Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I love you so much Maikel

Dear Maikel,

You weigh a grand total of 88 pounds. You weigh as much as a Nazi death camp survivor. And yet you continue to amaze me with your incredible courage. You defied your captors as you well should have by boycotting your illegal ‘retrial’, which your cruel captors scheduled for the 57th day of your hunger strike. You inspired me with your courage.

I want to tell you that I love you so much. I can’t even put into words how much you inspired me with your courageous resistance to tyranny. I admire you for your deeply held pacifist convictions although I am not a pacifist and never will be. I admire you for standing up to your tormentors and refusing to back down in the face of death, as you stare death directly in the face.

You are dying because you have been abandoned from day one by all the people that were supposed to help you:

• the useless human rights groups that pretend to care about you but whose indifference to your suffering stinks to the high heavens
• the Arab democrats who haven’t lifted a finger for you
• the Egyptian people who have greeted your suffering with stony faced silence
• the Western governments who have stood by and watched you die without even so much as a word of protest

You have fought for all the good causes in Egypt - women’s rights, freedom of speech, democracy, freedom of the press, religious freedom, and anti-militarism. You have truly made Egypt and the world a better place in so many ways.

Your death represents the victory of cruelty over kindness, of hatred over love, of death over life, of evil over good, of darkness over light. It represents the triumph of Putin and the KGB and his friends in the Egyptian military over civil society and democracy in Egypt. The world without you will be an incredibly dark, cruel place. There is no consolation for me in losing you.

I feel a personal debt to you because your close friend Kareem Amer helped me find the courage inside myself to leave my emotionally abusive family of origin just over 3 and a half months ago. This explains why I was up night after night, week after week trying to save your life, all to no avail. I am with you and your family in your suffering – your father Ibrahim, your poor mother who is losing her precious, wonderful, incredibly brave son, and your brother Mark. My heart goes out to you and my tears are flowing like a river for you.

Your proud American supporter,
Rebecca Witonsky

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