Lessons in Manliness from the Egyptian Revolution

by A Manly Guest Contributor on February 11, 2011 · 228 comments

in Blog

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Yasser El Hadari, an AoM reader from Egypt.

If you’ve been watching the news, I’m sure you know that the Egyptian people have rocked the Middle East in their effort for self-rule and democracy. As I sit typing this, the newly appointed Vice President issued a statement of Hosni Mubarak’s resignation and his appointment of the Armed Forces Supreme Council to take power. It is the dawn of a new era. No delays, no lies, no half-solutions. We wanted our freedom. The temple of Corruption had to be toppled. No matter who supported it, be it the Army, thugs, the West, the East or even the planet Mars, the regime that has humiliated us and stole our rights and freedoms had to go. Period.

As I write this, the revolution has been on for eighteen days. During those eighteen days, my life has changed on a scale that I would have never imagined in my life. I am turning 24 in July, and in November 2010 I had just completed my dental internship, earning my license and Dental Union membership. Later on I opened an e-commerce business to make ends meet as I pursued higher studies. Who would have imagined that starting from the 25th of January, I would shift my activities to a neighborhood guard member, lumberjack and patrolman; then to an amateur online activist, protester, bodyguard and a small-scale speaker for the cause.

As I sit writing this, I look back at the past days, and have come to a conclusion: they have made a better man of me. Every stage I spent, from sitting at home watching the news and discussing the revolution, to guarding my neighborhood then actually participating in the protests, have taught me real-life lessons in being a better man. I seriously have felt a change in my character and perception, and this has inspired me to submit this article to one of my favorite sites, The Art of Manliness.

Lessons from the Neighborhood Patrols

I have to admit, I was involved in the revolution quite late. In the beginning I thought it didn’t affect me, that some reforms would be introduced and the protesters would go home. But Friday the 28th came, around 300 protesters were killed by live ammunition and 5000 more injured, and prisons and detention centers were mysteriously opened as the police disappeared, flooding the streets with convicts, and Cairo and other cities were ablaze in riots. To add insult to injury, the government shut down the internet. Only one word resonated in our minds: scare tactics–submit or face chaos. We were determined to prove the government wrong. Saturday afternoon we were in the streets to protect our homes, armed with whatever we had and setting up checkpoints in the streets. We stood guard daily, only letting go when local businesses started operating at night again and the police were returning to the streets. These were my first lessons in the revolution’s school of manliness.

A man adapts. I never expected in my life to stand in a checkpoint, armed with a hatchet and a hunting knife, checking cars and the ID’s of the riders with a case of homemade molotov cocktails beside me. Now that I look back, I’m actually surprised at the change. But my willingness to accept this change, in my opinion, helped me evolve for the better.

A man values his neighbors. The only reason the neighborhood patrols succeeded was the group effort. In my shifts, we caught nine criminals. We had it easy, since our middle class neighborhood was flanked by the Nile and surrounded by two other middle class districts near the center of Cairo. Those living in suburban areas and near prisons had it much worse: They caught tens and in some areas over a hundred criminals. We kept our homes safe, and most importantly we learned to look out for each other and each others’ homes.

A man respects others. Anyone passing our checkpoints had to be checked. We knew the criminals and hired thugs had hijacked sedans, police cars, ambulances, army vehicles and forged police ID’s and stole army uniforms. There were no exceptions. However, we had to appreciate the cooperation of those we searched. We weren’t policemen, nor did we have warrants; on pen and paper we were just concerned citizens. Showing respect helped us earn respect. And it wasn’t hard: it was as simple as saying thank you.

A man doesn’t think with his emotions. Like Mubarak’s speeches, anyone we caught tried to appeal to our emotions. They made up lies as to where their fake ID’s came from, acted dumb and sometimes begged on their knees not to be handed over to the military. I have to admit, sometimes I wanted to believe them, it was easier. But I had to remember the reality, and by reality meaning what he would do if he found his way into my house or my neighbor’s house. Cold hard reality: not everyone shares your good nature; it’s sad but you’ll have to accept it to do your duty.

On the other hand, a man shows compassion. People of all ages stood with me, some as young as nine and others in their seventies and eighties. The old ones were mainly war veterans, but the young ones were in an environment they never experienced in their lives. They acted tough and tried to talk like thugs, but the fear in their eyes appeared at the first cracks of gunfire in the distance. Lesser men made jokes about their age to hide what they lacked in grit. The best men I knew were the ones who gave a pat on the back.

A man is practical, not showy. I was armed with a hatchet and hunting knife, since I had read earlier that anything that couldn’t be used as a tool was dead weight. I used the hatchet to cut firewood to keep us warm at night and the hunting knife, well, cut things. Others were armed with butcher knives, clubs, sticks and swords. Some took it too far to look bad-ass: a man tied two butcher knives together, nunchaku style and hung them round his neck to look threatening. The man just made his neck an easy target. Another point, and I know many will not like to hear this, but a man who owns a gun who knows how to use it is a better man, period. Three men in our neighborhood had guns, and whenever we were on alert, we looked to them, since their reactions determined how the rest of us would respond.

A man doesn’t talk of things he wouldn’t do. No matter how manly I portray people who took part in these patrols, no one has the right to ask others to put their lives or the lives of their loved ones in danger. It also comes to actions: If you’re not willing to use your car as a roadblock, don’t talk about others doing it instead.

A man appreciates the efforts of others. Although I respected the opinions of those who genuinely feared the outcome of the revolution being negative, it was repulsive to hear lesser men belittling the efforts of others. I know of people who make fun of the protesters who were fighting for their rights. Celebrities came on national television to claim that protesters were getting paid and received free meals from Kentucky Fried Chicken to protest against Mubarak. Others had the audacity to belittle the neighborhood patrols, not admitting that our stand in the streets helped them sleep in their beds at night. The funny thing was, the people I expected the most manly stand from were the ones who belittled us. The better men I knew, even if they didn’t participate, appreciated what others were doing for them.

Lessons from Taking Part in the Protests

The first day I participated in protests, my Father and I took a taxi to the nearby Tahrir Square where the bulk of anti-Mubarak protests were taking place. The night before, Mubarak had made a speech promising reforms and fair elections, appealing to citizens’ emotions and staging an aggressive counter-revolution. Upon reaching Tahrir Square we noticed pro-Mubarak demonstrators approaching the area, and the weirder image of horse and camel riders approaching the square. Upon going back, we were continually harassed by plainclothes policemen and supporters of Mubarak who had left their protest area at Mohandesin to disturb the anti-Mubarak protesters. When we got home, the media had launched an all-out offensive on those calling for democracy, branding them as saboteurs and traitors. The Internet was re-linked, and I found posts by people suggesting stability and going back to their ordinary lives. Since then I have alternated between joining protests and rooting for the revolution on Facebook. So started the new lessons in manliness.

A man shouldn’t be afraid of confrontation. Returning from Tahrir square on Bloody Wednesday, a plainclothes policeman harassed my father and I, calling us names and shouting threats as he followed us on foot for three blocks. If I kept quiet, I think he’d have followed us to our house. He didn’t leave us alone until I personally got in his face and made a scene calling any nearby uniformed policemen to deal with him and to show us his ID. Returning home, fuming with anger, I saw my friends posting online about how they wanted things to go back to the way they were and how those fighting for their rights were making a mess and disrupting peoples’ way of life. I called them on how a week ago they wanted change and these people they were putting down were bringing them these changes. Sometimes telling the truth meant no compromises.

A man respects the views of others and doesn’t take them personally. Of course there were those who wanted the revolution to stop simply because they were afraid. And their fear was genuine: there was a threat of chaos, economic collapse, and now foreign military intervention. It was easier of course to dismiss these fears as cowardly or stupid, but the harder thing to do, that in the end gained respect, was appreciating these fears, and helping them understand that freedom came at a high price, and how any short-term losses were worth it. Their disagreement wasn’t a personal attack, and one of the best speakers I knew made a point of letting listeners know that the disagreement wasn’t personal.

A man is presentable under all circumstances. The protests were peaceful. This was what made the revolution powerful. The world had to see that it wasn’t a peasant uprising, class conflict or even a religious takeover: those in the revolution were educated, young, loved Egypt and had realistic expectations of a representative government and civil rights. I participated in two more protests; before deciding to participate I had a haircut. Before going down to the protests I had a shower, shave, and went down dressed as if for a business presentation. In the second protest that started with a march by doctors (which my father, an ob/gyn surgeon, joined with me), I wore my best white coat and carried myself in the most professional manner possible. I was interviewed twice by American and British journalists, and in both cases I spoke with my best English accent. I was representing millions of people calling for change. Being scruffy or speaking in slang was going to misrepresent them.

A man respects the opposite sex. The protests were free of sexual harassment. Men were being searched by men and women searched by women, a lesson airport authorities in some countries can learn. When women passed by we made way for them. If people thought that the protests were a place to meet women, we told them to stay home. It wasn’t a game. The whole world was watching us, and those opposing the revolution were looking for the tiniest speck of dirt to put us down. Acting like a horny teenager was such dirt.

A man respects people who are different. While Muslim protesters were attending Friday Prayers, Christians formed a human wall to protect them. On Sunday when Christian protesters performed Mass, Muslims stood watch to protect them. There was no slurring in the protests. People who attended were of different races, religions, and social backgrounds; black and white, Muslim and Christian,  rich and poor, we stood together. If people deep down inside had a certain hatred for others due to these differences, the protests helped them replace this hatred with understanding. In the end we were all the same. We were all Egyptian, and we all wanted freedom.

A man isn’t afraid of putting his life at risk. In one of the protests I was in, an important online activist was released the night before after 12 days in detention by the secret police, and was coming to Tahrir Square for a speech and a press conference. His younger brother is my colleague, and I found myself going to pick him up from the subway station. My friends and I, for the duration of the journey to the stand, made a human shield around him to keep people from slowing him down, and more importantly, to protect him. After his speech, our human phalanx fought the crowds to take him to the press conference. Most of the people meant well, but I personally considered the possibility of a counter-revolutionary with a concealed weapon harming him to shatter the morale of the revolution. Of course I’m still surprised at taking part in this endeavor, but if I were to repeat it again, I would do it happily even if it would have ended badly. I admired the man, and he was the voice for our youth and presented us well with no personal agenda, a man worth defending.

A man isn’t afraid to admit his mistakes and willingness to change. When discussing the revolution, I’ve been faced with the question of why I didn’t go down to the streets from the first day of the protests, as a way of proving me wrong or proving the point that those supporting the revolution were all talk. Of course, saying I wasn’t politically inclined and was afraid of riots was incongruous and didn’t do justice to the others of my age and similar background who were fighting for my rights. Finally when I had enough I reached for the answer inside me and told the truth: I didn’t believe in myself enough to think my voice mattered, but now that I’ve changed there’s no use talking about the past, since I can’t change it like I’m changing myself. Watching whoever was arguing with me show his respect or shut up was proof enough that an honest answer, however effacing, was worth it.

To conclude this article, I am happy to welcome you to the dawn of a new era. As I type this people are still flocking to the streets, celebrating their new age of self-rule and freedom. I will be forever proud of my nationality as an Egyptian. I promise to be good to Egypt, to use my knowledge to grow her, repaint her picture in the eyes of others. I’m sorry I insulted her when I was younger, for thinking she wasn’t pretty like the others. I’m sorry I gave up on her, for wanting to leave her, and being ignorant of her history. I promise to be a better citizen to Her, a better Egyptian, a better Man.

I just want to impart a final word before I end: I am not the best person ever, and I have my faults, but never forget the value of freedom and dignity. Our people were deprived of those virtues for at least 30 years, and no words can describe how aggressively those in power tried to put us down. They sent hired thugs and plainclothes police to attack and disturb us; it didn’t stop us. They got celebrities to insult the protesters and praise the regime. National television called the protesters saboteurs and they shut down foreign news channels; we ignored them all. They shut down the internet; we promised to shut THEM down. Nearby dictators promised to support the regime. We heard rumors that the US Navy sent the fifth or sixth fleet and the Israeli Defense Force was grouping at the border. It didn’t matter. We were fighting for our rights, and we were ready to face anyone who interfered. The people weren’t afraid of losing what they had, they are winning something greater. When people aren’t afraid of losing, they are free, and great men can only be free men who build great countries.

{ 228 comments… read them below or add one }

101 Dennis February 12, 2011 at 1:51 pm

LOL. Jim. True. We can only hope for the best. Egyptian people can trust us and know they’ll have a better life some how.. or they’ll be another jihadist enemy. we can only hope for the better of good Egyptian people. I have faith in them.

102 grey D February 12, 2011 at 2:03 pm

At this time governments and militaries have so much power: for that reason It’s an overwhelming thought to stand up to them. To accomplish what you have accomplished thus far is truly an inspiration; because, for most of us it feels impossible to have real effect on our condition. I thank you and your countrymen for showing us that people united can produce change. I am not a person of a faith, but I do want you to know you’re in my thoughts. I wish that this will progress in a positive direction for your country. Thank you for this article. I will save it and refer back to it often, I do believe it is a good measure of a man.

103 Tim February 12, 2011 at 2:09 pm

One of the best reads since I’ve started subscribing to this blog. Hope things work out for you and the rest of your country.

104 Ryan Baldwin February 12, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Thank you for posting this, Yasser El Hadari. It is inspiring to read.

105 Michael Hilton February 12, 2011 at 3:13 pm

This is a very nice article. Thank you for sharing!

106 Anthony Allred February 12, 2011 at 4:07 pm

This post brings the entire story home and let’s those of us outside of Egypt really begin to understand what went on those 18 days. Incredible. Thank you!

107 Nate February 12, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Amazing story, my friend! I pray that your revolution will result in a new era of freedom for the entire Middle East!

108 John Pajarillaga February 12, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Reading this puts the events in Egypt in a different light for me. This has been one of the best posts on AOM I’ve read.

109 Big Red February 12, 2011 at 6:44 pm

There were several hundred people killed by the Egyptian police and military and thousands wounded. The” New/Old government has already announced they will keep up the blockade of Gaza. This after the Gazans fed the Egyptian troops who hadn’t got their rations. for 2 weeks.
This was a coup de etat where the Egyptian people traded one Israeli/American sock puppet for another. The military over threw the military and replaced it with the military!
The important online activist held for 12 days sounds like the guy from Google. He is one of George Soros’s boys(IMHO). El Baradei is hooked up with George Soros.
Sorry guys,manly or not you have been had!

110 Bea February 12, 2011 at 7:13 pm

I think this is one of the most powerful, meaningful posts I have read since the beginning of the Egyptian Revolution. I hope it’s shared across the worldwideweb, because it’s not just for men, it’s for every human being who looked inside and discovered the hero they had been seeking.

Thank you.

111 Yasser El Hadari February 12, 2011 at 7:34 pm

Seriously guys thank you all for your opinions and reviews. I’m honored. Time will show the fruit of our efforts in this revolution. A free thinking people who aren’t afraid to take a stand will strike fear in any tyrant, and if it fails, repeat till you get it right.

112 Adrienne King February 12, 2011 at 9:56 pm

I visited Egypt for about 3 weeks when my son Sam was an exchange student at the American University in Cairo. I found the people warm and loving, helpful and humorous, liking America..and not just our money. I believe the people of Egypt can be a beacon to the entire Middle East that the evolution of consciousness is toward citizen participation in their own governing. Many countries in the region are working it out but this people’s revolution in Egypt is encouraging. I hope and pray that all that you want in the way of freedom for your country comes to pass. The way of centralized control, be it by one person, or a group of people, is the past. I am very happy for the Egyptians..and, by the way, as a woman, I applaud what you said about what a real man is. Your future wife will be very lucky to have married a man such as you. Egypt should be proud to have produced such sons!

113 Barton Ewerts February 12, 2011 at 11:20 pm

I’m afraid I have to concur with the observation that one sock puppet (mossad sock puppet of Israel) got traded for the old one.

the proof is in the Gaza blockade issue. anyone who thinks this was a bona-fide changeout of the old torture and murder guard is sadly very delusionally not with all their oars in the water.

in a month, when it all is wrung out, people will see the same torture, murder, and ISRAELI OPERATED oppression re-emerge, if it takes that long.

you all know it. and sadly, pathetically, and woefully, so do I know it.

114 Anton February 12, 2011 at 11:57 pm

Dear Yasser,
I would like to thank you and those involved in the revolution in Egypt for a different reason: I am originally from South Africa, though I live in Canada now. I am hoping and praying that your actions will act as a beacon to all the people of Africa. To remind the pseudo-democracies and dictatorships of the dangers of ignoring the wishes of the people. But more importantly to show the people in Africa suffering under various forms of oppression that they can and must act to secure their future freedom and happiness

115 Ty Simmons February 13, 2011 at 1:20 am

This is the greatest thing I’ve ever read. I’m so proud of Egypt and all of it’s citizens, you have accomplished so much, more than you know, and it’s awe-inspiring.

116 greatzamboni February 13, 2011 at 1:33 am

Thank you for standing up to power- I hope Egypt becomes a place of equality and justice for all…

117 Peter Yankowski February 13, 2011 at 4:08 am

To Mr. Yasser El Hadari,

I am a college student currently studying in the state of New York. I have been to Egypt twice, both while studying in high school. During my first visit, we were very honored to meet with the then Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif. While I cannot speak for his association with Mubarak, he very graciously gave my professor and 8 fellow students an extensive question and answer session regarding Egypt’s future. While I don’t wish to invoke a regime that has led to so much suffering, Dr. Nazif did, at the time, speak with some hopefulness for the future of Egypt’s economy. As the Egyptian people have suffered for so long, both economically and as a result of Mubarak’s gross violations against the people’s liberty, I can only hope that Egypt attains the economic freedom Dr. Nazif suggested, and the social and political liberties envisioned by the revolution.

I will not be another westerner who claims to know what Egypt “should” or “shouldn’t” do. I cannot speak as to the gravity of the work that must be done… I am merely a student a history. However, as a man, I can fully respect and congratulate you for your actions. Revolutions occur for many different reasons, and rarely are they bloodless. I cannot imagine the terror and violence that must have shaken your home, yet you banded together to maintain law and order when the government threw its hands up in despair. The people of Egypt took their country back not through blood and violence, but through reason and voice, though not without risk to their personal safety. I commend you for your courage, and indeed, humanity and compassion in the face of overwhelming odds. I hope that when I return to Egypt, whenever that may be, it is a nation blessed with pride and liberty, as you have demonstrated to the world in these past 18 days.

118 Cole February 13, 2011 at 5:47 am

Wow. What an article! An absolutly amazing peice. Yasser El Hadari has my deepest respect and thanks for furthering a just cause and for posting an article like this: that not only informs us readers but gives us worthy lessons to live by as well.

119 unconvention February 13, 2011 at 6:03 am

This is easily one of the best things AoM has published.

Personally I’ve been hugely impressed by Egypt recently. From the solidarity shown by Muslems to the Coptic Christians at Christmas:

http://onfaith.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/guestvoices/2011/01/egyptian_muslims_act_as_human_shields_for_coptic_christmas_mass.html

to the current action, the Egyptians have demonstrated compassion, restraint and a calm determination for a change for the better.

Regardless of what we in the West want, I hope Egypt gets what the Egyptians want.

120 Dave February 13, 2011 at 6:14 am

All I can say is congratulations and good luck, brother.

121 Manos Chaos Jester February 13, 2011 at 6:24 am

I’m inspired. Thank you. You are now manlier than Batman. The passage where you express your regret for your former childish behaviour towards your country is phenomenal. I will spread your words to my fellow Greek people , who in their majority have lost faith in Greece while actually they’ve lost faith in themselves. Your people and you have fought tremendously and your stoic stance, your unity, your peace of mind is something to be passed around all over the world.
Thank you Yasser El Hadari for being a man.

Sincerely,
Manos

122 Jess L. Norton February 13, 2011 at 6:34 am

Egypt will soon have democracy. Inchallah.

123 chubert February 13, 2011 at 7:09 am

Thank you for sharing your experiences — and congratulations to you and all of Egypt for this new dawn of freedom and democracy.

Probably the most impressive feat is that, as Yasser wrote:

“The protests were peaceful. This was what made the revolution powerful. The world had to see that it wasn’t a peasant uprising, class conflict or even a religious takeover: those in the revolution were educated, young, loved Egypt and had realistic expectations of a representative government and civil rights.”

The protests, triggered by social media and technology, has proven that technology has given people the power to change — and in a peaceful way. This is what the 21st century is all about.

124 TC February 13, 2011 at 7:18 am

A fantastically well written article, thank you for writing it.

I am sure that the lessons you have learned will help you and your fellow Egyptians to build the country and future you want and deserve.

125 Joan of Argghh! February 13, 2011 at 7:36 am

Mr. Hadari. Having read and re-read your essay and having linked it on my own site along with other observations, I awoke this morning with one concern. I offer this concern to you with the understanding that I do not know what I cannot know, but many in the West share this fear: that extremists will step in and educate your children while you go back to work. It happened to us here in the U.S. under the guise of a victim mindset.

Egypt is surrounded by countries with a similar victim mindset and beset by extremists who may not be as obvious as a swarm of criminals released from prison, but are far more dangerous to your home or the home of your neighbor. I urge you to think practically in such matters, as well.

When I look at the crowds in Cairo, I see the hijab everywhere. 30 years ago, this would not have been true.

Soon, you will be asked either directly or indirectly as a nation to consider moral choices in regard to work, society, sexual freedoms, and equality. The way will not be as clear; strong voices, reasonable-sounding voices will vie for the national ear. You must be practical and consider the end of a thing from the beginning. That will be your second season of growing as a man.

I bid you peace, and pray you have wisdom to know what true freedom looks like, in both society and in spiritual aspirations. A true god has no need to impose His will on a people. True laws will bring orderly freedom, not oppressive dicta. A true God dwells in truth and beauty, not in pitiless law and blind obedience. You experienced the heart of a Truth when you embraced the care and concern for your neighbor, when you protected your Christian countrymen during prayer, when they protected you. At that moment, you were both exemplifying the heart of god more mighty than any edict or law on either side of the religious spectrum: a God of love, whose only law is love.

Everything else put forth by our so-called religious betters is merely window-dressing for power and control. It is the same manipulation that you now experience politically. It will come. I hope you will remember your lessons.

May you continue to seek such lessons and preserve Egypt for her people.

126 Chad February 13, 2011 at 8:24 am

Great article! Thank you to Yasser El Hadari for enlightening many of us on what really happened during those 18 days! When you were talking about the neighborhood patrols and the human phalanx I couldn’t help but thing of a quote that I have seen many times in my years of military service.

“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.
George Orwell, (attributed)”
Thank you again.

127 Patrick February 13, 2011 at 8:25 am

Thank you for your article. You have been witness and participant to a very historical event. Your actions are inspirational and I wish you and your family a wonderful future.

128 Dave Tindell February 13, 2011 at 8:44 am

My wife and I visited Egypt for two days during a cruise last November, along with my parents. This followed two days in Israel, and preceded a day in Turkey. It was my first visit to Egypt and my first to a Muslim nation. I have to admit that I was far from impressed. The areas we visited—Port Said, Cairo, Giza and Alexandria—were almost overwhelmed with trash and litter. Some of the areas we saw were very modern, but then we would see an area that looked as if it had been bombed last week. We wondered, what kind of society would tolerate these conditions? There appears to be a great deal of work to be done, so why isn’t anybody doing it?
I would also say, though, that with the exception of the souvenir hustlers at the historical sites, our interaction with the Egyptian people was uniformly pleasant. Our tour guide on the first day, a young woman, was very personable and informative, and more tolerant than she might have needed to be in dealing with some members of our group who demanded more frequent access to bathrooms, etc. We have been praying for her safety during this turmoil, especially after we heard that many women had been turning up missing.
We left Egypt thinking that we would never visit that country again. By contrast, Israel and Turkey were pristine, well-organized and inviting, places we will return to. But now things have changed drastically in Egypt, almost overnight, and we are hopeful its people will now be given the opportunity to build a better country. We are concerned about the possibility that Islamist groups could wind up in power, which would be a disaster for all concerned. (The anti-Israel yahoos who posted earlier have no idea what they’re talking about, by the way.) But we congratulate Egyptians on taking control of their destiny.
Now, the real hard work begins. Good luck.

129 ED C February 13, 2011 at 8:45 am

THIS STORY BROUGHT TEARS TO MY EYES BECAUSE NOW HE CAN UNDERSTAND WHY AS AMERICANS WE LOVE OUR COUNTRY AND OUR FREEDOMS AND ARE WILLING TO DEFEND THOSE FREEDOMS TO THE DEATH.

130 Siti Zubaidah February 13, 2011 at 8:51 am

Alhamdulillah. Although I am a Muslim from a small country in the South East Asia, but I am still a Muslim and prayed for all Muslims all over the world. Allah had granted one of my prayers after solah that my brothers and sisters in Egypt got their wishes of being a free nation.

This revolution had not only revolutionise Egypt but, most importantly you and your Egyption brethren. And the lessons you taught us in this article is priceless. Men all over the world would benefit from this sincere writing of yours.

Assalamualaikum.

131 Jet February 13, 2011 at 9:09 am

GREAT POST Yasser El Hadari ! Hopefully you and Egypt will finally have a real Democracy which is not sub-servant to US / Imperialist interests. Omar Suleiman the former spy chief, Mubarak’s close friend and the C.I.A;s go to man a.k.a the torturer has to GO he is NOT change this is just a continuation of the status quo – supporting the expansion of Israel and selling Egypts GAS for 1/4 of its actual VALUE ! Not to mention the continuing prostitution of the land to the US military whenever and however it wants to.
Whilst the US Obama / Clinton e.t.c claim they support Egyptian democracy this is quite ridiculous after 30yrs of US support to Mubarak, the last thing US want is democracy in the Arabic or Third world, Chile know all about this when they finally got got there freedom with the democratically elected Allende only to be overthrown by The C.I.A backed millitary Coup of 9/11 1973 with the evil that was Pinochet.
EITHER WAY CONGRATULATIONS To you and all Egyptians ! i will be watching closely to see what comes next.
The best places for news coverage i have found by far despite Living in England have been olnine WATCHING AL Jazeera http://english.aljazeera.net/ and http://www.democracynow.org/ ongoing ground reports. Thanks again for your post very Inspirational ! Peace.

132 Terry Noel February 13, 2011 at 9:38 am

Outstanding! I hope that the Egyptian people are able to claim their birthright of freedom and that liberty washes over the entire Middle East like a crystal-clear brook.

133 Ewan February 13, 2011 at 10:33 am

The Egyptian Revolution doesn’t sound very ‘democratic’ to me. Mubarak wanted to wait until a free election could be held before stepping down, but instead the military took over. That said, this is still a good insight into how men should act during crises.

134 Eddie February 13, 2011 at 11:27 am

Dear Sir,

Please express my Thanks to those who watched over Catholics who celebrated Mass.

This really puts into prospective the false revolutions of Che Guevara. Che is NOTHING or has ever been like the man you are. I hope someday to have the honor of shaking your hand!

You are in my thoughts

Eddie Guanajuato
Indianapolis, In.

135 Trevor Carpenter February 13, 2011 at 11:28 am

Yasser El Hadari, a man. Well done.

136 Allan Williams February 13, 2011 at 11:46 am

their effort for self-rule and democracy

IT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN

137 Brucifer February 13, 2011 at 11:56 am

Mr. El Hadari has posted perhaps the greatest essay on manliness – in action – that I have ever read elsewhere, or on these pages. And given AOM, that is sayin something! Well-done indeed Sir!

Yes, I’ve been quite impressed with how the Egyptian protesters have conducted themselves. Frankly, I suspect that in similar circumstances, neither the US right wing or left wing would be so “together” manliness-wise.

Sheesh, the Egyptian protesters are even out cleaning up the streets after-action. I seriously doubt that would happen here in the US.

That all said, Egypt is still at the Boston Tea Party stage, I’m afraid. Despite naive American hubris about “bringing democracy,” you don’t go from decades of dictatorship, …. all-a-sudden to democracy with just a ballot-box and sappy-happy “democratic elections”. Egypt must develop the social and educational underpinnings of a democratic society in order for voting to be intelligent and for their government to be truly responsible stewards of their nation. (something that we here in the US very desperately need to work or as well) Witness many of the former communist regimes that quickly elected feckless or corrupt leaders. (*holds tongue about Afghan and Iraqi leaders*).

Yet, if things at the ground level are as manly and together as Yassir portrays, I have hope for the Egyptian people … and for us all.

138 Edward February 13, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Quoted from:
http://theintelhub.com/2011/02/11/egypt-controlled-chaos-or-true-liberation/

Egypt: Controlled Chaos or True Liberation?
by Zen Gardner – Contributing Writer

I don’t know about you, but I’m watching all this unfold in Egypt with a kind of nervous skepticism. While many are saying this is the beginning of an uprising chain-reaction that will bring in new life and hope to other oppressed nations.

I hope so, but I have my doubts.

I hate to rain on anyone’s parade, especially regarding hope. I do have hope for humanity and we are waking up at an astounding rate. That will continue whether it manifests in physical uprisings like Egypt or not.

It’s just that people are so easily fooled.

The Illuminati news organ AP (Associated Propaganda) is already pushing global puppet ElBaradei to the forefront again in the very first announcement of Mubarak handing power over to the military:

“In these grave circumstances that the country is passing through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to leave his position as president of the republic,” a grim-looking Suleiman said. “He has mandated the Armed Forces Supreme Council to run the state. God is our protector and succor.”

Nobel Peace laureate Mohammed ElBaradei, whose young suporters were among the organizers of the protest movement, told The Associated Press, “This is the greatest day of my life.”

“The country has been liberated after decades of repression,” he said adding that he expects a “beautiful” transition of power. (source)

And that’s how it works.

It all gets co-opted, whatever percentage of the uprising is genuine–and I agree it’s a lot. Suddenly the protesters are the good guys as the press “guides” you into the desired outcome by staged interviews with selected people giving you “the wonderful liberating solution”.

We all know it’s staged. Many of them know it’s staged. But this collective consciousness called “the world” is a thoroughly manipulated creation that has tremendous inertia and power over anyone not fully conscious. That’s just the state of today’s dumbed-down and mind controlled society, sorry to say.

Case In Point – 9/11

If the so-called “greatest country on earth” can so easily be completely hoodwinked with a scam as obvious as 9/11 and the rise of phony terrorism, who’s to stand?

Yes, people are waking up. And it’s wonderful.

But where’s the public outrage here in the U.S? What “demonstration” gets any publicity about anything against the government any more, unless it’s a staged event? Look at the Tea Party movement. Now it’s OK to talk about because they co-opted that as well–and their “new, improved groundswell” reps are now dutifully pushing for the extension of the Patriot Act.

Before this the Tea Party movement was completely unreported because they didn’t have control over it yet.

I know, that’s hopefully the signal Egypt is giving, to get out there and you’ll get results, and that others will hopefully follow. Maybe. When push comes to shove people will act out. Just don’t ever forget WHO’s doing the pushing and shoving. And that they know what they’re doing and why. The WHO didn’t cut back their food rations in Egypt without knowing they’d hit a tipping point–and their trained operatives were all in place to show they just how to “revolt.”

As with WikiLeaks, be careful

If I sound cynical I apologize. But I think this is realistic. We have to stay very awake and aware and not get swept into the emotion of anything, whether it seems good or bad. I have friends who were so jacked by the WikiLeaks revelations thinking it was going to bring the system down, but when I told them be careful, it’s very likely a psyop or will be turned into one, it was a complete bummer for them. Turns out that was the case.

It’s not that we shouldn’t get excited at victories, we just need to stay sober and vigilant like never before.

Cautious optimism comes to mind.

139 Chris February 13, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Well done sir!
Though it may hold true that i know next to nothing about the ‘real’ situation in Egypt past and present, I must say praise to you and your people. The Egyptian people realized that it was a time for change, and took it upon themselves to put those changes in motion. Toppling an oppressor under the hope that just maybe you can install a government that works for you and with you rather than separating itself from the people and working against you for its own good. Funny reminds me of another revolution. I do hope your people are able to find what they seek. I believe that with the proper amount of dedication, Egypt shall develop the society it needs, though true it may be that democracy will not come easily nor will it easily stay. However democracy has been a struggle for most every country that installed it, none got their freedom easily or free from blood shed. I have hope for Egypt and believe in the cause just as ( i assume ) most Americans do. (after all we went through a similar period)

140 Christopher February 13, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Well, this whole liberation thing can go two ways. Democracy for those who appreciate what real Democracy is, or Sharia law handily delivered by the Muslim Brotherhood, which will be worse for freedom, justice, women, and children than the Mubarak era ever was. If they want freedom, than they should elect a female President (like that would ever happen!)

141 Chad Smith February 13, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Inspiring lessons in manliness. This is a perspective of the events in Egypt that more need to hear. Thanks Yasser.

142 LeRoy February 13, 2011 at 1:15 pm

First of all let me state that I have no knowledge of Egyptian politics so I will make no comment.

I will clearly state that I respect this article and the author. A man that is able to calmly and clearly state his position without simply regurgitating slogans or expecting others to be intimidated by the volume or ferocity of his statements is a man that I consider to be a gentleman. It is this ability that will help further a stable and reasonable transition in the turmoil in which he lives.

A man like this is a man that a person can generally have a discussion and if in the end disagreements remain, you may agree to disagree and then search for common ground. I have not met the author, but I sincerely wish him the best.

To close with a quotation from a leader at the turn of the last century, “In essentials, unity, in non-essentials tolerance”.

143 DM February 13, 2011 at 1:25 pm

I almost died of laughter at the part about respecting women. No country displays the sleeziness that egyptian men do when it comes to sexual harassment. Simply disgusting. I was there the past couple of weeks, and will never go back.

144 Alain February 13, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Yasser, thanks for the inspiring and touching read. I’m very happy you’re aware that the work has only just begun. Much is still at stake. When the Cuban revolution triumphed, many stories such as yours came out. Many people were proud and happy. But Fidel Castro slowly managed to seize absolute power, and to kill and imprison those who opposed him. Fifty years later, he’s still there.

145 Jake February 13, 2011 at 1:31 pm

This was a very good article. Your love for your country and your detremination are inspiring. I wish you the best of luck with your country. I thank you for your great display of manliness

146 jg February 13, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Well done, brave doctor!

147 Daniel February 13, 2011 at 1:51 pm

I’ll withhold my thanks until I see how all this shakes. My fear is that it’s 1979 Iranian revolution all over again, with well-intended people like Yasser El Hadari who write and talk about freedom and justice, who stood up to protect his neighbors but whose actions, unfortunately, lead to something much worse. The last thing I think anyone wants, including this post’s author is yet another totalitarian Islamic state, crushing its citizens under barbaric sharia law, in the Middle East.

148 Sean February 13, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Regardless of the overall outcome, actions from the heart not the head is what these lessons are about. I felt your shift in manliness. A saying that comes to mind
“Rise and Rise Again… from Lamb to Lion.” Never give up!

Thankyou for sharing this with us.

149 Alex February 13, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Congratulations for what all of you have accomplished! Now comes the equally hard work of building a new government and protecting the freedoms you have gained. You are an inspiration to us all!

150 Robert Black February 13, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Thank you my fellow man. God be with you all.

151 Jim February 13, 2011 at 4:10 pm

To Yasser El Hadari and all the people of Egypt, I say never give up on your dreams of liberty. “The Price of Freedom Is Eternal Vigilance.” I wish you success and I wish you Peace.

To all of you who have posted comments espousing the potential failure of democracy in Egypt or the inevitability of trading “one sock puppet for another”, I have just one thing to say: Shame on you.

152 Nick February 13, 2011 at 4:24 pm

Quite a few things reminded me of stuff that has been happening here in the US.
Like all the chaos after Katrina..with the police gone and looters and gangs running around. A lot of people set up neighborhood patrols and whatnot. Of course it didn’t help when their extremely useless/clueless mayor stole their firearms (later he’d be forced to give them back).
And then with most of the media labeling TEA Party activists as anarchists and crazies.

Sometimes it’s mildly reassuring, in a way, that not every country is so different after all, heh.

153 John D. Shea February 13, 2011 at 4:44 pm

To the anonymous author of this article – bravo. I admire the courage and manliness that it takes to stand for what one truly believes.

154 EN February 13, 2011 at 5:11 pm

I have grave doubts as to where the Egyptian revolution is heading but it gives me a great deal of hope when men like this step up to the plate. He’s to be admired as a man.

155 John D. Shea February 13, 2011 at 5:16 pm

My apologies to the author – I incorrectly referred to him as anonymous. Bravo, Yasser El Hadari, and bravo again for being brave enough to use your real name in such a time of conflict.

156 Jet February 13, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Why was my comment not produced ? Everything i stated is factual, i was under the impression part of being a man was speaking the truth …

or was it to do with the fact it contained links ? Edit no i see someone has a comment with link …

Please whatever you feel was unnecessary for the comment section remove and leave the edited version of my initial post ! Thanks I am a fan of the site and greatly appreciate this post. peace

157 Kait February 13, 2011 at 6:15 pm

It would be a great honor to shake your hand, Yasser El Hadari. Congratulations to you and your fellow Egyptians for standing up and standing tall in the face of oppression.

158 Stefn777 February 13, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Mr. El Hadari,
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this article from someone who is “from the inside”, who is not beholden to anything but his own conscience. If I could send a message to your fellow citizens, my word of encouragement to the Egyptian people would be:
“The eternal price of Freedom is Vigilance.”
I hope all the best for your country, Sir!

159 Devvy February 13, 2011 at 7:53 pm

It’s most unfortunate, however, that the good people of Egypt are fighting for democracy.

Democracy is a vile form of government and no democracy in the history of the world has ever survived. Here are words from our former presidents and Founding Fathers:

John Adams: Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.

Thomas Jefferson: A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51% of the people may take away the rights of the other 49%.

James Madison: Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their death.

John Quincy Adams: The experience of all former ages had shown that of all human governments, democracy was the most unstable, fluctuating and short-lived.

Here in the U.S., our legal form of government is a constitutional republic. Those who birthed this nation hated democracy as a form of government. None of them wanted a democracy for America and we have never been a democracy and neither should any people of any country who truly wish to be free.

Pushing democracy upon other countries is vile propaganda because it is pushing for mob rule and failure.

True freedom for the people of Egypt would be a constitutional republic. Democracy is the path to ruin.

If you would like to learn the difference, here is a superb example of the legal difference between a democracy and a republic:

http://www.devvy.com/pdf/larosa/larosa_democracy_or_republic.pdf

160 Matt English February 13, 2011 at 8:08 pm

A man also thinks ahead….what about the current void and the high probability it will be filled by radical islam?
A man also learns from history…

161 Jet February 13, 2011 at 8:42 pm

HI admin thanks for uncensoring my comment. I know this is most likely a US owned site and my comment was clearly very anti US foreign policy but one should realise the criticism of US Government does not include the people (although I know many feel this way when there “team” is attacked ) lol. I should of also pointed out the hypocrisy of Mr Cameron here in the UK weighing in on things as well when i mentioned Obama and Clinton. I was just stressing the importance of studying and drawing your attention to the role the US currently plays in the world one which you probably do not hear in the mainstream media …

As for those commenting on “fears” of Extremists taking over and becoming another “enemy” Lol please do some more research on the events. Also it would be good for you to learn who armed funded and created Al Qaeda in Afghanistan as well as Mr Hussein in Iraq ! I know you have a lot of crazy media personal in the US such as Fox News & Glen Beck telling you the “Muslim Brotherhood are going to take over e.t.c yes we have the same kind of scaremongering here courtesy of our former Prime minister/War Criminal/ Israeli servant Mr Tony Bliar. Firstly the M.B are not Jihads secondly they have stated they are not running for control and thirdly even if they did they do not have anywhere near enough numbers ! I would also redirect you to one of the greatest parts of the post and scenes of the uprising in Egypt for me personally, that of Muslims and Christians protesting together and protecting each other.

Ultimately this uprising is about the chance of a better life for all Egyptians, I’m sure most Men here would like to see a much fairer equal world and when 40% of the population of such a large beautiful historic nation full of natural respurces such as Egypt are surviving of $2 a day we are far from this possibility ! Especially whilst the Dictator Mubarak’s fortune, including his wife’s and son’s, is estimated to be respectively …$40 Billion + $5 Billion + $17 Billion a total of $62 Billion ! It is vital to note the total American tax dollars that have been paying this man for the last 30 years, is a approximately a total of $60 Billion. Was it for infrastructure, job creation ? Or was it to create another dictator …

Anyway just thought i’d say thanks again for this fantastic post and incite from Mr Yasser El Hadari and for uncensoring my comment.

If anyoen is interested in The History of Military Dictatorship in Egypt this is a must watch video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7FN_mQFrSU&feature=feedu

and to find out more about Omar Suleiman record, including his role in the U.S. extraordinary rendition program, his close ties to Israel and his personal involvement in the torture of prisoners watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRajvMNuClI&annotation_id=annotation_656653&feature=iv

Peace and thanks again A.O.M for continuing to provide great posts !

162 Laurent Henninger February 13, 2011 at 9:16 pm

A beautiful article indeed! And showing a lot a maturity too, just like the Egyptian people did in the last weeks.
Just a few words for the people who disagreed:
- It is quite possible that some personalities have been manipulated, but it is absolutely impossible to manipulate a whole population. It is not only very contemptuous to consider that these millions of people had no good reasons to revolt (who are you to make such a statement, and what do you know about their everyday lives?), but it is also a complete misunderstanding of historical processes.
- The future of Egypt might be an Islamist one, but it is only ONE possibility among many others. As for now, the Egyptian revolution has not shown any solid sign of religious fanaticism and/or “Westerners-hatred”. Maybe it is overly contemptuous (again) to think that anything Arab automatically, mechanically leads towards Islamism…

163 CaveTrollWithABeard February 13, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Really, Devvy? REALLY? Are you really going to sit here in the face of what Egypt has accomplished and the testimony of this inspiring man and complain about terms? This isn’t a political theory class, you idiot, and you’re completely missing the point of what’s being said and discussed. Yasser El Hadari, you and the men you stood beside through the face of this conflict are what I aspire to be if I ever find myself in a similar situation. Bravo, and never let people with no empathy and a political chip on their shoulder cheapen what you’ve accomplished.

164 Laurent February 13, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Another quick note to Devvy: OK, let’s assume there’s some truth in your anti-democratic statement (actually, the kind of republic you praise is an oligarchic republic). The problem is: power corrupts, as everybody knows. Let’s then assume that, once in a while (on the historical scale), the people rises to create another power, with a renewed legitimacy, in order to throw away the old, corrupt and inefficient one. Then another historical process can take place, maybe leading to a similar result in some years. After all, this might be a sound historical process, sort of “history wheel turning on”…

165 Paul II February 13, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Devvy, I’m pretty sure no nation has survived forever. Yeah, the form of gov’t may have reflect on how long, but saying “No Democracy has survived” is kind of stupid, since no republic, anarchy has “survived” either.

Stop preaching politics, this aint the place.

166 Shery February 13, 2011 at 10:19 pm

It was interesting to know the story first hand, not from the media. Mashaallah the article was very interesting and appealing. It’s good to know that someone (probably many other people) learned so much from the protests. I can’t express my pride in what you all have accomplished, and I’m sorry I wasn’t there to contribute. Like you said, this is a new era, the era of the youth and democracy. ta7ya masr!

167 criolle johnny February 13, 2011 at 11:32 pm

As ever, their “lives, fortunes and sacred honor”.

Bravo.

168 nrXic February 14, 2011 at 12:31 am

Daniel said: “My fear is that it’s 1979 Iranian revolution all over again, with well-intended people like Yasser El Hadari who write and talk about freedom and justice, who stood up to protect his neighbors but whose actions, unfortunately, lead to something much worse.”

You’ve been watching too much FOX News.

May I add that real men educate themselves on a topic before commenting on it?

169 Gil February 14, 2011 at 12:45 am

I agree with the criticism of Devvy – so you want an Oligarchic Republic instead of a Democractic Republic? So if “Democracy descends into the majority bullying the minority” then what’s stopping “Oligarchy dscending into the well-to-do, propertied people bullying the have-nots”?

170 Jordan February 14, 2011 at 12:47 am

Allah akbar!
Please be strong!
Your strength will not only help Egypt but all of the middle east and therefore the world.
Many of us (christians) in Canada are wishing Egypt and you peace and freedom!
Thank you for taking up the fight that we are too scared for!

171 Jon February 14, 2011 at 2:18 am

Well done for standing up for what is right. Thank you for your bravery and sharing your story with us. I pray that Egypt finds its democracy – as a South African, I want to encourage you that it can become a success.

172 Rahul February 14, 2011 at 7:12 am

Dear Yasser,
This is a brilliant article. Loved reading every bit of it!!!
Many congratulations to all Egyptians. The first step has been taken and its in the right direction. Let’s see where it goes from here. The world is watching you guys with great interest. Best of Luck.
Regards,
Rahul

173 Steven Masters February 14, 2011 at 9:41 am

Yasser, thank you so much for the insight into your country’s struggles, and your lessons in manliness. I only hope, if the situation arises I would have the same courage to stand and protect my neighborhood.

174 oudiva February 14, 2011 at 10:37 am

Mabrouk to Egypt and her people. Yasser el-Hadari, you are a real man; thank you for your thoughts.

I would remind Devvy of what Churchill said: Democracy is the worst form of government – except for all the others.

175 Joe B February 14, 2011 at 11:00 am

Dear Yasser,
This is an excellent article! In a land where we promote our patriotism, but unfortunately it isn’t what it used to be, it is good to see and hear about patriotism outside the US. It’s not that I didn’t believe it existed elsewhere, but I have a very narrow exposure to things outside the US. I was very inspired and thank you for writing this. Keep up the good work!

176 Story February 14, 2011 at 11:31 am

Yasser,
This is an epic post – you’re doing Freedom & Democracy right.
We’re praying for you guys.

177 Turner Armstrong February 14, 2011 at 11:45 am

It is good to see that in this dangerous time, dangerous men were awakened to face the threats. I do not mean dangerous in the sense of ‘wicked’, but rather, ‘capable of overcoming a challenge’ which sometimes necessitates forcefulness. Man was not made to be ‘nice’ but to be righteous. It is good to see that in a complacent age, men will still rise up and be men, when it is needed.

178 Mike February 14, 2011 at 12:44 pm

I would love to hear more stories like this one from other individuals who took part in this historic protest and apparent victory. If there are many others of his ilk they will remain free and be an example for all mankind that we are born free and can treat our neighbors with dignity no matter what race or creed. God is good.

179 Brandon G February 14, 2011 at 1:18 pm

As a college sophomore, I know little about life, let alone a revolution. This is one of the most well-written articles I have read not only on this site, but out of many “lessons from Egypt” articles on the internet. The points noted above are clear, concise, and applicable to every man who is trying to better himself for the benefit of his family, friends, and inner self. I appreciate the wise words, and will continue to pray for Egypt and their right to representation.
-Brandon

180 Humberto Paniagua February 14, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Yasser El Hadari
I congratulate you, I am with you and your country men.
It gives me hope to what man, intelligent men, can acomplish
Keep safe, Keep yours safe, Keep being a honest and proud gentleman.

thanks for your comments, for the brief look into what we don´t get to see..

181 Zachary February 14, 2011 at 2:06 pm

“A man respects others” Unless he is a reporter not from his own country, apparently. Giving foreign journalists the boot is inappropriate, and will NOT help their cause.

182 Henrique Vilhena February 14, 2011 at 3:18 pm

I am not in the habit of commenting articles in AoM, since I always admired the author’s attempt at keeping them politically neutral. However I have been very skeptic at the latest romantization of the recent revolution in Egypt and I must say I strongly disagree with an article opening a discussion of the lessons in manliness of such a recent and unpredictable event. I have always been skeptic of the ideal of the Revolution with a capital r. History is full of revolutions which ended in extremely unromantic ways, either in bloody civil conflits or tyranical dictatorships.
Revolutions, sometimes are the only means to change a regime that has ceased to fullfill the needs of the people it is supposed to rule. I certainly admire the rather peaceful but resolute way the egyptian people forced their authocratic and corrupt ruler out of office. But as times of transition revolutions require extreme caution and a cool head, otherwise unscrupulous opurtunists will use the stirred up emotions of the massess for their own use. In Egypt in particular, given the chronic instability of the surrounding region there is much danger in the excessive glamourization of the current events.
I still think it’s a good article but what if the revolution took a bad turn, what would be the lessons in manliness to take from there?

183 Jon February 14, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Your paragraph about the Christian’s forming a human wall of protection around the Muslim’s on Friday and vice versa on Sunday in the middle of this chaotic and amazing event was particularly inspiring and moving. We’re experiencing some amazing examples of a renewed humanity in the midst of all of this.

184 Jon February 14, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Henrique,

There can be true expressions of manliness regardless of what we think about the whole flow of the revolution. Certainly there were brave men from England and the Colonies at the time of the American Revolution.

185 Nopea Laihdutus February 14, 2011 at 5:02 pm

I salut you! Job well done and what a great post!

186 Rob February 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Very inspiring! Congratulations to all Egyptians.

For the record, Anarchism means the lack of a state, NOT CHAOS. Chaos is caused by the gang of thieves and murderous thugs in our government. Civilized people work together to create better products and services. The state holds guns to their heads to steal those products and services.

Did anyone else notice the protests didn’t turn violent until the state responded?

187 MetaCynic February 14, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Whatever the outcome of the Egyptian revolution, the vital thing to understand is that every government, even the most tyrannical, governs with the consent of the governed. Once people muster the courage to withdraw their consent and in their minds delegitimize a government, that government will fall. It’s that simple. The Eastern Europeans did it in 1989, the Russians in 1991 and the Tunisians and Egyptians in 2011.

It’s also important to understand that all people, regardless of race or religion, want the same basic things – to be left alone to peacefully work and trade to care for themselves and their families. All governments, regardless of their conceits and labels, also want the same basic things – to expand control over their subjects’ lives and to confiscate ever more wealth. Make no mistake. By their natures, every productive person is your brother or sister and every politician and bureaucrat is your enemy. What Yasser witnessed and participated in was spontaneous, decentralized human action in pursuit of a common goal. Voluntary human action, not the coercive gun of the state, is the origin of peace, security and prosperity.

As some comments have pointed out, revolutions are known to replace one tyranny with another. If the government that follows Mubarak, follows this script and fails to understand that people simply want to be left alone, then the Egyptian people having already once done so, must again rise up and say “no!” May the success of their courageous, nonviolent civil disobedience be an inspiration for all time to downtrodden people everywhere.

188 Mike February 14, 2011 at 7:42 pm

Disappointing piece; I did not realize that AoM is a soapbox for revolutionaries.
When did AoM become so political?

As #181 Henrique has suggested, we really do not know what has happened in Egypt, or what will happen. Nor do we know that Yasser is a hero. It is reckless for AoM to provide him with this forum, not knowing anything other than his self-aggrandizing statements. I certainly do not need Yasser to tell me how to be a man

189 Yasser El Hadari February 14, 2011 at 8:59 pm

Thank you all for your amazing feedback. Really I’m really happy for all your opinions.

@Mike: I’m no politician, nor do I have the knowledge or authority to mention politics. If you review the article you’ll find I haven’t mentioned any parties or movements. When anyone asks me about my political views I just go ‘all of the above’. I’m not even involved in politics, I defended the online activist because his brother’s my friend and I admire him, period. My life activity-wise is dedicated to dentistry and my business. In fact I was prospecting for potential business partners during my neighborhood watches and in the protests and I was doing business presentations during both. Nothing romantic.

My purpose for writing the article wasn’t to push some political agenda in someone’s face. I like Art of Manliness, and I was inspired in chronicling how the last few days changed my when I was sitting with a friend talking about how we surprised ourselves by finally acting like men and responsible citizens during the revolution.

I have no way of confirming this story to you. I didn’t think of carrying my camera around during the neighborhood watches. The only proof you have is comments by my professor, colleague, sister and other Egyptians. One comment says he heard me on NPR but I can’t confirm it was me since I didn’t hear it and the person who interviewed me never mentioned NPR, hundreds of people were stopped by journalists to be asked questions. As for heroics, I confirmed that I joined the revolution (and by revolution I meant peaceful protests) late, since I thought my presence wouldn’t matter, hence by default making thousands of people more heroic than me, if the name hero even applies to me, and my neighborhood got it easiest in terms of criminal attacks, other neighborhoods still have to stand watch as I type this. I haven’t even started on the people who died for my rights as a citizen.

Again I thank you and the rest of the readers for their feedback since it will encourage me to write responsibly. I apologize to Brett and Kate McKay if my article attracted attention from readers contradicting the aim of the site to remain apolitical, but again I confirm that my intention was to chronicle my experiences in the context of how it helped my transition to a more mature human being, nothing more.

Again thank you all for your comments. And pray Egypt’s for future.

190 Harrison February 14, 2011 at 10:07 pm

Only a true Man can write like Yasser El Hadari. Thank you for your inspiring words.

191 Edward February 15, 2011 at 6:56 am

How can we show these folks who want liberty what it is? We claim to have it, but truthfully have forgot and lost ours to. We have lost the truth of the meanings of Democracy and Republic. Forgotten the difference between Civil Rights and God Given Rights. Many are awakening to the difference and doing the same thing. Standing their ground peacefully to reclaim The God given Rights and Republic form of Government. Without interfering how can we get that word to these great folks?

192 John February 15, 2011 at 7:05 am

Egypt fights for their freedom and liberty while most of America silently lulls to sleep as American liberties are quickly and ruthlessly stolen from us. Sheep.

193 Mike February 15, 2011 at 7:28 am

Yasser-

Thank you for your reply; well-reasoned, articulate and gentlemanly; in fact, downright impressive.

Sincerely,
Mike

194 Nick Welch February 15, 2011 at 11:18 am

Yasser, congratulations to you & your countrymen. Don’t let any negative comments discourage you from pressing on. Freedom is the right & responsibility of all men. You have demonstrated that so bravely & eloquently. I pray that when (not if) we face something similar here in America I will have the same courage & resolve you have demonstrated to protect my neighborhood & country.

195 nip hustle February 15, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Good article, nicely done. Just dont vote in the Muslim brotherhood. That would def be a big mistake for Egypt aswell as a step in the opposite direction. Though I’m sure Egyptians arnt stupid to do such a thing…

196 Adam February 15, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Brett,

I’d like to read your reaction to El Hadari’s choice to link your efforts here on AOM to those of the Egyptians. I’m choked up reading his words, wondering if I’d have the same strength. I can only imagine how you feel.

197 Steve M February 15, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Yasser — Congratulations on your growth in maturity and manliness. You voiced them very well. I think the concerns voiced by what some commenters call detractors are not with your honorable actions, but with what possible outcomes could arise from your actions. These possible outcomes do not detract from your honorable actions in your neighborhood or city. We pray that a representative and benevolent government will arise from the effort Egyptian backbone displayed. From other first-hand accounts from young Egyptian intellectuals such as yourself, I am not very optimistic. Power had shifted from military advancement to economic advancement. This could just be a return to the military power structure. More of the same; different leadership. Your manly work is just beginning! God bless you and the Egyptian people.

198 Henrique Vilhena February 15, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Yasser,
I never meant to belittle your actions and it would never cross my mind that the events in it are not true. By glamourizing and romantization I meant that revolutions and coups are sometimes thought of as glorious marches of freedom when they are in fact the first step in the arduous road towards the attainment of that freedom. It basically is a transfer of power from one entity to another. Those who have taken power will have the grievous task of maintaining order, perform a transition to a stable and long standing government, while trying to maintain the credibility of the people.
I did notice your article did not focus on political ideas but since these events have been political, one should expect the opening up of some heated debates on the comment section, this is one of the reasons of my criticism.
The other reason has nothing to do with the revolution itself or your courageous acts in it but with the running opinion in western societies (of which this blog is part of) that the topling of Mubarak’s goverment will solve all the world’s problems and that democracy will be magically be put in place after there are free elections. Western style graeco/roman democracies need more than just elections, they need democratic institutions, free speech and press, freedom of religion and thought as well as active participation of all the citizens. I trully believe that Egypt has all the conditions for estabilishing such a society but history has shown that the meddling of foreign goverments at this stage of events usually gives bad results. Let’s all hope that all goes well and that those who now hold power show the temperance that has been shown on your article.

199 JK February 15, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Awesome post. Its good to know one of our own has taken a break from discussing, reading, and theorizing about manhood to go out and be the man his people needed him to be.

200 Peter P. R. IV February 15, 2011 at 5:13 pm

To Devvy, thanks. I appreciated that link of yours.

To others, I do not see why some of you are saying these lessons came out too soon. For Yasser El Hadari, he learned these GENERAL manly lessons in a time of conflict. And these lessons, no matter what the outcome, will always be, and Should always be, kept in mind and practice. These are NOT lessons from a succesfull revolution and they are NOT lessons from a revolution that could end up bad, it is just the fact OF a Revolution that they were learned. Do not get too picky about titles.

May G-d Bless Egypt in this time of turmoil. May the best come out of it for all!

-Peter P. R. IV-

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