Squash Mad

BLOG: Egyptian stars busy on the streets of Cairo

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By ALAN THATCHER

I can’t think of many world sports champions who would take part in a massive political rally and upload pictures to Facebook and Twitter.

But that’s what squash’s world No.1 Ramy Ashour has been doing these past few days as tension mounts in Cairo and the public take to the streets in enormous numbers to voice their lack of faith in the new president, Mohammed Morsi.

Ashour, who yesterday celebrated his seventh consecutive month at the top of the PSA world rankings, uploaded a picture to Twitter showing the streets of Cairo filled with hundreds of thousands of protestors in the vicinity of Tahrir Square, the venue for much activity during last year’s uprising that toppled the previous president, Hosni Mubarak.

The Egyptians clearly thought they were ushering in a new democratic government. Instead, they are outraged that Morsi is acting like a dictator backed by the archaic religious rules spouted by the Muslim Brotherhood.

During massive protests on Sunday, when millions took to the streets, eight people died during clashes between the marchers and those loyal to Morsi.

In one attack, the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo was ransacked, with police standing by as staff inside the building fired on the demonstrators.

Accompanying an aerial photograph showing the throngs surrounding Tahrir Square, Ashour wrote: “This is the real Egypt and the real Egyptians when they unite for the sake of their country’s pride.”

Ashour’s brother, Hisham, had flown back from his new base in New York for a family holiday and joined him on the streets of Cairo.  Ramy published a photograph on Facebook showing the two of them with friends, with the following caption:

“Very proud to participate and be a part of the great 30th June revolution, with all the true Egyptians who truly love their country and want the best for it.”

Today, after the Egyptian army had given the warring political parties 48 hours to resolve the turmoil, Hisham wrote:

“I am soooo happy that I was alive to hear and witness what the head of army said now …the country happy and dancing … The whole country is on the street now after this speech . Iwish the whole world was here now to get inspired by 0ver 30 million on the streets dancing and asking for 1 thing in 1 breath ,,,,,,, Egyptian and prouddddddddddddd.”

Former world champion Amr Shabana added his voice to the Egyptian debate when he Tweeted a famous phrase from Abraham Lincoln:

“The sin of silence, when they should protest, makes cowards of men.”

The image Tweeted by Ramy Ashour showing the streets of Cairo packed with protestors

The image Tweeted by Ramy Ashour showing the streets of Cairo packed with protestors

 

 

Posted on July 1, 2013

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About The Author

Alan Thatcher

Lifelong sports journalist and squash lover. Event promoter, coach, author, voice artist. Founder of World Squash Day.

1 Comment

  1. Eric Downer July 2, 2013 at 6:36 am

    I too have been so impressed with how outspoken these guys have been, but, at the same time, not that surprised. Having spent time around Egyptians over the past twelve years I have been continually reminded of their level of pride and patriotism that far exceeds most other nations. It’s always about the Flag ! From a very young age, squash players are given every opportunity, support, and encouragement by their National organisation. Of course, only a few will climb right to the top with their exceptional talent, but every single player has been treated equally along the way. The Squash “brotherhood” in Egypt is plainly obvious, there are no “one-man-bands” doing their own thing, either by choice or by exclusion. This tight-knit scenario spills over into their lives in general and results in an expected standard from the rule-makers and those in authority. Many years ago I was given a battered old copy of the English translation of the Koran. It was fascinating and explained much of how the Muslim mind is educated, it is a guide that covers a code of conduct and a way of life wrapped around a religious basis. Violence is not a part of it, but power and greed have interfered along the way. Add that human weakness, corruption, and problems have, and will, arise. The vast majority want peace and harmony for their families, which is why these revolutions are taking place, not just for the individual, but for their people as a whole. Those in the World of Squash who have spoken out are a far cry from those who would keep quiet to protect their safety . Bravery deserves it’s rewards, and they have my respect. The World has advanced so much since the Koran was written about 2,000 years ago, but the guidelines still make sense in the modern era. Flexibility, and the understanding that not all people follow that book, are the keys to a peaceful future.

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