We want to hear your voices and ideas! On Oct 31, hundreds of leading US community activists, funders, and international organization (NGO) directors will meet at Microsoft headquarters in Seattle, USA for an international conference. Part of that conference will focus on understanding what impact the revolution in Egypt is having on education and what it means for NGO’s and funders who are working in Egypt. We plan to bring a live video conference from Egypt to the conference and share opinions directly from people in Egypt who are living the experience and shaping it. We have three questions in particular we want your responses to, and will share your views with conference participants in the video conference to help shape how they act and fund in the future. Please feel free to respond in English or Arabic, in writing or in a short (60 seconds or less) video and send your responses to Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for taking the time to offer your opinions!
For students and young people
1) How has this movement changed you as an educator? How has it changed you as a student?
2) How, if at all, has your schooling influenced your participation in civil society (demonstrations, political and social activism, etc)? Where have you/do you learn the skills needed to participate in the ongoing revolution (including communication, technical, organizational, etc)?
3) If you had unlimited power and resources to reform the Egyptian education system, what would be the most pressing and immediate reforms to be made so that students emerge better prepared to participate in Egyptian and global society, economy, and political life?
For individuals working in the NGO sector:
1) How, if at all, is your organization influenced by the ongoing revolution? Is it easier or more difficult to operate? If yes, why?
2) How, if at all, has your organization’s mission changed or remained the same in light of the revolution?
3) In your opinion, what are the most pressing issues that Egyptian and international NGOs need to address in Egypt? Is there space or a need for international NGOs in revolutionary Egypt?
Thank you very much for your time and energy. We are all three deeply inspired and moved by the Egyptian people’s efforts toward greater freedom and a vibrant and diverse civil society. We’d love to hear and share your thoughts at the upcoming international conference. This is a great opportunity for you to communicate with a diverse group of change makers. Please send your written or video responses on or before October 15th (earlier is better! We need time to sort through and prepare responses for presentation) to Kelly at email@example.com. Shokran!
Note: We are working to make this conference panel available via Webinar so that you may participate virtually. Should we, insha’Allah, make that happen, we will send out an invitation and instructions for joining the conference via live Webinar.
Best wishes to you!
Kelly, Rabab, and Greg
Tag Archives: human rights
Today, like many others, I am walking on the razor edge of complete despair and profound hope. Deep in my heart I am trembling with fear that tomorrow Mubarak will order his thugs to massacre any protesters. In my bones I am certain–just as the quivering voice of Salma speaking from Tahrir Square declared–that if Mubarak remains in office until September (or November as PM Shafiq later mentioned) many Egyptians who had the courage, nerve, and dignity to demand their human rights will be rounded up, tortured, and imprisoned–if not assassinated.
How have we created such a world? How is it that so many of us move along happily ignoring the numerous injustices plaguing the planet. I just cannot stop caring. Where do we begin to build peace? Where do we begin building cultures and societies that simply do not allow such atrocities to take place. This is not an Egyptian crisis, nor is it simply an Egyptian uprising. This is a global crisis and in my opinion it is a very private crisis too. All I can come up with, all I can grasp, is this: We must each make it our foremost duty to actively build peace in this world. I’m not talking about going to Yoga class and claiming bliss–I mean action. Action at home, action at work, action in our communities. Each one of us holding ourselves accountable and honestly reflecting on our own behavior, choices, and thinking.
This massacre is not being carried out by Mubarak alone but by many people. There are the thugs, of course, who have fallen in love with their power and have lost touch with their humanity. Hell-bound sycophants who eagerly assault unarmed innocents so that they may hold their grip on their positions. Some people enable the massacre by hiding away in their flats and growing revolution fat. Others enable the brutality by leaving the country and trying to forget about the chaos. Further away, some of us simply ignore the atrocities and justify our apathy in various ways: I am so busy, I have my own problems, that’s just a crazy part of the world and I don’t get it. LOOK INSIDE YOUR HEARTS!!!!!!! What is there! Aren’t you aching for this man above?! Aren’t you aching for Egypt? Aren’t you aching for this entire human mess? Look into your heart and pull aside that dark curtain that prevents you from seeing, from feeling. Look inside your heart and recognize–finally–that there you CAN create infinite space and hold within it every being on this freaking planet.
I cannot stop caring and I am praying that you will have the same affliction.
In honor of the brave Egyptians protesting in the dangerous streets, I am reposting this article so that you may be aware.
Here are the signals I picked:
Omar Soliman claimed the youth in Tahrir now are NOT those honorable ones on 25th! ( A BIG LIE )
Then all int’l reporters started getting calls to leave the square tonight ‘as gov. Can not guarantee there safety!!!’
And all live camers (at least from one side of tahrir have been confiscated!!)
Earlier the military police stormed the Hesham Mobarak center for human rights (not related to Mubarak) and detained at least 24!!
And a probaganda plan started about a foreign groups behind the protests continuing till now!!
I feel They are keeping (who are the foreigners! behind it?) open so they choose later who will not side with the reports after massacre is over by the mafia of Mubarak (US cia or HAMAS or Israili intelligence)
I tried to suggest protestors now to be aware and hide or leave and choose another form of protesting NOW suddenly like hanging a black cloth from each balcony but idea was turned down
Will you begin caring now? Will you look into your heart? Will you make this commitment to yourself and to your community? We must begin building peace in ourselves and doing that requires us to look into our hearts and realize that it DOES hurt to witness atrocities. It is our duty to bear witness, it is our duty to care, it is our duty to take action.
Please share this.
Dear Mr. President,
I understand that everyday you must make difficult decisions. Thank you, Sir, for speaking out against Hosni Mubarak’s violent reaction to the Egyptian people’s protests.
I just spoke with a friend of mine in Cairo. She is five months pregnant and today she is on the street with her fellow citizens and protesting for a better Egypt. When I got through to her phone–finally after nearly 24 hours of disrupted service–the first question she asked me was this, “Is the US putting pressure on these thugs to step down?” I told her about your speech. She assured me, “We will not leave the streets until Mubarak steps down. He will not stop down as long as the US supports him.”
Mr. President, we cannot afford to lose the affection of the Egyptian people. It is urgent that we put ourselves on the right side of history. Let us not continue supporting a repressive regime, let us not make it easier for Mubarak and his cruel secret police to torture and murder journalists, dissidents, and other innocent citizens.
Sir, the Egyptian people are fighting for their freedom. They are in the streets–some are pregnant with a new generation of Egyptians–risking their lives for a better future. They are fighting for grassroots democracy.
Democratic values and ideals should not be reserved for those of us who were lucky enough to be born in the Western world. It is bitterly ironic for the US to suppress a popular movement for democracy. Please Sir, let Mubarak know that you do not have his back.
Sir, thank you for your service.
Kelly Marie Johnston
Please contact your local representative and President Obama. You can write to the President here http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact. Support human rights everywhere. Our friends in Egypt are being murdered simply because they want basic freedoms.
Thank you for your kind attention. Sir, I am writing to request that you let it be known that American voters are outraged by the horrific human rights violations taking place in Egypt. The United States’ support of the Egyptian regime is not only unsustainable and inhumane, it is utterly hypocritical. Egyptian men and women deserve the right to free speech, free assembly, and peaceful protest. They deserve the right to access information and communicate with one another via internet and telephone.
I received a phone call one hour ago from a close friend of mine who is Egyptian. She is in Cairo now, five months pregnant, and stranded. The internet has been completely shut down and it is expected that phone, electricity, and water services will be cut tomorrow in effort to prevent the planned protests. If the United States continues to support this illegitimate regime we not only risk further damaging our legitimacy abroad, we also risk contributing to the development of another Iran. PLEASE DO NOT LET THIS FALL OFF YOUR RADAR.
I lived in Egypt for three years. It is a powder keg precisely because of the widespread corruption, ridiculous presidential referendums that are widely mocked, and a police state that makes it impossible for young, poor, frustrated Egyptians to innocently blow off steam. If we do not support grass roots democracy in the making, we have turned our backs on the values we claim to hold dear. Egyptians should no longer suffer under the weight of US support for puppet regimes. I am an American voter and tax-payer and I protest the US support for non-democratic regimes. Enough is enough.
Please fight for an official statement from the United States government–a reiteration of Secretary Clinton’s remarks with some teeth–that we do NOT support this thug regime’s tactics and that we stand behind all peoples seeking to claim their human rights.
Sir, do take care and thank you for your service.
Kelly Marie Johnston
University City, MO
Please write to your local representative, your congressman or congresswoman and urge that the US support Egyptians in their struggle for freedom, democracy, and human dignity.
Please Tweet to spread the word. Feel free to use this letter as a template.