I, along with many other Americans, I’m sure, have been closely following the unrest in Egypt during the past few weeks.
I was thrilled when former President Hosni Mubarak finally stepped down, and I believe it is a wonderful time for Egyptians right now. But as events have settled to some degree, I think we would all do well to remember the 365 people who died in the revolution.
When Americans see protests or military conflicts in other parts of the world in the news, we sometimes easily glance over the dull numbers reporting the amount of deaths and wounded people. After all, 365 is just a number, right?
Rather than thinking of 365 deaths, we should think of the individual whose life was ended. And another. And another. Up to 365.
A child, 8-year-old Muhammed Ehab Al-Naggar, was shot and killed by Egyptian security forces on Jan. 28. Thirty-three-year-old Haitham Hemeda Ahmed died in Cairo on the same day after being shot in the chest and arm and suffocating from gas. Forty-year-old lawyer Mohammed Farouk Hassan died on Jan. 18 after setting himself on fire near the Egyptian parliament.
Every person who died during this time had family and friends. Many of them were fighting for greater freedom and democracy. And while we should celebrate that the protesters achieved their ultimate goal and a new government is now being discussed, we need to remember those who paid the ultimate price for that goal.
I would encourage you to visit www.1000memories.com/egypt, which lists names, pictures and information of Egyptian protestors who were killed. Take a look at what freedom has cost the people of Egypt.
And with this in mind, pay attention to unrest in other parts of the Arab world: Iran, Libya and Bahrain. They are all going through a similar struggle, and just because their names aren’t as familiar as Egypt’s doesn’t mean we shouldn’t show the same respect and attention — especially for those who have been killed so far.
Remember, these people are human beings not numbers, and they need our support more than anything right now.
Braden Smith/Managing editor
Braden Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org