From Rachel Corrie to Shimaa Elsabbagh …the torch for freedom will continue
Shimaa Elsabbagh, a name that was just another name for any woman, mother, young dreamer and a devoted activist until today, will become a name along with Rachel Corrie and others, who fell on the harsh ground of brutality, and hopefully ascended to a better place.
Shimaa, an Egyptian activist who was shot three times with a birdshot in the eye and the head while protesting close to Tahrir Square marking the fourth anniversary of the Revolution that ended three decades of Mubarak regime.
Somehow, words fail us in such situations.
I am writing about a woman I never heard of, who suddenly took over the whole space of my mind. As much as the Tahrir protests didn’t relate to me personally four years ago, but became part of what presents me as an Arab, or maybe more … as a person who thrives for freedom.
How much was it of a cruel incident that Shimaa falls in this particular timing, as if to light a torch with her fired corpse for a plight that Rachel lit with her young body some years ago as the Israeli bulldozer swiped her away while trying to prevent them from demolishing a Palestinian home with her own young body and eternal soul.
How much is it a destined coincidence that Rachel was a daughter, and Shimaa was a mother?
The whole scene captures my mind in a dramatic setting of a genuine heroic act, of women, this time, which sacrificed everything, everything, for the sake of freedom …
How precious freedom is to those who have free souls.
As words still fail me, another substantial coincidence of Shimaa’s last words would be the best closure for this “ this country hurts…and it doesn’t have warmth …I hope its soil is comfy …and the embrace of its earth is more spacious than it’s sky.
Yes, it is so sad that so many women do die and often their deaths are forgotten. I was fortunate to meet Rachel’s family years ago in Iowa. I felt heart sick when I heard about Shimaa on the news earlier today. Thanks for this heartfelt tribute.