Copyright © 2003-2011, Aishah Schwartz. Permission granted to circulate among private individuals, groups, or in not-for-profit publications in full text and subject title. All other rights reserved.

February 16, 2011

Sout Al Horeya صوت الحريه Amir Eid - Hany Adel - Hawary on Guitar & Sherif on Keyboards

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Aishah Schwartz on the Egyptian Revolution, Tunisia, Gaza, Saudi Arabia and more!

Click on image to view full size.

      February 15, 2011

      Biography: Aishah Schwartz (2010-11)

      Updated to cover 2002-2017 here.


      Aishah Schwartz (bibliography), an American Muslim revert to Islam since April 2002, is founder and director of the 2006 established Washington, D.C.-based Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA) and a retired career litigation legal secretary. She is also a published freelance non-fiction writer/journalist and internationally renowned human rights activist with a focus on the rights of Muslim women and the plight of the Palestinian people affected by the Israeli imposed illegal embargo on Gaza.

      Ms. Schwartz's writing, primarily autobiographical, generally focuses on countering misconceptions about Islam and her own life as a Muslim. Relating her experiences as an American Muslim woman traveling in the Middle East, her stories gained world-wide notoriety via the internet.

      She eventually also became a featured writer for Naseeb Vibes, one of the world's largest online Muslim e-zines and social communities. Ms. Schwartz's articles are also regularly published at The American Muslim (TAM) and various other outlets.

      Shortly after becoming Muslim, while volunteering at the 2003 ISNA Convention she was interviewed for Nile TV and later that year participated in a voter registration campaign at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, which led to her first "quote" in a CBS News story.

      As a writing activist Ms. Schwartz focuses on civil and human rights issues within the Muslim community at-large, particularly those adversely affecting Muslim women.

      She addressed President Jacques Chirac, dressed as the Statue of Liberty, in front of the Embassy of France in Washington, D.C. as hundreds gathered on January 17, 2004 in protest of an impending law prohibiting Muslim women from wearing hijab.

      In 2004 Ms. Schwartz also participated in the live filming of the hour-long premiere episode of the WETA-TV series "Senso Reports" - Target Washington (2004); appearing twice in cameo.

      In 2005 she lead a national campaign in association with America's Second Harvest, organized to rally the Muslim community in support of National Hunger Awareness Day and developed a Hunger Awareness guide for participants in the Muslim community that was distributed to masjids across the United States.

      Robert Forney, President and CEO of America's Second Harvest stated, "We are honored to be aided in our National Hunger Awareness Day 2005 efforts by members of so many diverse faiths, including Ms. Schwartz." In 2006 she continued the Hunger Awareness campaign as Founder and Director of Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA).

      Through MWA her activism received international recognition in 2006 after a successful campaign to avert removal of a prayer space in view of the Kabba designated for women in the courtyard of Makkah's Grand Mosque. The impact the campaign website, online petition, poster declaring "We Have A Right to Pray in This Space!", and press release, all directed to King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz. was reported on by Egypt's Al-Ahram Weekly. "Aishah Schwartz, founder-director of the Muslimah Writers Alliance in Washington, set up the Grand Mosque Equal Access for Women Project that circulated a petition protesting the restrictions [on women]. Very quickly over a thousand signatures were collected."

      Women inside Saudi Arabia and around the world, meanwhile, carried on protesting in the media. "It was the most striking example to date of concerted Islamic feminist global protest and one that authorities could not ignore," stated Margot Badran, Senior Fellow, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim Christian Understanding, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

      On September 11, 2006, the proposal was overturned based in part on pressure from international media outlets and response to the online petition endorsed by Muslims worldwide.

      In July of 2007, in her capacity as Director of Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA), and in conjunction with a program titled, "Islam in America; a project for Russia", Ms. Schwartz hosted a leadership delegation from Russia at the Islalmic Center in Washington, D.C. The program was part of the Delphi International Program of World Learning International Visitor Leadership Program, sponsored by the U.S. State Department.

      In 2008, Human Rights Watch (HRW) recognized Ms. Schwartz's work in support of equal rights for women in the Grand Mosque Equal Access campaign in its report titled, "Perpetual Minors".

      Ms. Schwartz was also recognized for her work in tackling equality within the masjid in the 2007 paperback release of Donna Gherke-White's 'Face Behind the Veil', a widely read collection of stories shedding additional light on issues facing American Muslim women.

      Launching another Saudi Arabia-based campaign in 2007, again directed to the Saudi King, Ms. Schwartz tackled the need for reforms in the Kingdom's laws regarding guardianship of women with the "Say 'No' to Forced Divorce, 'Yes' to Reforms" campaign, which combined the cause for reuniting Fatima and Mansour Al-Timani, a couple forcefully divorced due to alleged 'tribal' differences.

      Mansour Al-Timani and his wife, Fatima were finally reunited nearly 5-years from their divorce, however, the Say 'No' to Forced Divorce, 'Yes' to Reforms petition, signed by people from 40 Countries, 56 Foreign Cities, 21 U.S. States, and 45 U.S. Cities, continues in support of reform.

      Ms. Schwartz also had the opportunity discuss the issue as a guest panelist on the D.C.-based television program, "Islamic Perspectives".

      An unexpected surprise came to Ms. Schwartz in September of 2009 when her blog, "Sister Aishah's Islamic Journey" was recognized by The Daily Reviewer as one of the top 100 Muslim blogs. The Daily Reviewer selects only the world's top blogs (and RSS feeds), sifting through thousands of blogs daily to present the world's best writers. Blogs selected for inclusion are authoritative on their respective niche topics and are widely read. To be included in The Daily Reviewer is a mark of excellence.

      In 2010 Ms. Schwartz hit the ground running.

      Beginning with the December 2008 illegal Israeli massacre on Gaza, Ms. Schwartz, already actively involved in campaigning to end the embargo on Gaza through extensive writing and in marching against it in Washington, D.C., became more personally involved, petitioning members of the U.S. Congress and President Obama through various projects (see MWA Press Room); work that led to her eventual personal siege breaking journey to Gaza in December 2009. (Video) (Enter GAZA in search box mid-right of this page to learn more.)

      On returning from Gaza in January 2010, she was compelled to do more. In support of the reported 700+ students in need of exit visas for pursuit of studies abroad, Ms. Schwartz launched the 'No Gaza Student Left Behind' campaign in June 2010 with a press release, open letter to President Obama, online petition drive and posters.

      In June 2010 the woman's rights movement in Saudi Arabia resurfaced as guardianship reform, in conjunction with the rights of foreign nationals, once again came to the forefront as King Abdullah of prepared for a June 29 visit to the White House. Ms. Schwartz again lent MWA's support, to demonstrations that took place in front of the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, D.C., and in front of the White House, in association with the Comit'e de Soutien 'a Nathalie Morin,' of Canada, Muslims for Progressive Values and Responsible for Equality, and Liberty (R.E.A.L.), based in Washington, D.C.

      "The women of Saudi Arabia continue in pursuit of much needed reform in the Kingdom's existing guardianship laws," stated Ms. Schwartz.

      "Many people confuse 'reform' with 'abolish'; the movement is not to dissolve guardianship, it is merely to improve the conditions of women suffering from uneven-handedness and to provide alternative recourse for those not benefiting from the protections that the law is intended to provide," Ms. Schwartz added.

      The new year was also marked by participation in International Hijab Awareness Day, an event organized in support of bringing awareness to physical abuse within Muslim communities - commemorated in conjunction with the one-year anniversary marking the tragic beheading of Aasyia Zubair Hassan (1972-2009).

      Taking her activism away from the keyboard in the summer of 2010, Ms. Schwartz participated in the the film production of a sequel to the Bridges Foundation project, "The Fog is Lifting", titled "Jihad Against Terrorism", also featuring Imam Suhaib Webb and others. The DVD is scheduled for January 2011 release and should be available online at the Bridges Foundation website, insha'Allah. NEW! View DVD cover here!

      To round out the year, Ms. Schwartz was given the opportunity to showcase her organization, Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA), through a mini-documentary titled, زمام المبادرة - عائشة شوارتز/Lead the Way - Aishah Schwartz. Produced by iFilms of Cairo, Egypt for Al-Jazeera Arabic TV, the documentary premiered December 1, 2010 (repeated on Wednesday's throughout the month) and is now available on YouTube. The short-film also features MWA member and new author, Rania Marwan, who recently published her first book in a series on Islamic manners for children, "Laila and Pesto the Fly".

      When the Egyptian Revolution broke out on 25 January 2011, Ms. Schwartz reported from her home in Egypt and visited Tahrir Square on 8 Feb. 2011 (photos). Cairo's Al-Wafd News Journal covered her visit.


      2010-11 ARABIC PRESS
      Click on image to view full size.
      Click on image to view full size.

      Click on image to view full size.

      Click on image to view full size.

      Click on image to view full size.

      Click on image to view full size.




      February 13, 2011

      نجح العاملين بحقل السياحة البحرية في ايقاف أحد رموز الفساد بالغردقة

      نجح العاملين بحقل السياحة البحرية في ايقاف أحد رموز الفساد بالغردقة
      HURGHADA, EGYPT (Feb. 13, 2011) Protesters applaud announcement that Hurghada Maritime office General Manager will be replaced.
      الجموع من المواطنين نجحت في إسقاط الرئيس في ثمانية عشر يوما ثورة للديمقراطية بعد ثلاثون عاما من انعدام العدالة , أكثر من خمسمائة متظاهر من ملاك والعاملين بالوحدات البحرية واليخوت السياحية من عمال بحرية وريس بحرى تظاهروا أمام إدارة التفتيش البحرى بالغردقة وسفاجا سلميا ضد عبده عبد الكريم مدير التفتيش البحرى بالغردقة لإستئصال الجذور العميقة للفساد
      ملاك المراكب السفاري والمراكب اليومية الذين عانوا كثيرا من التعسف والعنت فضلا عن دفع مبالغ طائلة من المال لأداء أعمالهم بإدارة التفتيش البحرى
      أول من إستجاب هو شرطة الغردقة الذين سارعوا إلى الحضور ليجدوا المتظاهرين قد أغلقوا طريق المطار أمام التفتيش البحرى ولكن المتظاهرين قد رفضوا الإنصراف ثم بدأوا في الحوار مع العقيد / طارق اسماعيل والعميد شرطة / خالد خفاجي لسرد مظالهم وطلباتهم  التي تنحصر في طرد هذا المدير .
      بدأ العقيد طارق في الأتصال بالسيد اللواء / أحمد خالد الذي أتصل باللواء مصطفى وهبة , وحتى تم هذا لم يتوقف المتظاهرين عن الهتاف ( أطلع ره يا عبده ) والهتاف ( جيوبنا فضيت ) وبعد الإستماع لشكاوى المواطنين وإرسال الصورة كاملة للإدارة الإسكندرية وصلت بعد وقت غير قليل الإفادة بنقل مدير جديد للغردقة وإيقاف الدير الفاسد عن العمل والتحقيق معه وإرسال مدير جديد ليحل محله .
      أنه من غير المعقول أن يكون الغطاسين المصريين لا يجدون عملا في الوقت الذي يعمل به في بلادهم الغطاسين الروس والبولنديين دون حتى أن يحصلوا علي إقامة بل بمجرد تقديم الطلب ( تصريح السيد / سعيد ممدوح المحامى الذي أضاف إن الموطن المصري أما ضحية أو شاهد علي الفساد وإكتمالا لنجاح ثورتنا المصرية لابد أن يقف كل مصري كجندى في موقعه لكشف الفساد وإسقاطه ولنثبت للعالم بأننا أمة بحضارة عشرة آلاف عام من التاريخ المشرف .
      الجيش والشرطة معا أعطوا المتظاهرين أملا جميلا لغد بلا فساد

      Hurghada Maritime Tourism Revolution Participants Succeed in Bid to End Corruption

      "As successors of the current revolution, we must take our place as soldiers of justice to rebuild our country and revive its status as a respected nation with a 10,000 year history," stated Maritime Law Advocate, Said Mamdouh.
      HURGHADA, EGYPT (Feb. 13, 2011) Capitalizing on the unprecedented success of Egypt's 18-day pro-democracy revolution resulting in the resignation of the country's 30-year tyrannical President, over 500 water and sport tourism business owners, managers, captains and seamen gathered in front of the Hurghada, Red Sea Ministry of Transport's Maritime office (El Tafish El Bahry) in a peaceful protest bid to oust general manager Abdu Abd Kareem from office on the basis of allegations of deep-rooted corruption.

      Safari and daily boat owners and managers have been plagued for years by the inability to conduct their businesses in a clear and orderly manner unless they were in a position to pay large sums of money 'under-the-table', resulting in significant financial loss or complete closure of their businesses.

      First-responders to the protest scene were Hurghada police, who barricaded the roadway in front of El Tafish El Bahry, but demonstrators were insistent upon addressing their complaints in front of a representative of Egypt's governing military, Navy Col. Tariq Ismail.

      Protesters, chanting "Go Out Abdu", "Our Pocket is Empty!" demanded that the head of the Ministry of Maritime Transport in Alexandria, Mustafa Mohammed Whaba, remove Abdu Abd Kareem from his position as General Manger of the Hurghada Ministry of Transport Maritime office.

      After listening to the complaints and receiving a petition signed by protesters, Col. Tariq placed a call to Alexandria making a verbal report. A short time later he received confirmation that the protesters' request for the removal of Abdu Abd Kareem as manager of the Hurghada Ports Office had been granted.

      Rafiq Mohamed Rashid will be dispatched to assume the duties of the ousted Hurghada general manager.

      "I saw a lot of corruption in Hurghada, especially with the boats office, where the manager never finished any situation or made a report or inspection for anyone in a normal way, like any democratic government around the world, unless he took money under the table. We even have proof that he made most of his meetings in night clubs," stated protester, Mustafa Elabd.

      Elabd added, "I am happy for what happened today and I ask my democratic government to apply the fullest extent of law in punishing Abdu Abd Kareem. Now it is time to free our country from corruption. Our next action will be to address the Chamber of Water and Diving Sports to request that they review and revise the rules governing our ability to provide a good business for the divers and tourists to Egypt."

      "It is unbelievable that Egyptian divers in their country are being allowed to work in the time that Russian and Polish divers are working without even permission or visas," stated maritime advocate Said Mamdouh, adding, "Cleaning up corruption in the maritime tourism industry is crucial to the recovery of Egypt's economy."

      Mamdouh continued, "Throughout the past 30-years nearly every Egyptian citizen has been a victim of or witness to corruption. As successors of the Egyptian revolution, we must take our place as soldiers of justice to rebuild our country and revive its status as a respected nation with a 10,000 year history."

      Demonstrators attending the protest applauded Col. Ismail's announcement giving them renewed hope that they would be able to continue forward in their business in a straight way.

      February 11, 2011

      American Activist, Aishah Schwartz Congratulates Egypt and Her Egyptian Friends

      As the celebrations continue and the work ahead looms, I am heartened in the truth taught to us as Muslims and Christians alike that, 'after every hardship comes ease'.

      PRLog (Press Release) – Feb 11, 2011 – (EGYPT) Reeling from crushing disappointment after Hosni Mubarak sanctimoniously addressed his country on Feb. 10 reiterating the intention to continue imposing his will on the Egyptian people–yet again–by refusing to resign, it was with trembling fingers this afternoon that I posted on my Facebook wall, affirmation of the announcement that Egypt's former president had finally resigned. Actually, I was almost afraid an Al-Jazeera English correspondent would be forced to retract saying, "sorry, it was a mistake...he is still here." But, Subhan'Allah, Al-hamdulillah, it is true. Allah Akbar! After 30-years of suffering the Egyptian people reign victorious over their oppressive, tyrannical ruler; Hosni Mubarak has officially left the building.

      I could not be happier, or more relieved! I was absolutely dreading the thought that those U.S. Naval vessels sitting out in the Red Sea had a seat waiting for me. I am so thrilled for all of my Egyptian friends and so grateful that I was able to visit them in Tahrir Square because it gives me a truer sense of the jubilant is just an extraordinary day!

      I am proud of the Egyptian people for what they have achieved, and I am proud that my own country has a leader who, although he may have seemed at moments to be a little behind on what the Mubarak regime was up to, continued to give us hope that the end result would be what the Egyptian people had been praying for throughout their 18-days of demonstrations.

      As the celebrations continue and the work ahead looms, I am heartened in the truth taught to us as Muslims and Christians alike that, 'after every hardship comes ease'.

      And now I would like to offer an opportunity to my Egyptian friends, some who are related to Egyptians, and some who simply had something worth sharing, to have their say on this, the "Day of Victory", February 11, 2011:

      U.S. President Barack Obama, stated, "This is the power of human dignity; and it can never be denied."

      "Martyrdom does not end something, it is only a beginning. Remember those brave few who stepped-up-to-the-plate in bringing about the downfall of the tyrant and his rotten, rancid regime. We salute all of them," stated Dr. Hatem A. Aly of Cairo, Egypt.

      Al-Wafd journalist, Ramy El Minshawy, who was reporting on the demonstrations from the Egyptian city of Tanta stated, "Aishah, I think the last chapter of the novel is being written and, insha'Allah, we will see our dreams come true."

      "The Egyptian people have shown the world what it means to be a true Muslim and what we can accomplish when we are united! The protestors have captured the hearts of the world. Amazing to see how we can make a difference when we have valor, courage and great determination as the protestors of Egypt have done. They not only changed a country, but also taught all of us a lesson in the process." Jennifer Fayed, Muslim American married to an Egyptian. Ms. Fayed is also a member of Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA).

      "President Obama was in the right side with democracy and the freedom it represents. He made a new face to America in our hearts," stated international maritime advocate from Alexandria, Egypt, Said Mamdouh, adding, "What we need is a civilian democratic state. I personally also want to start a new legal action to secure the return of billions in Egyptian money stolen by the corrupt regime."

      "I am happily worried. The system is more than just Mubarak, but now we can start talking about our other demands," stated Reem Tawfik, a student at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Architecture Department.

      Briehan Khier, a dentistry student in Alexandria, Egypt said, "The Egyptian people have shown the world what they are made of.  We protected our streets, homes, and museums when there were no police; we cleaned our streets in the midst of a revolution; and we spoke up and fought back when no one believed we ever would or could. We've been underestimated, especially from within, I am proud to be Egyptian ♥."

      Poussy Mouselhy, a university student from Cairo, Egypt said, "I just want to say that it took three speeches, 18-days of uprising, 326 martyrs, and thousands of injured people to get rid of Mubarak. I believe we as in Egypt's youth CAN do ANYTHING!"

      "I have spent different periods of my life living in Egypt over the years and my children are Egyptian. I love Egypt and I can only imagine how they must feel in Tahrir Square. May Allah make their struggle successful," stated American Shireen Hussein, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

      "No more fear. We got our dignity back. We have our place in the world. We used to be nothing. Everybody used to step on us. Not anymore. Egypt shall rise and lead the world again," stated Ahmed Shawky Elsify, Texas, USA-originally from Menofiya, Egypt.

      Khaled Mohamed Elbalishy, of Damietta, Egypt said, "Liberty, loyalty, freedom, fairness and justice are as important as the air we breathe and water we drink; they are essential for all democratic people."

      "I am proud of the Egyptian revolution and proud to be Egyptian. Egyptians orchestrated lessons of the peoples' will and more importantly in a peaceful way. The Egyptian revolution prevailed against camels, horses, gas tanks, water hoses, police tortures, and all kinds of state terrorism. I am asking the Egyptians to stay stead fast and united. This is the beginning of democracy and a new Egypt. I celebrated today but will hold the complete celebration when the entire corrupted regime departs," stated Egyptian-American and Associate Professor of Accounting Dr. Amal Said, of Toledo, Ohio.

      "I don't want to take any glory away from the Egyptians, in fact just the opposite, by letting you know that on this day February 11, 21-years ago, South Africa's Nelson 'Madiba' Mandela, was released from prison just like Egyptians have been released from theirs," stated Khulood Arendse, Psychiatric Rehabilitation Assistant, Cape Town, South Africa.

      Lina Shamiah, a computer engineer from Gaza wrote, "Crazy gunfire celebrating Egypt's freedom! Cars were honking in the streets with a megaphones mounted chanting 'Allahu Akbar, the Egyptian dictatorship is down!' From mosques we could hear chants of 'Allahu Akbar!' We want to spread a message that if you want to experience real democracy, young Arabs will teach you some lessons. Lastly I want to say, we are so proud of the Egyptian protesters!"

      Mohamed El Sewesy of Port Said, Egypt said, "Many thanks for all who supported our peaceful revolution. I hope that all the people who died on the way will rest in peace knowing that their blood was not lost in vain."

      Douglas W. Martin T.E., of Daytona Beach, Florida, a former UCLA researcher who has worked in Gaza, "Aishah, thank-you from all of us for your attention to this whole issue and putting yourself in harm's way to cover it for everyone. Peace and good luck to all the Egyptians. Now the REAL WORK begins."

      "YOU ARE EGYPTIAN....CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!" - Rania Marwan, Author and member of Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA), from Cairo, Egypt.

      Dr. Eman Bayoumi, Nasr City-Cairo, Egypt, wrote, "Thanx Aishah, you are in your second country."

      Wael Ghonim Tweeted, "Please don't make me the face of this revolution. It's not true as every Egyptian was the face of this revolution."

      Sandmonkey blogged, "Tonight will be the first night where I go to bed and don't have to worry about state security hunting me down, or about government goons sent to kidnap me; or about government sponsored hackers attacking my website. Tonight, for the first time ever, I feel free…and it is awesome!"

      From Facebook Mahmoud Abu Sharkh, a Palestinian attending university in Cairo Egypt wrote, "I need to sleep! I'm happy, and I think tomorrow will be the start of a new Egypt. Good night Freedom Fighters ♥."

      #Jan25, #Cairo, #Egypt, #Cairo, #Sandmonkey, #Ghonim, #WhatMubarakIsDoingNow and #CongratsEgypt.

      VIDEO: Scenes from Cairo: Mubarak is Gone
      Video: Obama on Mubarak Resignation: 'Egypt Will Never Be the Same'
      After Visiting Tahrir Square American Activist Aishah Schwartz Delivers Message to U.S. Citizens
      American Activist, Aishah Schwartz Makes Humanitarian Visit to Cairo's Tahrir Square on Day 15 of the Egyptian Revolution
      Photo Album of 8 Feb. 11 Visit to Tahrir Square
      Inside Egypt: Day 12, an update from American Activist, Aishah Schwartz

      Eyptian or American: A lesson in understanding the difference and why Egyptians are protesting
      American Activist Aishah Schwartz Reports on Return of Al-Jazeera Correspondent Detained in Cairo 
      American Activist, Aishah Schwartz on Tunisia's Revolution
      Aishah Schwartz, The Gaza Chronicles
      Aishah Schwartz/MWA Documentary on YouTube
      Visit the MWA Press Room for More

      # # #

      Aishah Schwartz, a Muslim American, is an internationally renowned human rights activist with a focus on the rights of Muslim women and the plight of the Palestinian people affected by the Israeli imposed illegal embargo on Gaza. Full biography here.

      11 Feb. 2011 DAY OF VICTORY! Alf Mabrook to all of my Egyptian friends!!

      Click on image to view full size. Learn more at
      Click on image to view full size.
      Click on image to view full size.

      After Visiting Tahrir Square American Activist Aishah Schwartz Delivers Message to U.S. Citizens

      "What Egyptians need from Americans who want to help with the Egyptian Revolution is for YOU to stop YOUR government from ruining the Egyptian dream." Ahmad Darweesh, Engineer, Cairo Egypt.


      Click on image to see full size.
      PRLog (Press Release) – Feb 11, 2011 – (EGYPT) I spent the 15th day of the Egyptian Revolution in Cairo's Tahrir Square as a humanitarian in empathetic support of the ongoing battle of the Egyptian people in their quest for true democracy as they fight to oust a regime that, for the past 30-years has instilled a deep rooted distrust of its leadership.

      Arriving to Tahrir Square in the early morning before the masses had descended; I was invited to join friends in the camps for breakfast and lively conversation. Afterwards, I was guided around the square in a tour of what has now morphed into a literal living museum.

      As Tahrir Square began to fill in those early morning hours, listened and observed, and my heart filled with pride for all they were striving to achieve.

      On returning to my city, I sat once again in my flat glued to the TV and my laptop screen, watching and listening as for more than six hours millions waited in Tahrir Square for the anticipated announcement of their President's resignation–and I shared their pain when the belated announcement finally came that he would relinquish powers to his Vice President but would remain–a message that crushed the hearts of the Egyptian people, but empowered their resolve.

      This morning a letter arrived in my Facebook Inbox that I felt immediately compelled to share with you. Ahmed Darweesh has said it better than I could have, so here is the message from Egyptians to U.S. citizens.

      I implore Americans to act.


      Dear American Citizens,

      My name is Ahmad Darweesh, I am an Egyptian citizen. Maybe a lot of you don’t know me, but I spent a very long period of my life as a friend to the American nation who are longing for values of freedom and equality. We are spending now truly serious moments after all of the political tensions and accidents happened in the last 3 weeks, but we are winning day after day.

      Mubarak each time is giving in more and his regime is falling down with the power of the people.

      Egyptians are holding their ground in all cities. What you saw in Tahrir Square is only a sample of the state of refusal and anger towards corruption and injustice.

      We gave a great example of democracy in Egypt.

      We proved that we as people don’t make differences between people based on their gender, race, or religion.

      We created in Tahrir Square a true example of a modern liberal society serving only the major interest of the country.

      We are highly thanking every American who gave our revolution support. It gave us more will and better proof that we are not alone in our struggle, but I am an Egyptian citizen representing a large scale of Egyptians deeply afraid of your country's political statements against Egypt's regime–which is on the ground so far a statement against Egyptian nation–and the updates happened in the last hours can bring more worse expectations from the American side.

      I shared a lot of Americans their anger against what happened in Iraq and Afghanistan, I know that you had no hand in these wars, but now you can do something.

      You saw us in Tahrir standing up for the rights of innocent Egyptians who died or suffered because of a corrupt system, so you should do too.

      A lot of Americans lost people, jobs, homes and there is ongoing military operations costing billions of dollars from your own money, you should stand up against that.

      Many of our young men and women died in Tahrir Square, suffocated with tear gas bombs which were made in USA.

      You should stop supporting that.

      Israel is withdrawing billions each year from your money to secure their unjust state, you should stand-up against that.

      A lot of corrupt systems in the region are supported from your government by billions of your money to guarantee their consent towards any American policies in the Middle East. You should stand-up against that.

      And most importantly an expected military move towards Egypt can be made under the claim of securing the peaceful progress in the political situation in Egypt.

      Egyptians started their revolution peacefully and want to end it peacefully. All the progress we made was on our own with the help of the sincere Egyptian military organization which proved so far that it is working for the supreme Egyptian interest not for Mubarak.

      Dear Americans, Mubarak is falling. The people are winning. The Army is in service, and the country is recovering.

      What Egyptians need from Americans who want to help with the Egyptian Revolution is for YOU to stop YOUR government from ruining the Egyptian dream.

      >>>>Call the White House Comments Line: (202) 456-1111 or Switchboard: (202) 456-1414

      >>>>Fax a letter to the White House at (202) 456-2461

      >>>>Email the President at or at

      >>>>Join the protests in front of the Arabian Embassies supporting the Egyptian people; join the protests in main streets, in front of the White House, anywhere!

      Don't let the U.S. government spoil Egyptian freedom.

      All the history of friendship between the Egyptian and American nation depends on the events of the next few months.

      For freedom's sake, don't let U.S. troops hijack our hope.

      Your friend
      Ahmad Darweesh


      February 05, 2011

      Inside Egypt: Day 12, an update from American Activist, Aishah Schwartz

      Each day from January 25, I have awakened with a mixed sense of anticipation and fear; never knowing for sure what might have transpired from the last time I tuned-in to watch the news; which has caught me by both surprise and horror time and again.

      Click on image to view full size.
      PRLog (MWA-Net) – Feb 05, 2011 – I was contacted today by the U.S. desk of PressTV for a telephone interview, which is what prompted me to sit down to my laptop's keyboard for only the second time since the Egyptian Revolution began 12-days ago on Jan. 25. Many people are aware that I live in Egypt. Although not in Cairo, I have been monitoring the status of activities in Tahrir Square and elsewhere, via Al-Jazeera English, PressTV, BBCW, Facebook and Twitter.

      That said, in monitoring PressTV's coverage of protests surrounding the Egyptian revolution, I noted that the Iranians have been turning out by the tens-of-thousands in staunch disapproval of both the Egyptian President and the U.S. government; which made me somewhat wary of agreeing to their interview request. I have been the subject of several Arabic language news articles, and more recently a video documentary, from which I have learned that, when translated to Arabic, my words do not always come out as intended, which can lead to being misquoted or misunderstood. So, I decided to do what Aishah does best; write!

      I am very much aware of the frustration that some nations have with U.S. government foreign policy, as I have also in my capacity as an activist, voiced concerns about it in campaigns and efforts aimed at garnering support for an end to the embargo on Gaza.

      However, regarding the current situation in Egypt, as a Muslim American living by choice in the country, one might also be able to appreciate the situation in which I find myself; that is to say, walking a fine line as a foreign national endeavoring to lend an empathetic ear to the Egyptian people that I have come to love, and the community in which I have made myself a part of since 2007.

      I love Egypt and the Egyptian people. I choose to live in Egypt for the opportunity it affords me to live peaceably as a Muslim woman. At the same time, I am also very much aware of my status as a guest. These sentiments having also been expressed to the Egyptian President in an interview published by the Cairo-based government sponsored magazine, October Weekly, following my December 2009 visit to Gaza.

      Click on image to view full size.
      Each day from Jan. 25 through today, the 12th day of the protests, I have awakened with a mixed sense of anticipation and fear; never knowing for sure what might have transpired from the last time I tuned-in to watch the news or logged onto the internet; which has caught me by both surprise and horror time and again.

      On Jan. 25 and again on the 28th, I watched as millions of protesters filled Tahrir Square in Cairo and marched along the Corniche in Alexandria. The energy and spirit of the Egyptian people rushed through my veins, similar to the way it did when I marched alongside the Palestinian people to the Erez border in Gaza on December 31, 2009 - water breaching the rims of my eyes numerous times throughout the day.

      When thugs took to the streets on February 2, attacking protesters, not only in Cairo and Alexandria, but across the country, I was horrified and dismayed; grief-stricken for the lost lives, the wounded, and the repercussions that would echo world-wide as the images of men on camels and horses hit the airwaves and internet; knowing they would become the butt of late-night talk show jokes made in ignorance.

      Scarcely sleeping or eating, in empathy with the protesters, all I could do was pray and continue to offer updates through the internet; when it was finally turned back on after days of exile at the command of the Egyptian government in its quest to deter communication between protesters.

      It has been a relief to be able to pour my pent-up energy out onto the keyboard of my laptop. The nearly 6,000 friends I have on Facebook were eagerly waiting to hear from me, expressing concern for my safety and offering prayers for the safety of the Egyptian people. Facebook has become an extension of our families; joining friends and those of like-minds in a spirit of solidarity that I don't think any other venue may ever match.

      Then came Feb. 4, day 11 of the protests declared as 'Departure Day'.
      Click on image to view full size.
      Given the horrifying events surrounding the Feb. 2 attacks perpetrated against the protesters resulting in deaths and scores of injured, there was no way to predict how many would turn out for the demonstration.

      As I reached hesitantly for the TV's remote control on the morning of Feb. 4, tears instantaneously filled my eyes as images of the day's protests filled the TV screen. All I could do was stand there thinking silently to myself, "'They came', 'They came', 'They came', 'Subhan'Allah, they came'".

      Ramy El Minshawy, journalist.
      And they filled the streets of Alexandria, Mansoura, Qena, Al-Arish, Suez, and more. Al-Wafd journalist, Ramy El Minshawy, reported that more than 30,000 protesters demonstrated in Tanta. "Aishah, I think the last chapter of the novel is being written and, insha'Allah, we will see our dreams come true," he added.

      I remained glued to the TV, laptop screen and telephone the remainder of the day, energized by the scenes. The protesters, men, women, children, young and old, regardless of religious affiliation, education or societal status, were chanting and even singing; sounds that never seemed to diminish throughout the long hours of the afternoon and into the night as they continued in defiance of government stipulated curfews.

      Although the day ended without producing the result protesters hoped for, it cannot be described as anything less than one of the most astonishing days in the history of the Egyptian people.

      While observing that progressively stronger comments continue to emerge from U.S. government officials, I have also noted that U.S. activists and others in the international community, continue to express frustration that there has been no outright call from the U.S. government stipulating withdrawal of the reported 1.5 billion U.S. tax-payer dollars provided in financial aid to the Egyptian government each year - largely attributed to its military forces - as a source of leverage in more adamantly pressing the Egyptian President to step-up to the global call for transition that needs to occur "now", as, to their credit, specifically stated in the words of President Obama, and reiterated by Secretary of State Clinton, U.S. Press Secretary Gibbs and Sens. Kerry (D-Mass.) and McCain (R-Ariz.)

      Click on image to view full size.
      Despite world-wide denouncement of acts of violence or suppression against protesters and journalists, the situation on the ground in Egypt continues to shift from peaceful to frightening, as reports from protesters have sporadically indicated that more and more pressure is being put on them to withdraw from Cairo's Tahrir Square.

      From Twitter Feb. 4: "#JELive: Reuters reports 'heavy gunfire' but sources tell Al Jazeera that the shots were fired by military into the air to clear the area." This was acknowledged by a contact on the ground in Cairo with friends in the Square; an alarming turn of events in light of repeated TV coverage showing newly appointed Egyptian Vice-President Omar Sulieman declaring that the protesters would be allowed to continue peacefully.

      Additionally, Vice President Suliman has called on family members of protesting youth to urge their children to stay home; a call that has, indeed, according to Dr. Hatem Aly, on the scene in Tahrir Square, been embraced on the part of parents, but ignored by the ever-increasing number of undeterred youth.

      Dr. Hatem A. Aly, on the ground in Tahrir Square, Cairo.
      Despite lurking dangers, Aly also shared his jubilance in finding on arrival to Tahrir Square the afternoon of Feb. 5 that it was swelling with the voices of 30,000+ protesters. "We will not leave until he leaves," echoed Aly.

      Suffice it to say, a sense of unease remains on all fronts here in Egypt. Although the Egyptian military continues to appear to offer protection in the Tahrir Square area, pro-government demonstrators, 'thugs' and escaped prisoners lurk in nearby neighborhoods, posing a threat to protesters attempting to return to their homes; forcing communities to continue self-policing efforts for security purposes.

      No one can be quite sure in which moment things might turn from bad to worse, as it appears outwardly that the Egyptian President will continue to defy the global outcry for him to step down; a defiance that seems to be equally matched by the spirit of the Egyptian people.

      # # #
      Aishah Schwartz, a Muslim American, is founder and director of the 2006 established Washington, D.C.-based Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA) and a retired 17-year litigation legal assistant. She is also a published freelance non-fiction writer/journalist and internationally renowned human rights activist with a focus on the rights of Muslim women and the plight of the Palestinian people affected by the Israeli imposed illegal embargo on Gaza.
      Egyptian or American: A lesson in understanding the difference and why Egyptians are protesting
      American Activist, Aishah Schwartz on Tunisia's Revolution
      Aishah Schwartz, The Gaza Chronicles
      Aishah Schwartz/MWA Documentary on YouTube