In Egypt, Tyrants Fear Roses and Songs: A Eulogy for Shamia Sabbagh

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A picture taken on January 24, 2015 shows Egyptian Shaima al-Sabbagh receiving assistance after she was injured during clashes with police during a rare leftwing protest in central Cairo, the eve of the anniversary of the 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak. AFP/Emad al-Gebaly

By: Radwan Adam

Published Monday, January 26, 2015

Tyrants fear roses and songs. The smell of roses incites people against the stinking smell of tyranny. Songs hydrate the spirit. They open a new horizon larger than the prevailing prison of reality. Dictators in Egypt, old — both in body and soul — hate the January flower, and the January song, which worried them for a while, until they bombarded it with bullets, shotguns pelts, and tear gas.

A leftist young woman and mother of two children named Shaima Sabbagh, who had traveled from Alexandria to Cairo to take part in a flower-wielding demonstration marking the anniversary of the betrayed January 25 Revolution, was killed in broad daylight. Roses dropped from her hands. The authority’s bullets are precise when aimed at the heads of victims, the “enemies of the homeland who stir unrest, hate stability, and seek to overthrow the regime.”

A few days before her assassination, Shaima tweeted: “Living in this country has become painful and cold...I hope that its soil is vaster... and the bosom of its ground broader than its sky.”

The Ministry of Interior acquitted itself, as it does often, saying that professional elements infiltrated the march and killed Shaima. According to the autopsy report and eyewitnesses who were standing next to Shaima, a soldier fired a barrage of shotgun shells at her from a distance of eight meters. The authorities hate the voices of the January youths, who say that “the Interior Ministry are thugs.”

Sabbagh fell in Talaat Harb Square. She was with her ​​leftist comrades from the Socialist People's Alliance Party (SPAP). They were walking peacefully toward Tahrir Square, singing and chanting: “Living - freedom - social justice.”

None of the goals of the January 25 Revolution have been achieved. They were consumed and digested by the old dictators.

Even carrying flowers on the anniversary of those who passed away in Tahrir Square in 2011 is forbidden to Shaima and her companions, disappointed with the comments of passersby, who watched and said critically: “Enough revolution and destruction, shame on you.”

A group of masked policemen and soldiers attacked the unarmed youth. The great government attacked the January 25 Revolution and dropped it to the ground.

Shaima fell as a martyr in the middle of the road between Talaat Harb Square and Tahrir Square (only a four-minute walk), just like her flower, which fell in the middle of the road, between the dream of change and the nightmare of reality. Many have fallen before Shaima. But the angry, frustrated supporters of the January 25 Revolution saw the news of her death — which spread all over Egypt — as a wailing wall to mourn the revolution.

The revolution did not enter a forbidden arena, as Sabbagh did, a hijacked arena cordoned off with tanks and barbed wire. Here, it is forbidden to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the January 25 Revolution, or hold demonstrations.

The tyrants fear the infiltration of dangerous roses and songs.

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.


Another fallen heroe against a filthy regime.

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