This vlog was recorded on January 18th by Asmaa Mahfouz, the girl who helped start the protests in Egypt. She had shared it on her Facebook page, and then it went viral. It was so powerful and so popular, that it drove Egyptians by the thousands into Tahrir Square, and drove the Egyptian government to block Facebook. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgjIgMdsEuk

I am in awe of the beauty in this young woman’s words and convictions. And look how fast the government worked to shut her and others down. The internet provided a threat to those who were using their power inappropriately.

I have a dear friend who is a professor at an american university in Cairo. I have been reading, almost daily, first hand accounts of an American woman living alone in the midst of this revolution. She is well-known and well liked in her neighborhood and has been protected on numerous occasions by neighborhood watch teams. But the norm, as of yesterday, is that the police are stealing the passports of any foreigners they find on the street.

She received a tweet yesterday that she should report to a US government flight and vacate. But she is not going, and she is deeply convicted. On the one hand she wants to stay and teach, because the classroom will provide solace and inspiration for the youth so traumatized by the violence. To stop teaching, at this moment, would be a kind of giving up on this youth and she can not bring herself to that. On the flip side, she is in grave personal danger because she remains committed to being a teacher, and a writer, and an american who believes in human rights and freedom of expression, inside the chaos that is now Egypt.

To her, to Asmaa, and to all government officials who welcome dialogue and discourse in the public sphere I dedicate this song to you. It is so difficult to be the undeserving target of hate and character assassination for what you believe, it requires a deep sense of selflessness and an amazing strength. Thank you Asmaa and Belle- you inspire me in this crazy circus of life! And to readers who can open their minds to reading and thinking without attacking, I am equally thankful! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdG618TMc5E

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