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Article by the President of SAE, Mr. Stefanos P. Tamvakis

And then? The voice of God?

Egypt continues to make its modern history, conveying – through joy and celebrations – concern about its future and the future of the Middle East in general.

Egypt is sitting beside an old man… both immersed in their thoughts, wondering. What exactly happened so fast, that we didn’t realize? When did Farooq step down? How many years did Nasser stay? Did they assassinate Sadat so quickly? And what about Mubaraq, what could have happened I wonder? Opposite them, sits Libya, looking distraught, as if she wants to ask a question as well… But her turn has yet to come for such speculations.

Now that everyone is gone, those who seemed like ancient tyrants, what does the future hold? The people of Egypt have reached the most critical junction in their history, this moment they are called to place a “bet” with their own history, on their own future.

Hope has returned, and so have the smiles on the faces of young people. Justified and content, altogether, Muslims and Christians, with their struggles, their determination and sacrifices they made (which we should not forget), they managed to call and welcome along with Freedom, Hope and Optimism for a better tomorrow.

They all expected to witness an Egypt drenched in blood, they all expected – and yet others are hoping to see – an Egypt falling apart. And yet, to their dismay, they witness a reconciliated Egypt, perhaps a little “tired”. An Egypt willing to overcome its immediate problems, lead its people to better days, more democratic, meritocratic, prosperous, free and fair. I am certain that this bet will be won, because the nation proved and still does, that it is capable and deserves to achieve this.

Things begin to calm down, the flowing volcanic lava is cooling, the army is on alert and has taken up, along with the temporary Government, the difficult task of State democratization, but it must hurry and rush the procedures.

Let us not forget that this nation has not been able to relish Democracy for 58 years, not to mention that it was under a royal oligarchy.

That is why Egypt needs to start working and produce, as soon as possible, so that the people of Egypt can realize that their own sweat is dripping to “cool” down their own hands and not the hands of those who claim it… Therefore the people of Egypt need to acquire evidence indicating that they can proudly, which they nonetheless proved by being brave enough, claim their “stolen” homeland.

An we, its other children, the Greeks of Egypt, what are we to do now? We, who equally love our two homelands, sharing their sorrows and joys, despite the fact that both of them were often underestimated, or even mocked, dare I say.

Are we simply watching, all concerns in regard to its future unfolding from afar? Are we merely witnessing the change in the social and political chart of the Middle East? Or perhaps, we are simply delighted that another youth is emerging and being born, a different nation and we are watching new opportunities appear right before our eyes, for us and our children?

I wonder if those of us who stayed are participating and remain involved. Acting upon the fact that indeed our life is in Egypt and our soul lies in Greece?

Now, each and every one of us and altogether, must realize and reconsider the role of our presence and purpose here in Egypt, the country where we came close. It provided us all, those in Alexandria, Cairo and Egypt, endurance and inner knowing, testing, all these years, now and in the past, our strengths and emotions.

Now the Greek people of Egypt, following the dawn of the post – January 25th era, are called to take responsibility for the continuation of their long standing historical presence, the presence of Hellenism in Egypt. It is called to calmly evaluate and plan with optimism, the new era of Hellenism in Egypt, in a practical manner, while bearing in mind the wellbeing of both nations it loves, its future here in the “Country of Nile” (Neilochora), as my late Professor, Apostolos Koutsoukos, used to call it.

Let us learn from this youth and this nation, with which we have coexisted for years now, who managed and proved that they can claim their own future and at the same time, were able to prove that a future to be claimed lies ahead…!

Stefanos P. Tamvakis
SAE President and Honorary President of the Greek Community of Alexandria
Alexandria, one month after January 25th 2011


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