Statement: I Would Not Serve in the Egyptian Army and I Bear the Consequences

>> 21 October 2010

I can accept that I would be forced to lose my freedom, but I’m not ready to give it up with my own free will.

Last Monday, 18th of October, I was informed with the final decision by the Egyptian Military Institution to nominate me as a reserve officer for the armed forces. It is supposed that I deliver myself to the recruitment area to where I am included, On next Friday (22nd of October, 2010), to be transferred to the College of Reserve Officers at Fayed ( Ismailia ), to start a compulsory military service for 3 years.

During the last period, I was thinking too much of the correct decision which I have to take in that situation. I am a liberal activist since 2005; I have called for the ideas of individualism and individual liberties. I talked and wrote too much against the military regime of the 23th of July, 1952. I criticized the ideas of nationalism and the fascism that took over the Egyptian policies ever since the militarists came to power. I talked and extremely defended the right of both of the societies of Egypt and Israel to co-exist peacefully, to end the state of the continued conflict between them. I refused the continued harassment which the Egyptian regime does against Israel, as getting involved in without a justification in the 1948 war. As well as, the assault of the Egyptian regime on the right of Israel in the navigation in the international straits and the Egyptian regime’s support for terrorists who do violent activities against the Israeli citizens. In April, 2009 I have founded the movement, "No for Compulsory Military Service(Arabic: لا للتجنيد الإجبارى) as the first Egyptian movement to promote for pacifism, the right of the Egyptians in the Conscientious Objection, and the superiority of the voluntary recruitment compared to the compulsory recruitment.

I thought too much and my decision was that I would refuse to do the military service in Egypt and I would bear the consequences whatever they would be. Despite of my knowledge that the consequences would be a misfortune as I am considered the first Egyptian youth to reject the compulsory military service because of my pacifist beliefs.

My decision has many reasons:
-        Of which I am pacifist, against holding weapons, against joining the military formations and paramilitary. Accepting the recruitment would be coercion against my conscientious beliefs and my humanistic principles. I am not ready to go against my conscience and beliefs no matter what is the price.
-        Also, I am not ready for being a piece of chess in the race to armament and the conflicts with the floods of blood which immerses the region. I am not ready for being holding a weapon against an Israeli youth, compulsory recruited, who defends the existence of his country. I am not ready for being just a number that generals would play with in the business of warfare in the Middle East.
-        Additionally, I consider the compulsory recruitment as a type of slavery and I am a free person. I struggled for long years for my freedom. I struggled against my family, my religious group, the society and the police. I paid the price of my freedom very well and I won it. Right now I am not ready for giving up my freedom with my own hands to military gangs. All they can do is to kill, slaughter and bloodshed. I am more virtuous than taking instruction of military people.
-        Above all, I am aware to the size of the intelligence publicity in which the military institution did against me for all the past period of time and their consecutive accusations against me with being an agent, treason and working for the interests of foreign bodies. After that sizable fierce publicity, I have become afraid on my life and my bodily safety in the armed forces, especially under circumstances of a law establishment which prevents existence of inspection for the violations which happen inside the military institution. Under the circumstances of the existence of the military court which isn’t neutral and which is part of the military institution that accuses me with the previous accusations. My carefulness on my life and my bodily safety make me accept years in prison, more than risking being subjected to being assassinated inside the army.

But, my words don’t mean that I am an evader of the military recruitment. I am rejecting, not evading. I live in the same address written on my identification card which is known to the Administration of Recruitment and Mobilization, the Military Security Forces and the Intelligence, which also is written in my letters to Minister of Defense, the Prime Minister, Heads of both Houses of Parliament and the President of the Republic. I am not hiding anywhere so the Egyptian police can arrest me anywhere and I am fully prepared to deliver myself to justice once I am being informed that I am wanted.

I only want to ensure that I am still a civil person (According to the Egyptian Legal System). The person becomes a soldier after getting a conscript card, handing it to his unit and wearing the military uniform. Nothing of the previous happened to me. I am here assuring that I’m a civil person. It hasn’t happened to me that I joined the Armed Forces, so I have the right to be tried in front of a civil court. Any attempt to try me in front of a military court represents a violation against my rights as a civil person.
Also, assuring my legal position that I am legally absent from the military service (not an evader) and the absent has no legal punishment except that when he goes to be recruited afterward, he would be recruited for one additional year. Subsequently, the military institution has no right to arrest me or make a lawsuit against me on not going to be recruited in the specified date.

I know that my decision means that I will pay a very high price. It means that I will lose my political rights for my whole life. It means that I won’t be able to travel outside of Egypt for a long time. It means that I will find difficulty to work, because I don’t have the military certificate. It means that I will constantly become subjected to harassment by Police Forces. Above all, I may be subjected to imprisonment more than once and for long periods of times.

But freedom has a price and I am a free person. I have no objection on paying the price of my freedom. With sacrifices such as this, great democracies were established in Europe and America.
-        Sacrifices of the American activists in the 1970s and the consecutive sentences of imprisonment that were held against them, were the price that was paid for the United States retrieval of the Vietnam war and to end the military service in America.
-        Sacrifices of activists in east Europe that some were killed and many others were imprisoned to stop the ethnic slaughterings in Europe, to change Europe from a place of ethnically grinding to a strong European union practicing a very respectable role in the international politics. Also, having very high standards for human rights not even found in America.
-        Sacrifices of the pacifist Israeli soldiers who were subjected to too much imprisonment so that they would not hold a weapon in our faces. Their sacrifices don’t deserve from me less than having to take the same position and to refuse to hold a weapon against their faces. I am part of the movement of the peoples that chose peace and refuse war and blood.

With my position, I am glad to record a new position in the history of Egypt between the military institution and the Egyptian citizens. I hope that the day comes when the Egyptian military goes back to its barracks and to stop interfering in politics, so Egypt would be transformed into a civilian country without powers of military people on civilians and so that the military trials would be abolished, the traveling permissions, censorship by the intelligence on newspapers and its role in the political conflict protecting the military regime. I wish that the day would come that Egypt would be transformed into a secular liberal state, respecting the individualist values, peace, the freedom of choice for individuals and to adopt the concepts of professionalism and modernity in its philosophy for forming its national army.

Maikel Nabil Sanad
20 October 2010

Related Topics (English)
Related Topics (Arabic)
No for Compulsory Military Service

A campaign of sending letters to Egyptian and international officials rejecting the military service


Anonymous,  24/10/2010, 16:59  

Im from israel, and i read about your personal belief and agenda. trust me buddym, if there were more people like you, the world would have been a better place.
god bless you for your courage, tolerance, and the freedom of mind you adopted for yourself.
i can only wish more people would follow you..

Anonymous,  24/10/2010, 17:16  

Hello, I just want to say that I´m so happy to read your agenda and truely hope that more people from your country and from the Arab world in general listen to what you have to say.
Maybe you´ll be able to make some changes and there will be less violence and hatred in this world. Take care!

Anonymous,  24/10/2010, 17:26  

You are a brave man and you really moved me. With more people like you, we can one day have a real peace between Israel and its neighbors.

Peace to you and all our friends in Egypt, from Haifa, Israel.

Anonymous,  24/10/2010, 17:29  

peace from israel <3 !

anna,  24/10/2010, 17:35  

it's great to hear your position, hopefully more people from arabic countries will have the guts to stand up to their money and blood hungry leaders.

i hope things work out for you )))

Anonymous,  24/10/2010, 17:40  


I'm from Israel as well, and I just want to tell you that:
1. you have more courage than the number 1 soldier.
2. your ideas give power to the peace believers and those who believed and are no longer believe in peace.

Anonymous,  24/10/2010, 17:42  

Hi Maikel !

I'm an atheist from Israel, but still sometimes, I cannot abstain from saying "God Bless You". And you deserve it as your words touched me.
I wish there were some more brave, liberal, moderate people like you in your society, and in the Arab world in general.

Peace From Israel,

sandy 24/10/2010, 17:48  

hey i read an article about you on ynet (israel) and thank you very much!!! i wish there were more 1000000 like you.

Anonymous,  24/10/2010, 17:51  

I truely belive that if the peace will come soon...
you will be sacred person for both sides as "the first man that did what you choose".
this is the way of world changers for all long history.
good luck and peace from israel

Anonymous,  24/10/2010, 17:52  

wow, after reading an article about you in the Israeli media, and reading your blog i have to admit that you're awesome. finally a sane opinion from a citizen of an Arab country. i hope you will spread your views all over the Arab world, and by doing so- help to end the horrible way that Israel is portrayed in the media.

sharon 24/10/2010, 18:18  


Anonymous,  24/10/2010, 18:20  

hope that there will be more brave people like you in this world
god bless u
shay from israel

Anonymous,  24/10/2010, 20:03  

You are my hero! take care of yourself and be safe :)
peace and love from israel

Baruch 25/10/2010, 17:35  

Hey Maikel

We in Israel are used to always being blindly hated by Arabs, whether it Palestinians, Israeli Arabs, or from the neighboring countries.
So much hate and violence around us, for so many years. We became used to it. Many of us don't believe anymore that peace will ever come. We just don't see Arabs who share our ideals of living here together peacefully in the middle east, thus we have no partner to negotiate with.
We never heard an Arab talking the way you do. For us, Israelis, putting peace as number one priority has always been natural. This is the first time I hear an Arab looking objectively into the situation with a sane pair of eyes.
You are brave and honest and have a good heart.
But one last advice to you: Fight your war intelligently, and sensitively. Don'y become a martyr for your ideals. We need you alive for many years to come :))
God bless you, Maikel.

Baruch from Tel Aviv

Anonymous,  26/10/2010, 12:50  

You are a brave man, Maikel, and I wish you courage and strength. You are creating more goodwill for your people than your government does.

Wishing you well from The Netherlands.

Anonymous,  28/10/2010, 04:35  

If all people from both sides be like you, we can build a great future.
Egypt was very brave to be the first Arab country to sign a peace agreement with Israel. It's about time for this peace to be truly fulfilled. Arabs and Jews have nowhere else to go.

I wish you all the best,

Matan, Jerusalem

Maikel Nabil Sanad مايكل نبيل سند 05/11/2010, 04:26  

I know you wouldn't hear about people like me, Arabic media don't publish anything about Peace supporters. I know lots of Egyptians carrying ideas I have, but why Israeli media don't talk about us ?
i know also that you are surrounded by Arabic hatred from everywhere, and I'm doing my best to change that, and I need partners from Israel to make this change

Thanks for your nice words... I usually believed that there is lots of peace supporters in Israel
Our next step is to act together toward actual peace, not that cold dead peace we are living in today

Anonymous,  18/11/2010, 03:23  

abo omak ya matniii..
estargel yalla showaya..
om el btn l gabetak ya *****
esfokhs la mabade2 wala deeen wala regola 7ata

Anonymous,  16/01/2011, 12:38  

3ayel sees malwe 3amelle feeha dakar, lol

Patrick Schiffer 04/10/2011, 12:18  

I am living in germany and my rejection to the military service (Bundeswehr), when i was 18 (1991) sounded nearly the same as yours, behalve of the consequences you counted, living in an oppressed country.

I support you and I wish, your voice will be heard and the egyptian youth will rise again to free you, to free the spirit of peace and to free the whole country of this military clique.

My deepest respect and good luck to you and your inspiring people.

Anonymous,  01/02/2012, 13:02  

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Tools, Writers, Syllabi;;;
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As well as NV 101 in Context: Text Background and PhD-MA Dissertations-Theses,%20Sanctions%20and%20divestment,%20by%20Paul%20Hubers.htm;; and;;; and;
Nonviolence 101; An Experience-based Manual for Approaches, Methods, and Outcomes in Academic & Activist Organization (Word version hyperlinked; pdf); Provisional Table of Contents — Suggestions Welcome.

شركة الطيب 28/02/2016, 06:41  

ان شركة الطيب تعتبر افضل شركة تنظيف كنب بالرياض نقوم بتنظيف الكنب بالرياض و بالمملكة العربية السعودية بافضل التقنيات الحديثة فازا كنت تريشركة تنظيف كنب بالرياض
كما اننا نقدم لكم ايضا خدمات التنظيف بالكامل نعمل ايضا علي ان نكون الافضل علي الدوام فشركة الطيب افضل شركة تنظيف كنب بالرياض و مجالس و موكيت نمتلك في شركة الطيب افضل طاقم من العمالة المدربة علي افضل و اعلي اساس ممكن عزيزي العميل عليك ان تعلم بان شركة الطيب افضل شركة تنظيف كنب بالرياضشركة الطيب ايضا تقدم لكم خدمات نقل الاثاث بالرياض فنحن افضل شركة للخدمات المنزلية بالرياض كما اننا افضل شركة تنظيف كنب بالرياضشركة تنظيف كنب بالرياض و نشكركم علي قرائتكم للموضوع الي اللقاء


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