I've been eager to visit your country and its treasures since I first looked at pictures of the Pyramids of Giza as a kid. Until two years ago, I didn't aggressively pursue traveling to Egypt, mostly because it's a very close and convenient trip from Italy, where my family lives, and I thought I could easily come whenever I wanted. There's no rush, I believed. Luckily, during the holiday season between 2010 and 2011 I changed idea, and was fortunate to spend 10 days in your fascinating country. I'm glad I did. Three weeks later, on January 25th 2011, the Egyptian Revolution hit the nation, changing the lives of your people forever.
I have no intentions of getting into politics. However, I'm well aware of the challenges that your country is currently facing, of a civil conflict of huge proportions with the population being fractured by hatred. I'm not here to side with one part or another. I just want to show my support for the entire population of Egypt. My appeal goes to all Egyptians: please, find a peaceful solution to your problems, and stop fighting.
My level of knowledge of your ancient culture goes back to my school years in Italy, in which no history curriculum could miss what your ancestors created. However, I don't have the presumption to know your country and traditions. I was only there for 10 days and spent most of the time visiting some of your treasures as a tourist. In particular, I'm not too familiar with your modern society, and struggle to comprehend the deep reasons for such malcontent. While I was there, I met truly kind and generous people, and I can't believe that some of them - or their family members - could have been hurt by the latest uprisings. Maybe I only brushed the surface, but my impression of the Egyptian people was very positive. Sure, I wasn't happy with some of the vendors continuously harassing me; nevertheless, whenever I had the fortune to share a cup of tea with a local, only beautiful pictures reemerge from my memory.
It was the guy who shared some words after dinner in the countryside around Luxor, where our voices were accompanied by the regular chirping of the crickets. It was the woman in one of Cairo's markets, whose smile was so powerful I kept going back for more fresh fruit. And it was the kid sailing his felucca on the Nile, making sure I wouldn't miss the sunset light. I saw countless qualities in countless Egyptians, many of which instrumental to peace and prosperity. Most of all, I saw pride in their eyes, certainly coming from their glorious past. And I felt the awareness of belonging to something greater than the present, and an out-of-the-norm sense of integrity transcending space and time.
Egyptians, I'm now appealing to your ancestral ability to reason, and thousands-year old wisdom: please, pause for a moment, go back to your origins and find a peaceful way to this crisis. I'm not in the position to physically do anything for you, but I can try to help by using my keyboard and exploiting current social media network strategies. I strongly believe that sharing on social media can make the public opinion more aware about your situation, and hopefully provide logistic support. I encourage more people around the world to write more social media blogs such as this one, so that we can make our voices heard and our prayers for peace listened. Social media campaigns can go further than we think: all we need is just one click of the mouse.
Relationships are everything in life, and one important aspect of the Arab Spring I embrace is the facilitation of a new phase of relationships between people: open, transparent and peaceful relationships. You are now more free than ever to brainstorm strategies to make your country a better place for your children. However, this can only happen with everybody's contribution, a collaborative teamwork necessary to project your nation to the 21st century. Egypt is more than the sum of different ideologies or political parties. Please, sit down, have a cup of tea and talk to each other.
Senior Editor Annex Press, Film Annex
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