From our correspondent in Cairo — I am standing in the middle of Tahrir Square, downtown Cairo. This is where it all came together. The entire Egyptian nation was either physically there or was there in spirit. And you could hear everyone chanting “Egypt is free” over and over again. People were happy and Egypt had coined an annual holiday, the day of liberation. And everyone in Egypt was in debt to one man who made it possible. People at Tahrir Square were either carrying the Egyptian flag, or Zaid Hamid’s pictures and were chanting “Egypt is free” and “Here comes the era of Zaid”. Every Egyptian that I spoke with was jubilant and they all seemed to agree that had it not been Zaid Hamid, Egyptians wouldn’t have come together for a single cause.
I spoke with Nasr Al Fareed, a social sciences student at Cairo University, who told me that the Egyptian revolution had begun much earlier than the postings on Facebook. “It would roughly be about 2 years before this January. I and a couple of friends were told that the Pakistani revolutionist Zaid Hamid was going to speak at Cairo University. We were all very excited specially me.”
Everyone has their version of being inspired by Zaid Hamid and his revolutionary speech at the Cairo University where he actually was speaking to the only 10 Pakistanis studying there. “Pakistan is the cause. Pakistan is us. We will destroy Bharat. The Muslim Brotherhood will come together and you will see that Pakistan will rise again. I am in Egypt right now but even this is Pakistan for me. Why? Because I love it. And we will destroy Bharat and Israel with our nuclear weapons.”
The department head for Sociology at Cairo University Razi Sultan told me that Zaid Hamid had not just spoken to the 10 Pakistanis there; in fact he had spoken to the entire Egyptian nation in code words. “He is our savior and is very smart as well. He knew he couldn’t speak about Husni Mubarak directly so he sent us codes through his speech. We knew when he said Pakistan he really meant Egypt. We knew when he said Bharat he really meant Husni Mubarak. We just knew it. There was an unspoken bond between him and the entire Egyptian nation. It wasn’t planned, it just happened.”
Zaid Hamid’s speech was recorded on cell phones and spread via MMS and everyone in Egypt was watching it in their hands. It couldn’t be stopped. Even the cellular companies in Egypt were thanking him for boosting their businesses. Everyone that I spoke with had nothing but appreciation and love for Mr. Hamid. Speaking to an old lady standing at Tahrir Square, she said “Zaid is like my son. Zaid beta thank you for this. We got your message two years back. We have kicked out our Bharat” with a trailing and meaningful wink that suggested that they were quite comfortable with the unspoken codes Mr. Hamid had left them with.
After the fall of Husni Mubarak, Zaid Hamid called the Egyptian nation via his cell phone on spoke everyone at Tahrir Square exactly the same way Altaf Hussain speaks to Pakistanis. He congratulated the Egyptian nation and said, “We will free Pakistan. We will not rest till we destroy Bharat and Israel and the Zionists. We will destroy everyone with our nuclear arsenal. Congratulations Egypt!” and those last two words made the silently and intently listening crowd go in to a jubilant frenzy. Some old ladies threw their underpants on the large speakers placed at the Tahrir Square.
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