Like a member of the family, I am worried about you. You’ve plodded along all these years, your people courageous and positive even under the most oppressive of political and economic circumstances. Your youth have now reached critical mass, and like youth everywhere, feel injustice acutely, and know their own strength.
The events of the past week portray everything– their love for you, their sense of the profound insults that have been dumped upon their generation by the current regime, their passion, energy, and commitment to taking what is rightfully theirs– you.
I admire them all, and pray for their success and safety throughout this historic transition. I am worried, however, for your sick, your elderly, your hungry, the ones who are now even more oppressed than they were just one week ago. I am worried, not that your youth will give up, nor that they will be crushed by their own army, but that those of their families who need this change most of all will not get it in time.
I am worried for those who will be left behind, those who will sacrifice members to the ranks of the shaheed. I am worried for the members of my kids’ extended family who live near Tahrir Square.
Behind my worry, though, is a smile. I can’t help imagining that one day your infrastructure will expand, develop, and serve the needs of all your people, and do so efficiently, even pleasantly. I can’t help hoping that the very youth who are in the Square today will someday have their rights of jobs, money, free elections, and– most important of all– the opportunity to develop their talents, establish businesses, and contribute even more to their society than they’ve been allowed to do until now.
Selfishly, I can’t help hoping that someday, I’ll be able to see you again and savor you– comfortably, at last– for more than just a few days at a time. I hope your environment– political, social, physical, and economic– will become fresh, clean and inviting for my grandchildren, who carry your blood, and will grow up knowing you. I want them to know you as they know the United States, a place where they can learn, study, vote, and involve themselves in whatever enterprise or social activity calls to their talents, all with an attendant expectation of fulfillment.
That day is a long way off, but these days are steering your course towards the conditions that will make that day possible.
I am worried, though, and there is nothing I can do to help you, except pray. Sometimes prayer is the most important help a person can offer, even though it is often the resource of last resort.
May Allah protect you, and deliver you quickly and safely, to those who rightfully own you– your people.