Saturday, November 26, 2011

Moses in Tahrir

Moses in Tahrir,
Comparison Study between the Revolution of Moses and the Current Egyptian Revolution

As I walked through the everyday struggle, something happened and stopped me, a very deep voice which made me leave all the articles and analysis I was working on. This voice conquered my mind, and this is one of the very rare cases that one feels joyfulness for being conquered! As the Egyptian revolution interrupted and overwhelmed the world of politics, international trade, micro economy, human capabilities and left based on the opinion of people, either its divine fingerprints or marked its fathomless scars on the walls of the Earth and the hearts of humankind, it managed to also pierce my mind and create a tunnel between the present and the past, between the current Egyptian revolution and the ancient Egyptian one.

As I watched, listened and spoke with people who carried contradicting opinions about the revolution and about the current circumstances of piracy, I managed to try and create some sort of peace connection, but apparently a peacemaker in a war zone is considered the most wanted enemy, he is considered the taker of their satisfaction, unlike the demons who enhance flames then count who did ignite the most. In this case I, the son of Adam was confronting Satan, trying to wake people up from this new kind of lust he is planting in our lands, and watering the seeds with a fluid that is not from the divine Nile. I sure became his enemy by now, denying his powers, confronting his respectable flames with my sharp words. At this point, when I found some people provoked from me because I speak peace, yet all this inspired me, and opened the gate to the past when Moses spoke to me through the words of the Holy Quran, and thus I left everything I was doing, and immediately couldn’t resist writing this article.

Egypt has always been a debate and a land that carried many troubles although in the end it is a very peaceful country. In the time of Moses, there was a very cruel Pharaoh, the cruelest of all. Moses’s revolution against the system of the Pharaoh should be studied from different angles, apart from the mystifying personality of Moses who managed with his patience and wisdom to become a miracle himself.

One day when Moses was walking, he saw one of his companions of the same sect who were suppressed by the Pharaoh, who was one of the revolutionaries, fighting with one of the Pharaoh’s soldiers. When he saw Moses, and he was known by his supernatural masculinity, he called for his help, and as a gallant brother Moses went to push the enemy away, and so with his superb strength the soldier died. The first thing Moses did was ask for forgiveness and confess that he was tricked by Satan. Afterwards, Moses said, (“My Lord, for the favor You bestowed upon me, I will never be an assistant to the criminals.”) Chapter 28, The Stories, Verse 7. And he tried to be invisible from trouble in order to avoid killing or harming someone else. The next day Moses walked in silence in the city to find the same revolutionary man fighting with another soldier. Moses blamed his companion for the piracy he caused, and yet went to defend him until God spoke to Moses for the first time, but through the tongue of his enemy, and said, (“O Moses, do you want to kill me as you slew a soul the other day? Do you want to become a tyrant in the land, not a reformer?”) Chapter 28, The Stories, Verse 19. And this was the time when Moses departed from the country because the Pharaoh wanted his head.

As I thought about this, and comparing it to the current circumstances of which people want to battle with one another for revenge, ego or freedom, and soldiers are fighting back for social security, justice or lack of control, I was overwhelmed by the wisdom of Moses, and the way he thought about things. Egypt now is in deep suppression, and the people are doing the right thing, fighting for what they believe in, dying for the sake of their country and notions, but after reading these few verses from the Book of Wisdom, I found out the everyone does what they think is right, even the pirates. Perhaps everyone is right when it comes to facing a crisis, but now I am sure that there are degrees for rightfulness, same as there are degrees for heaven. Moses started his journey as a loyal brother and a clever slayer, but he climbed those steps of wisdom, and rose to a level of extreme ambition. When he tasted what the angry revolutionary had, he knew that he was much better than being a killer; same as the enemy.

Another vital element that I must highlight, when Moses spoke to the enemy (soldier), he found out that his words were not ones of an evil man at all, he was only one of the Pharaoh’s soldiers, perhaps a victim too and was attacked as a result of stereotyping. That is why it is very important to consider what is beyond the scene we see, beyond the uniforms, beyond our good intentions, and there we will find the godly light that will inspire us with the answers.

Moses had the strength of ten men, yet he never killed another man in his entire life. He always had the chance to kill the Pharaoh, but he did not. He sure did his plan in a very distinctive way. Moses left the country, and headed towards Palestine where he got married and lived for nearly ten years. He was the key that God preserved for the right time. Through all those years, Moses managed to never forget his mission, and with his determination he abandoned the healthy life he had had in order to face the Pharaoh and bring success to the revolution.

As a leader, Moses returned to confront the Pharaoh alone, along with the company of his brother Harun. He did not get any of his people with him, although they would have followed him. He did not want to make war, he did not want to waste time fighting the soldiers, and ruining everything. He chose the philosophy of walking towards the source of fire… (“Stay here; indeed, I have perceived a fire; perhaps I can bring you a torch or find at the fire some guidance.”) Chapter 20, Taha, Verse 10.

God commanded Moses to go - along with his brother - to the Pharaoh and speak calmly to guide him. The main concern of Moses was not the suppression they lived in, but it was for the sake of the Pharaoh too, to guide him to the right path. His request was not to become the king of Egypt or even to let the Pharaoh abandon his throne. His request was to just leave with his people safely, leaving behind a piece of advice for the Pharaoh that might make him a better person sometime in the future. Can you see the difference between the two revolutions? Moses used all kinds of logic to convince the Pharaoh, but he was very arrogant. Yet, Moses did not fight the Pharaoh in the name of freedom, but he treated him with mercy in the name of God. Moses was a true Sufi, no wonder Egypt has a very deep spiritual sort of power…

None of the followers of Moses killed any of the soldiers of the Pharaoh after Moses started his revolution, on the contrary they were only escaping from their attacks. The only ones who got killed within the revolution were the Pharaoh’s sorcerers who were executed because they believed in the message of the prophet. They were martyrs indeed, and their lives were sacrificed for the sake of their message, and to my surprise they accepted it with their wisdom too and with no violence as they said to the Pharaoh, (“We prefer you not over the clear signs that have come to us, and to Him (Allah) Who created us. So decree whatever you desire to decree, for you can only decree (regarding) this life of the world...”) Chapter 20, Taha, Verse 72.

Moses had the power of angels, miracles, people and his own physical power, yet he left the death of the Pharaoh and his soldiers a choice made by God, until the Red Sea swallowed them all.

Another enigmatic fact which occurred, and is also contradicting lots of the opinions of Egyptians, is that Moses was raised in the palace of the Pharaoh, and Moses before he became the leader of his people lived out of the country for ten years. This is a lesson contemporary Egyptians should learn, the leader should be elected on who he is and what good would he bring, even if he was unwillingly a part of the old system, and even if he spent the last dozen of his years outside the country! And even if he was a killer, like Moses was when he first departed Egypt and escaped from the Pharaoh!

An Australian writer and a friend of mine, who is a resident in Cairo, highlighted something very important as I was speaking about Moses. She said that his peaceful revolution took him dozens of years perhaps, well this is true, but it was the nature of that age that everything took years in order to shape, due to the lack of communication, transportation, and technology. However, though Moses still played it slowly but surely, yet in the end his people and his coming generation conquered the world and were kings, this was when prophets David and Solomon ruled. And this all happened without a single murder.

Overall the main concern for Moses within his revolution was the safety of everyone and the guidance of those who damaged the country. He was advising the ruler of the country although he had no intention to even stay in it! That is why his revolution turned into a message, and messages do not fade away with time, they are left to us, to learn from, to study and to put them in comparison with our current world and attitude. We owe our thanks to God who bestowed upon us His Holy Books, not only to read the stories of those whom we miss and wish to meet, and feel a pinch of spiritual and nostalgic sentiments, but to repeat those beautiful stories and not deprive history from witnessing them. And in the end, the Stick of Moses defeated the Sword of the Pharaoh…

Now we are all sons of Moses, and we have no superb prophet among us to reach and talk to the current ruler. That is why now I believe that the only solution to speak to the ruler is to protest, peacefully, and if any harm was to be done, then we should try to avoid it, and then resolve later, in order not to harm our brothers or our enemies, same as Moses did. Egyptians have several miracles too, of which they use in their demonstrations. The meaning or purpose of protesting is advising the other side, more than attacking them, it is to deliver our intentions and words to those who have authority and responsibility. Protesting can be done through walking in a demonstration, publishing an article, documenting a movie, speaking in the media or being interviewed, these are all different ways for delivering the message to the other side, and same as the anonymous people that are exposed to danger in the demonstrations, the public figures are exposed to the danger of being found in their own homes. All Egyptians equally share the effort and threats as long as they are participating in some way or another.

As for the officers, they must do like the wise soldier of the Pharaoh, and remind the unstable revolutionaries that they must not fight one another, for officers have the right to protest and speak up too! And the officers who were ordered by their superiors to kill the innocent people protesting in front of them should always remember and imagine when the brave Moses stood among the followers of the Pharaoh, including the sorcerers, who were his most powerful soldiers, defending his beliefs against the snakes (bombs) they threw and warned them: (Then, when they had cast, Moses said, “What you have brought is sorcery; God will assuredly bring it to naught. God sets not right the work of those who do corruption.”) Chapter 10, Jonah, Verse 81.

And as our political and spiritual master Moses taught us to be patient, and by being patient is remaining on the right track: (Said Moses to his people, “Pray for succor to God, and be patient; surely the earth is God’s and He bequeaths it to whom He will among His servants. The issue ultimate is to the god-fearing.”) Chapter 7, The Heights, Verse 28.

Our Revolution is not only watched by the entire world, but by the ones living in the heavens above too. God gave us the power to control the circumstances as much as we can. God believed in us, as when He first created us the angels asked Him about the reason He created human beings that would kill one another and cause destruction to the environment, yet God almighty believed that there will be few of us who will do otherwise. God believed in humanity although lots of us still do not believe in Him or implementing the wisdom of His Book.

We are all one now, asked to do the best for this country, with our unity and understanding, we will do the right thing. We should always work for our strength, but always allow our wisdom to be the one in control.

As a conclusion, what should we do with our Revolution, how to play it right? After this article, every reader will be able to rethink everything, and everyone will be able to come up with a different philosophy, and everyone now knows that there are levels for rightfulness, we just have to do our best to rise and help others rise too, and never fight with one another, nor apply stereotyping. We should let our Father Moses proud of us, and we should give ourselves the honor to inherit his wisdom, and revive it in the memory of his name, and the name of Egypt, and the undying name of Allah.

                                                                                                                             The Native Writer,
                                                                                                                              Mahmoud Mansi

Authors’ Note:
I know some people might hate me because of this article. I know my readers might lose interest in me for speaking a different philosophy, but this was an inspiration from God, and I was the one chosen to see it this way, and it is my duty to reveal this message.
Sometimes a writer is not a creator, but the Pen of God.
To Prophet Moses, To Egypt, To those who seek Wisdom all over the world.
To Writer, Architect and Artist Mostapha Halim, for taking the picture and for writing the title.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

An Egyptian Woman Being a President, (Cleopatra's Throne) / Identity Magazine, October 2011 / Mahmoud Mansi

Cleopatra’s Throne,

"The Purpose of this article is not to vote for a woman in the next period, but it is to know what She is capable of."


I am not going to look at other countries right now and compare. I will not speak about a far reality and give examples from countries that have been economically stable for decades and applying democracy since our birth. No, instead I will speak about facts that we see every day, facts that some of us are even lucky to have, share, or even hear about them.

We have seen in our country successful women who became entrepreneurs, leaders, bank managers, and even great followers. We need not to speak about myths when facts are speaking louder. So is it possible that an Egyptian woman can sit on Egypt’s throne, to witness a second Cleopatra? Is it possible that History will actually decide to repeat itself?

Women have always been a riddle, not only to man, but to logic, philosophy and art, and sometimes in the spiritual books too, to an extent that in the hardest of times or best of ones, some look into their reflection of the mirror and find themselves as fathomless riddles.

We are lucky indeed to have books all over the time periods of humanity that reveal to us a lot about the environment and psychology of our ancestors. Women in such ancient eras were a great source of inspirational flames to all artists, warriors and philosophers. In one way or another, they did share the thoughts of every man-creator, until we were born and new books were written, new facts were earthed, and we found our sisters, daughters and mothers are not limited as a source of inspiration and shelter, but they got inspired and became creators too, they conquered different fields of life and fed them with their own ambition.

Why has God created more women than men? Difficult to find an accurate answer, yet not impossible to observe and admit the facts around. We stare at insects and some animals, and wonder why they were created, and so we conclude that they only were just to balance the environment and ecosystem. We cannot stare down at one another wondering if we were created for the same reason, for only breathing, eating and breeding.

If one does not believe in the role of a woman in changing her current society then one does not believe in the majority of the society. In a smart business model the manager does not rely on the short or long objectives while putting the other aside, they work on what they can give best, and on what the environment needs. Mothers’ number one goal is to take best care of their children, and this is how they create the change in the society, but that is on the long-run. Clever ones do balance between the short-run and long-run changes.

Even in the ancient days, in Egypt’s history the role of a woman has been proven several times and has been reinforced by some of the celestial books. Shagarat El-Dor is one of the examples who proved the theory of feminism in serving a throne. The Holy Quran highlighted in a theme in “Sorat Yusuf” verse 28 - the power of a woman’s intelligence and praised her mind, though lots of people took it as an offensive way.

Man and Woman are different in nature, with a few things in common such as ethics, culture, philosophy and emotions. Feelings and thoughts may differ, priorities and the routine differ too. The mechanism of both minds and the way they analyze and function are distinctive, thus each has specific roles that can be managed best.

In nature through ages a woman always sought perfection, even within the internal problems of her home, including the financing, the cleanness of her own beauty and place, the emotional and mental protection of her husband, and of course, the education and morals of her children, and even some of them participate in the external environment too, and assist their husbands through their own careers, and through sharing their opinions. The husband on the other hand deals more with the external environment; how to get the suitable amount of money, which schools the children would join, moving to a new place or staying in the same house, and in the end of the day he gets a report from his wife about his home and helps her in dealing with the problem.

Of course such variables differ from one person to the other, but we are only analyzing the core of each genre according to the nature we used to live over thousands of years and between the nature we live now, and extracting metaphors that would lead us to political facts.

Now if this woman was alone and had some assets that she annually rents or an acceptable bank account that brings her a fine amount of fixed money, and her home is facing internal problems, what would she prefer best; healing her internal environment or ignoring it and seeking more income? This is not meant to be a leading question… it is only shaped in a logical way. The same goes with Egypt, it has its fixed income from the Suez Canal and tourism, it is politically stable with the other countries, its army is well trained and powerful, but ciaos lies within its thick walls. It lies on the land that used to be blessed until we chose otherwise. It lies within our daily conversations and exchanged feelings. It lies within the words of wisdom we chose not to ever speak. And who owns the keys to every lock in the house, and protects the secrets behind each door except for a wise woman. And who denies that our home has been dark, gloomy and dirty for decades, that our hearts were deprived from the art of passion, our eyes were deprived from the greenness of Mother Nature, and our bodies were deprived from the beautiful pride of a sane woman?

Egypt does not need a husband to lavish her with his treasures of gold and diamonds right now, or a stepfather to put her on his lap and fool her with some games and toys. Egypt needs a kind mother to embrace her within her serene arms, tell her the bedtime stories of knights who served humanity a long time ago, feed her well, plant the native seed of faith and unity in her heart, and to educate her very well. Egypt needs a mother first to let her stand strong on her feet, with a distinctive and smart personality, with a mind that knows how to differentiate between a good decision and a better one, then her life would finally start and she can get engaged and exposed freely with no fear at all, because a good mother is never forgotten and a good child never forgets her parents’ words.

There are some things in Egypt that require a feminine mind with a feminine touch. Egypt needs a female president, at least for one presidential period to implement the lucrative changes that have never been done in our country before.

If she decides playing it with the rules of man, nothing at all might change, except for us being called a very democratic Arab country and praised from the rest of the world, only in their newspapers and media channels. However, if she decides playing it her way while listening and consulting some of the logical rules of man, miracles might finally occur. The point is to break the political routine, use different plans, and have different goals, to refresh our political cycle and create new demands.

Even if this woman is a feminist, this means she will take direct care of over 75% of the Egyptian population, which are of course women, thus the remained 25% will be indirectly taken care of through the satisfied women. On the contrary, I think when the rights of a human being are fulfilled, this person will be able to give more, whether to the self, to other people, or to the environment.

Of course some of you would still fear breaking all the rules all of a sudden and will ask that the next president should be an ex-member of the army, well the good news is that we do have women working as officers in the Ministry of Defense. I guess we were not so bad after all; perhaps the trend is rising, even if with a speed of a turtle.

From the study of woman’s nature and role from the novels, poetry, drama and history one would know that a woman is better in handling children and being tolerant with them than man, and more passionate about art and romance. Some men might have the same qualities and interests but women do not hesitate in revealing them bravely, this is how she becomes more powerful. I am not stating that a woman is more creative than man or vice versa, but I am confessing that women show more interest in such things, thus they do implement art on their daily lives and on the ones around them, whether this kind of art is romantic, dramatic, or sarcastic.

A presidential woman would take good care of Egypt’s children, considering their health, education, dreams, morals and most of all the traditions. I am from the people who strongly believe that children do affect their parents in one way or another, not only the other way around. This promises an indirect change for all the parents too, whether in the way their children react with the environment or the way they react with them.

One of the very vital aspects a presidential woman would care about is highlighting the importance of art, and the evolution of its makers. This will lead to healing the morals that were defaced, humiliated and raped by the Egyptian routine life which made a few extra Pounds worth the lives of others. Art inspires people to feel one another, and mentally interact with the environment.

The streets would probably be clean again, perhaps for the first time over the past fifty years or something. There might be police officers disguised in normal citizens who are only responsible for fighting the verbal and physical assaults caused to women by men in the streets.

What would happen to Egypt if our women lived in safety, if our streets were as clean as our homes, if art became a common language we all speak, and if our children grew up within parents who believe and implement such beliefs, within a society that is organized to help you serve such aims?

If all this was not a myth, I guess the coming male president would have the chance to revive the external skeleton of Egypt while being sure that she has a strong heart now that would be ready to walk, climb and run for fulfilling the journey… the journey to the future that might eventually lead us to the glory of the past, and thus the circle of history would be finally complete.


The Native Writer..
Mahmoud Mansi,

-Author of  Novel/Book: “A Journey from Darkness to Light” 

-Journalist – Contributor / Alex Med Newsletter – Bibliotheca Alexandrina

-International Literary Award winner of “A Sea of Words” 2010 / Spain - Egypt

-Writer / Identity Magazine & / Ex-Writer , Beyond & Campus

-Poet / Playwright / Photographer & Critic

-HR Specialist / Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport

-MA Degree, Marketing.