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Egyptian demonstrator: Why we are willing to die

updated 10:16 AM EDT, Mon August 19, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The author says he voted for Morsy but is not a member of the Muslim Brotherhood
  • Most protesters are young people who are looking for a good future, he writes
  • He says: The protesters say that they will never give up until we have freedom and victory.

Editor's note: The author says he voted for President Mohamed Morsy but is not a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. He is a single man in his 20s who lives in Cairo with his parents, brothers and sisters. He asked us not to use his name because he says this would put him in danger.

Cairo (CNN) -- Cairo -- I write this after several days that have disheartened me and many Egyptian people. Many Egyptians desire freedom and a better life, and we love democracy. Imagine standing in long lines under the sun, waiting to give your vote for a new leader and then you wake up and he is no longer president?

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Egyptians do not want to live as slaves anymore, and we are extremely discouraged. Most of our people who peacefully protested are young people who are looking for a good future and a good life as you have in the West. Egyptians are hopeful, but unfortunately we now face guns and many have been killed.

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Since the coup, many days have been bloody and the army has been extremely violent. The large-scale murders have angered and horrified many Egyptians. We were so happy to have a civilian president for the first time: a person who would put Egypt in his heart and stop corruption and not steal from us, but now we feel hopeless and desperate about the future of Egypt.

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We love peace, we do not hurt anybody, we protect all churches, and we love Egypt more than ourselves. We want to see Egypt grow as a good country. We hope that the world understands that most Egyptians are against violence. That is why people here refused to create a civil war.

We have not been armed during our protest which has been very peaceful until the army fired upon us. We hate to see blood and that is why what we witnessed by the Egyptian army is unprecedented, we have never seen such massacres before in Egypt. All of Egypt is in shock.

I saw no protesters with guns, only sticks and stones to defend themselves. As to the burning of churches, this is something that is strictly forbidden for any Muslim and I believe is most likely to have been done by fanatics or criminals, who are taking advantage of the unrest.

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The anti-coup group is a coalition of groups including democrats, unions, a wide range of religious groups, students and political groups -- and is comprised of hundreds of thousands of people. Many here want everybody to respect democracy and if they want to change Mohamed Morsy as the leader, then we believe it should be by election like in every other democracy. For me, the main issue is not about Morsy himself, this is a battle for democracy, respect, and justice. The fact remains Morsy won an election by a significant majority and he did so through a democratic process and they deserve to serve their term of office. I believe democracy cannot begin if it is strangled at birth.

Unemployment is very high in Egypt, and there is no way to earn money, so life is very hard. Universities have closed programs and Egyptians have fewer options. I lost my job and began studying languages to improve my skills but now my classes have been suspended.

Walking down city streets is not safe, and young people do not look forward to a good future in Egypt. Most of our people here are so sad from witnessing the killing of so many sons, daughters, and friends. We do not have many fanatical people in Egypt. Most people live together in peace even from different religions and backgrounds.

On Saturday we buried a friend who was killed in the protests. We went to put him in his tomb, but before that we walked and carried him through the streets until we reached his tomb. There were so many people with us and people carried his photo and many slogans saying we will never give up until we make his dream come true: Democracy for Egypt!

After we protested on Sunday, many people walked to his home and met his mom and family. His mom was crying and we promised her we would never give up until we get this justice.

Now we feel that we are in the darkest days. Nobody knows what will happen tomorrow but the protesters say that they will never give up until we have freedom and victory. We are willing to die for our freedom! The world is our witness.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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