Update: Tuesday, August 16. 9:45 a.m. West Coast U.S. time
Lots of confusion this morning over whether Asmaa Mahfouz has been sent for military trial. Apparently not, as clarified in The Daily News Egypt about an hour ago. Also an apology on the We Are All Khaled Said facebook page an hour ago: “I apologise for the previous post. Asmaa has denied that she has been taken to a military trial. She called the military prosecutor office after reading the news on AlAhram news site and they denied they have made this decision yet.” These denials run counter to the flurry of Internet reports of a military trial spurred by the post early this morning on Ahram Online.
Update: Sunday, August 14. 5:40 p.m. West Coast U.S. time
Asmaa finally tweets! Now I can relax. After her long ordeal today being questioned by the military prosecutor, she has tweeted to us all — in Arabic, which I have translated as best I can below. There is more to her tweets than what I could decipher, and I have asked her, or someone else, to please provide a full English translation. But her message is clear: she is concerned about others who have been summoned for questioning and asks us to stand in solidarity with them.
“Thank you to all the people with me . . . [some names I could not translate, I have asked Asmaa to clarify] . . . we are all in solidarity with them in front of the Military Prosecution 10 o’clock.”
Update: Sunday, August 14, 4:15 p.m. West Coast U.S. time
”I am not scared, I will not be silenced, and I will continue to take to the streets and criticise any wrong doing that I see.” Asmaa Mahfouz after her release today.
Update: Sunday, August 14, 3:40 p.m. West Coast U.S. time
Activists and presidential hopefuls condemn Asmaa Mahfouz arrest. From Almasry Alyoum, English edition.
Update: Actually, it wasn’t just a tweet that landed Asmaa in trouble. This July 23 phone-in TV interview didn’t endear her to the military much either. I’m working on an English translation, but you can hear the fire in her voice in any language.
Update: Below is the tweet that got Asmaa in trouble. Translation: “If the judiciary does not grant us our rights, don’t be angry if militant groups carry out a series of assassinations since there is neither law nor justice.”
Update: Sunday morning, 8:45 a.m. West Coast time in U.S.
Asmaa released on bail, awaiting military trial. She is accused of inciting violence against the military and members of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces in a tweet that read (translated from the Arabic): “If the judiciary does not grant us our rights, don’t be angry if militant groups carry out a series of assassinations since there is neither law nor justice.” No date set yet for military trial. More here.
This is not virtual. I often write about virtual events on this blog, but this is about a very real event. It concerns a virtual friendship that has quite suddenly propelled itself into stark reality.
Asmaa Mahfouz, the brave young Egyptian woman who helped spark the Egypt revolution with her heroic youtube video in on January 18 of this year, has been summoned to the military prosecutor for questioning tomorrow, according to the English We Are All Khaled Said facebook page here. I am not absolutely certain whether this is Sunday or Monday, due to the time difference. (Cairo is 9 hours ahead of U.S. Pacific time.) I will update this blog as soon as I am sure.
I was so inspired by her video that I featured a part of it in my own Tahrir Voices video and we became friends on facebook. This virtual friendship has come to mean more to me than I can say. I have often struggled to translate her facebook posts from Arabic to English on Google translate to follow the dramatic Egyptian metamorphosis through her brave voice. It is amazing to witness the unfolding of a world event of this magnitude through the voice of the person who helped spark it. I have also treasured the vibrantly alive and joyful personal pictures she posts, like the one above. She has often posted personal events in her life, as well as news and personal insights on evolving Egyptian political events.
Asmaa has truly shared herself with the entire world, and it has been an incredibly brave and heroic thing to do. It is now our turn to share ourselves with her. All of us must watch, wherever we are on this globe, and not rest until Asmaa is safe and with us again.
Though I am in America and Asmaa is in Egypt, on the Internet there is no distance. Tonight we stand side by side, and I know our hearts are linked as well. Asmaa, my heart and prayers are with you. You are a beautiful and heroic voice of our times. I watch with admiration and arms open in friendship from America.
I am watching. I will continue to watch. I will not rest until you return and tell us you are safe.