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Egypt: “I really sympathize with Mubarak”

This post is part of our special coverage Egypt Revolution 2011.

Since last week's news that former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and his sons Alaa and Gamal El-Din are being detained and prosecuted, Egyptian blogger and activist Hany George, says he has met several people who say they feel sorry for Mubarak's predicament because of his old age and accomplishments.

Hany was among the many protesters in Tahrir Square during the Egyptian revolution. On Facebook on April 16, 2011, he shares a true story [ar] from Tahrir Square which he dedicates to those who still have sympathy for Mubarak.

Here is the translation from Arabic:

يوم 30 يناير رأيت العجوز، بدا مريضا للغاية، كان يتحرك بمفرده وسط صفوف المعتصمين بالميدان، وجهه المجعد بفعل السنوات لا يبتسم و لا يعبس، بعيون زائغة يتأمل وجوه الناس، يتفحصها، و كأنه كان يبحث عن شيء ما. بعد عدة ايام من تواجده الدائم بالميدان في نفس المكان بدأت اتسائل كيف يحيا وحده هذا العجوز !؟من يهتم بأمره هنا، راقبته لفترة طويلة، و لم اجد احدا معه، اقتربت منه متوددا محاولا فتح حديث، وعرفت منه ان ابنه الوحيد قتل في احدي المظاهرات، ولا يوجد في هذه الدنيا احدا اخر غير ابنه لكي يرعاه في ايامه الاخيره في الحياة، لذا فقد قرر أن يأتي الي ميدان التحرير و يعتصم

On the 30 of January, I saw an old man. He looked very ill, walking alone among the protestors in Tahrir square. With a wrinkled old face he was watching people. Not smiling, not frowning. Just checking them out, as if he was looking for something. After a few days of noticing his endless presence in Tahrir in the same location, I wondered how is this old man living? Who looks after him? I kept an eye on him for a long time, never finding anyone by his side.

After starting a friendly conversation with him, I found out that his only son died in one of the protests. His son was the only one in the world who took care of him in his last days. So the old man ended up protesting in Tahrir.

The Camel Battle

At the height of protests, men on camels arrived to beat protesters in Tahrir Square. Photo shared by AmalShawki on 2 February, 2011

قال لي، قتلوا ابني و انا كمان عايز اموت، بس اموت شهيد زيه علشان عايز اشوفه .في اليوم التالي لمعركة الجمل الشهيرة ذهبت الي المكان الذي نصب فيه العجوز خيمته لأسأل عنه، فلم اجده، وجدت في خيمته مجموعة من الشباب، سألتهم عنه فلم يعرفوه، قالوا لي انهم اتوا من مدينة المنصورة بالامس و شاركوا بمعركة الجمل، و وجدوا في الصباح هذه الخيمة بلا صاحب، و ظلوا بجانبها فترة طويلة حتي تأكدوا من خلوها، فسكنوها .

هذه الواقعة الحقيقية اهديها لكل من يتعاطف مع مبارك بدعوي انه رجل كبير السن و له انجازاته و لا يجب محاكمته، اهديها لكل من لا يعرف أن العدالة قيمة مهمه مثلها مثل الرحمة تماما إن لم تكن اهم منها كثيرا فيما يخص محاكمات الرئيس المخلوع، و ان كنت رحيما بالفعل فأدعوك أن تدعو بالرحمة للرجل العجوز و ابنه الشهيد

He told me: “They killed my son, and I want to die too, as a martyr, like him. I want to see him again soon.”

On the day following the “Camel Battle”, I went to where the old man pitched his tent to check on him, but he wasn't there. Instead I found a group of protestors inside. After asking them, I found out that they came from Mansoura city and participated in the “Camel Battle”. They found the tent empty in the morning. They waited a long time until they were sure the tent belonged to no one, then they stepped in.

I dedicate this true story to everyone who sympathizes with Mubarak claiming that he is an old man with a history of accomplishments who shouldn't be put to trial. This story is for everyone who does not understand that justice is a very important value, exactly like mercy – if not more important, in case of the ousted president. If you really have mercy, please pray for this old man's soul and his martyred son.

This post is part of our special coverage Egypt Revolution 2011.

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