Comboni Missionaries See Egypt's Youth as a Path to Transition

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Egypt's youth have taken a different path in order to be heard. Their non-violent approach may serve them well in more ways than one.

The Egyptian people, particularly youth, began an historic protest against their government and its abuses. People have made their activities in Tahrir Square in Cairo a symbol of non violent resistance to injustice and oppression. The question of what all this means transcends the political outcome of these unexpected, uncertain and yet promising events. The Comboni Missionaries ascertain that this has begun a process of transition within the identity of the country and will remain tuned in to what is happening. There are three aspects in particular that need particular attention:

The protagonist of this uprising is the youth. They represent the middle ground between western and eastern identities. They seek values like democracy, freedom and equality in a spirit of non-violence. This is a generation that will bear on the future development of this country.

The deep religiosity and devotion of this nation and culture have made a further step towards interaction with "real" life issues such as poverty, lack of opportunities, corruption and discrimination, which deprive people of their God-given right to dignified and fair opportunity of fulfillment. The aspiration of liberation is an exodus call that finds profound roots in Catholic/Christian theology.

The testimony that foundational rights and duties of life are worth living and dying for has left an enduring challenge to fear and hiding. These are pursued in a spirit of loyalty to the respective Muslim/Christian identities. Signs of Christian and Muslim unity have begun to project new opportunities for the sake of inter-religious dialogue.

The idealism that has soaked the streets and squares of Egypt will need time to enter reality with all its resistance to change and negative opportunism. Tahrir square has become a symbol that will remain in the collective memory of this country. The Comboni Missionaries accept God's call to listen carefully to these events, to embrace the choice to participate in a constructive way in this process and to repel the temptation to be only spectators and outsiders.

The Comboni Missionaries are concerned about the unpredictable outcomes that will stem from the resignation of President Hosni Mubarek and ask the world to pray for the Egyptian people at this crucial time.

Fr. Ruffino Ezama, mccj
Comboni Missionaries
1318 Nagel Road
Cincinnati, OH 45255


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