Sally Magdy Zahran

…I would smooth your life in my hands,

Pull you back. Had I stayed in your land,

I might have been dead too

For something simple like staring

Or shouting what was true….

Words from  a poem by Naomi Shihab Nye “For the Five-Hundredth Dead Palestinean, Ibtisam Bozieh”

It’s one thing to see videos of the square in Cairo, but another to put a face to the violence which flashes like a lightning storm here and there, taking precious human life.

There is just one letter in Arabic that separates the words “witness” and “martyr.” Let’s imagine Egypt as a country of witness for democratic change instead one whose streets splash red with the blood of martyrs!  ~May it be so.

I stared at the vibrant photo – the face of Sally Zahran, age 23, smashed on the back of the head with a baseball bat in Egypt on Friday evening, January 28th by political thugs. That would be Friday morning California time, during the time I drove to the hospital to visit my husband who was recovering from surgery. Or maybe I’d arrived and bent down to kiss my living, breathing beloved (who grows stronger every day.)  My attention was not in Egypt.

Sally grew up in Cairo and was working as a translator there. During the unrest she had traveled far south to Sohag, where her father is a university professor. The small city on the west side of the Nile gets 3,804 hours of sunshine a year according to Wikipedia.

She was never an activist, and had not taken part in political protest. Sohag has both Coptic Christians and Muslims. Magdy may be a Coptic name, connecting Sally to this tradition which links to Prophet Muhammad  by means of his beloved Mariya, the Copt, mother of his son, Ibraham.

“She felt it would be safe to join the protests. So many others were going out on Friday,” said her friend Aly Sobhy.  “She was loved by all who knew her.”

some who have died in Egypt

See “Egypt Remembers” page on line:  <> shows photos and a word or 2 about the dead – nearly all under the age of 30, now martyrs to the cause of democratic change in Egypt.

May this terrible situation be resolved soon.

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