Response – American Chris Stone is stabbed by homeless Egyptian man outside American Embassy – Why?

First I want to send Chis Stone and his family my very best wishes.

Second, I want to tell Mahmoud Badr that your action was absolutely despicable. Violence is always wrong. You chose to hurt an American man (Chris Stone) who is one of Egypt’s best friends. Chris and other Americans like him deeply care about Egypt and the Middle East. It is people like Chris that have made the commitment to study and learn Arabic (not easy) and to advocate and care about what is happening in Egypt and the ME. Violence is never the right way to make your concerns heard. Mahmoud you are educated. There are many groups you could have worked with for the good of Egypt.  You should start by publicly apologizing to Chris and the American people, but most of all you should apologize to all Egyptians because your stupid action will hurt Egypt more than anyone else. Your crime will make people afraid to visit our beautiful country Egypt. I hope that you will find a way in prison to do something constructive for the good of our beloved Egypt. You have made yourself famous by this crime, now use your name to do something good and honorable in front of God and your country Egypt.

Third, Egyptians and people around the world should know that many Americans are just as angry (as Egyptians) at the US Government for the US Foreign Policies that have so damaged Egypt and the ME for decades. These damaging policies include; economic, agricultural, educational, foreign and domestic policies. Many of the neo-liberal-capitalist policies that have been imposed upon Egypt by the US Government, WB and USAID (for decades) are in part responsible for the enormous unemployment in Egypt among the youth. Mahmoud Badr is one concrete outcome of these criminal policies. The US Government is also responsible for propping up dictators for 60 years in Egypt. They and the US have turned Egypt into a “soft state” with little rule of law and enormous corruption. The US Government has been the vital partner to these dictators, who could not have wielded such power and corruption without the US Government backing. Many Americans are against the US Government on these awful policies and we are trying our best to educate other Americans and especially our government.

Fourth, Americans need to know that most Egyptians see the US as a counter-revolutionary force in Egypt. Americans like myself and Chris Stone and many others are against the US policies that have totally undermined and hijacked the AMAZING EGYPTIAN REVOLUTION. Such policies are wrong, short-sighted and criminal. Egyptians are rightfully angry at the US Government for undermining their grass-roots revolution, supporting the SCAF and MB and forcing quick elections that could easily control the end result. The American Government must not continue to speak of democracy and undermine democracy at the same. The people see right through it. They are wise, even those who are illiterate. American criminal foreign policies lead to hatred and more criminality. This tragic incident is a clear outcome. (See: Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think by John Esposito and Dalia Mogahed – Gallup Press)  This extensive study done by the US Gallup Organization gives the answer. The No. 1 reason why Muslims are angry with the US is  – US Foreign Policy.

Fifth, as an American and an Egyptian I can only hope and work towards better American foreign policies that are just, honest, and truly uphold democratic and ethical standards (they currently do NOT). Most importantly the US government must support the Egyptian people and not another American puppet regime in Egypt. 

Finally, I am saddened by this incident and want to tell the world that this is not at all representative of Egypt nor Egyptians. As a woman, I still feel safer in Egypt than most places in the world and certainly safer than Los Angeles (my home in the US).

May God Bless Egypt and May God give the American Government some wisdom to change the US criminal foreign policy paradigm and begin really supporting the people of Egypt rather than propping up another puppet regime that will do the bidding for “American interests” rather than the interests of the Egyptian people to live in peace, prosperity and honor.

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Ahram Online, Friday 10 May 2013
Homeless Egyptian stabs an American near US embassy in Cairo

The man who stabbed an American in Cairo on Thursday says he was motivated by a hatred of the United States.

Mahmoud Badr, 30, who holds a bachelor’s degree in commerce, was arrested on Thursday after stabbing American academic Chris Stone in the neck outside the US embassy in Cairo.
Badr told interrogators that he took his mother’s knife, travelled to Cairo by train from Kafr El-Sheikh, and went to the US embassy in search of an American citizen to kill, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported on Friday.

Badr attempted to enter the embassy by pretending to be seeking a visa.
Stone, an associate professor of Arabic and head of the Arabic Programme at City University in New York, was going to the embassy to finish some paperwork for his wife.
Badr told interrogators that he asked Stone his nationality then stabbed him in the neck when he said he was American.

He said his motive was anger against the United States.
Prosecutors have ordered Badr’s detention pending investigations into charges of attempted murder.

According to Al-Ahram Arabic new website, the knife was successfully removed from Stone’s neck during an operation.

Chris Stone was recently appointed head of the US-based Center for Arabic Study Abroad (CASA) by the American University in Cairo (AUC).
He has been praised for his pro-Palestine views and his interest in Arab culture.
Egyptian man who stabbed Stone in Cairo: I hate America

Mahmoud Badr says he stabbed Chris Stone outside US Embassy in Cairo because he hates the United States

An Egyptian man called Hassain

IMG_8226This is Hassain. His heart is flooding with kindness. He is always smiling and he loves the Nile. He says the river gives him peace and he feels at home with her. Hassain was born in Luxor on the banks of the Nile. His father died some years ago. Being the eldest son, he is now responsible for his mother and seven younger siblings. He is 32 years old and hopes one day to find a love of his own, someone that he can share life with and grow with.  But he will need to save a lot of money to be able to marry and that will be very difficult while taking care of his family.

Hassain works as a waiter on a dahabeya sail boat that takes tourists up and down the Nile.  For tourists it is a magical voyage.  Hassain serves them with elegance and never complains. He only smiles and says Alhamdu Allah, Thank God, for all my blessings. Before his father died Hassain traveled to Aswan and lived in a dormitory and studied four years at the University of Aswan. He is a scholar of Islamic Jurisprudence. He taught us that Islam has 74 known sects or off-shoots of Islam around the world. He likes to discuss different interpretations of Prophet Mohamed’s life and messages. Hossain is open and accepting of all people, religions and life styles.

Hassain’s dream was to become a high school teacher in the Egyptian public school system in Luxor, his hometown. He wanted to teach young people and to have a secure future and a pension so that he could always take care of his family and get married and have a family of his own.

Egyptians love their families which take precedence over everything else in life. Egyptians find their greatest joy in sitting with their families and friends eating their favorite foods, telling jokes, playing games of all sorts, talking and arguing and discussing, holding hands and hearts.

Hassain still dreams of being a high school teacher. When I asked him why he is not a teacher now, he tells me that even though he has the qualifications he will need 10,000 LE (Egyptian pounds) to pay a bribe to the “higher-up” within the public school administration that could give him a job. After that his salary will be 350 LE/month for the first three years and 700 LE/month thereafter. But…he will have a pension plan. I do the math and discover that the 10,000 LE ($1,429) bribe is equivalent to 28 months salary.

We discuss this. Maha and I ask Hassain if this is really the job he wants and if it is, I promise to help him get it. We ask him to think about it. After a good night sleep cruising on the Nile and a sumptuous breakfast served by Hassain we sit together again. We watch the water buffalo and donkeys drinking along the banks of the river as the farmers tend to their crops. We feel the warmth of the sun on our skin and feel the soft breeze wafting through the dahabeya keeping us comfortable and happy. We sip our tea as Hassain stands beside us. He never sits. He always stands out of respect to us.

His warm smile and beautiful light chocolate skin beam. He stands as straight as an arrow, his back strong and proud. His teethe are as white as the full moon and his woolen grey galabeya sways with his every move. He is an elegant human being with roots as long and deep as the Nile. He is a son of the ancient Pharaohs of Egypt. He is the Earth’s offspring. The same Earth, that has lived and given life for millions of years with generosity and ease, until human kind began to pollute her in less than 100 years of industrialization.

Hassain tells us that he has thought through the night and he has an answer for us. He loves the Nile and he is happiest working on the river but he feels that he must honor is education, his diploma, his father, and that is why he must be a teacher.

Maha tells him that he will always have his diploma and his knowledge. No one can take that away. She tells him that he should follow his passion and do what makes him happiest and build upon it. She tells him how great he is at what he does, how much the guests respect and admire his kindness and his ability to serve so well. We tell him that he has many talents that he uses constantly and he should build upon them. He can study languages so that he can communicate with the guests easily and learn the business side and build upon what he loves to do.  He is happy to hear these words of advise and he is convinced that this is what is best for him as he can make a much better living, although it is less secure. We discuss more.

In the five days we spent sailing on the Nile with Hassain and others, we danced and sang together. We felt the greatness of this land and river and country. The generosity and spirit of Egypt entered our souls and we bathed in it and felt a profound contentment. But our eyes shed millions of tears for the beautiful people of Egypt, like Hassain, their lives are not easy nor sure like the flow of the river.

I have been so fortunate to know this land and these people. They have given me my humanity, my deep love for the Earth and the treasures of nature. My very essence is filled with love and appreciation for this great land, people and country. They have given me so much, I cannot easily express it.

I have come to realize that Egypt is perhaps the wealthiest nation to ever have existed on Earth. Why? Because peoples, crusaders, armies and nations from every corner of the Earth have come to take what they can from Egypt for more than 7,000 years and Egypt is still alive and giving and surviving.

No other nation has been exploited as much as Egypt. For 7,000 years, no other people have given as much to the world as the Egyptian people. Hassain is one of the those people. May God bless him and his family. And may he realize his dreams. And may the world wake up to know that it is so wrong to continue exploiting this great land and its people.

For thousands of years Egypt has been called Om il Donya – the Mother of Life.

May God Bless Egypt, I pray and plead.