February 4, 2011

REMEMBERING THE DEAD OF EGYPT


[UPDATE] I have been contacted today through my email and am reminded once more how fleeting and sometimes wrong one can be.

And by "one" I mean me.

It appears the information I took from the linked list seems to have been in error, and I must apologise. That is why this update is on top of the original post. The name is wrong (which is bad enough), but it appears that the story is not quite correct. I will not delete the original post, because one should not only own up to one's mistakes, but also not let it disappear and pretend that such mistake never happened in the first place.
Dear Mr. Hart
In your latest blog entry you were discussing those who recently died in the events of Jan 25th in Egypt and used my cousin Ahmed as an example, thank you for remembering Ahmed with us but there are a few corrections that you should consider. First Ahmed's full name is Ahmed Ahab Abbas, since his father is deceased it fell upon my father to carry out the formal proceedings with the hospital report, burial and so on, my father testifies first hand, with no coercion or other causes that the people at the hospital cooperated with him fully, however they gave them the option of going to the coroners for an autopsy with the true cause of death announced in the death certificate, or taking him from the hospital as is but writing it as an accident, when my dad decided that he will go to the coroners, they fully cooperated and sent an ambulance with him and at the coroners office they fully cooperated to the extent that the lady responsible with issuing the death certificate had a hard time writing it as she was crying so much. The false info you reported was published on several pages on facebook and am having a hard time tracking all the groups correcting this info as its the right of the hospital not to spread false info about them.
Best Regards
Radwa Ossama Abbas
[UPDATE 2] I would also like to express my gratitude to Joanne Michele, from whose admirable effort in providing a list of those who died I took the original information, and who - upon being contacted - was quick to respond and add and amend the updated information provided by Mr. Abbas' family. 

It is hard to obtain proper and verifiable information in a time of chaos, and the best we can do is to respond as quickly as we can and remember our responsibilities, and those responsibilities include to correct ourselves as quickly as we can. I cannot claim to know the pain that Mr. Abbas' family must be going through right now, but it does pain me that I may have contributed it, however well my (and others') intentions have been.

And here is the original post.
---------------------------------

It is one name. One of many. So, so many. Too many. And we cannot remember them, not all of them, for we are not their friends, we are not their family, most of us are not even their countrymen, but they are just like us. They want a better life. They want to have a life. Somebody to love. A home.

It is too easy to forget. How much we are alike. And how little separates us.

But we cannot forget. And we cannot stay silent. It is not much that we can do, it is shockingly little. All that we can do, that we all have to do... is to spread the signal. To let others know. To let the world know. To give those who fight for their lives a name. A face. And tell their stories. To do all that Mubarak and his murderous thugs try to prevent.

The name is Ahmed Ahab Mostafa.

I do not claim to know him. I picked him from a list of names of the ones that were killed in Egypt during the last eleven days. I picked him, because his death is a symbol. Because others were killed in the same way. And because his family stood up for him. According to Egyptian journalist and blogger Wael Abbas, Ahmed Abba Mostafa...
....was shot on Friday 28 Jan in Tahrir Square. Of 6 rubber bullets that hit him, 3 hit him in the face including 1 in the eye. He went into a coma died 3 Feb at El Hossein University hospital. When Ahmed first entered the hospital, they tried to record his death as an accident, but the family refused and forced the truth to be known.
There are so many of them. So many stories. So many that each single one of them, each single name should be remembered. But we have to start somewhere. And I look at this photo, and I see me. And I see you. It's not a good photo. It is one of those snapshots that was maybe made by a friend. Or a girlfriend. I see a photo that could have been taken in Munich. In London. In Paris. In Düsseldorf. In New York. In Los Angeles. In Moscow. How little the differences are. I see a young man who is not angry. Who is not shouting. I see a young man on a night out. With his friends. I see a man that could be anyone of us.

I see a ghost.

Frozen in time now, never again allowed to move forward.

There are so many of them. Amr Garib. Hussein Taha. Mustafa El-Sawi. So many names. So many lives. All of them, not lost, but taken. Their futures, stolen. Their hopes, now only living on in the struggle that their friends, their families, their countrymen cannot, will not abandon.


To all of you in Egypt, peace be with you.