Whoever says women shouldn't go to protests because they get beaten... let him have some honour and manhood and come with me on January 25.
Whoever says it is not worth it because there will be only a handful of people, I want to tell him you are the reason behind this.
And you are like a traitor, just like the President or any security cop who beats us in the streets. Your presence with us will make a difference, a big difference.
Talk to your neighbours, your colleagues, friends and family and tell them to come. They don't have to come to Tahrir Square, just go down anywhere and say it - that we are free human beings.
Sitting at home and just following us on news or Facebook leads to our humiliation, my own humiliation.
If you have honour and dignity as a man, come. Come and protect me and other girls in the protest. If you stay at home, then you deserve all that's being done to you.
And you will be guilty, before your nation and your people. And you'll be responsible for what happens to us on the street while you sit at home.
Go down to the street, send SMSes, post it on the Net... make people aware. You know your own social circle, your building, your family, your friends... tell them to come with us.
Bring five people, or ten people; if each of us manages to bring five or ten to Tahrir Square and talk to people and tell them, this is enough.
Instead of setting ourselves on fire, let us do something positive. It will make a difference, a big difference. Never say there's no hope.
Hope disappears only when you say there's no hope. So long (as) you come down with us, there will be hope.
Don't be afraid of the government, fear none but God. God says that He "will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves' (Qur'an 13:11).
Don't think you can be safe anymore. None of us are. Come down with us and demand your rights, my rights, your family's rights.
I am going down on January 25th, and I will say "No" to corruption, "No" to this regime!
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