>> 11 December 2012
If we were living in Oslo in 1940, watching the young German dissident Willy Brandt, exiled from his own country, struggling against the Nazi army as it occupied Norway, not one of us would have predicted that this man would one day be the leader of Western Germany, play a role in German and European reconciliation and unity, and win the Nobel Peace Prize. The difference between Willy Brandt, , , , Jr, and us is that those people believed that they could make the future, that they can change things. And they did.
for the first time in my life, finally, after a long time of being denied travel by Egyptian authorities, and after being by the Israeli embassy in Cairo.
I am scheduled to give my first speech on December 23 at the Truman Institute of The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the same university which , my godfather, represented Egypt at its opening ceremony nine decades ago.
Later during my stay, I’ll also speak for The World Union of Jewish Students in 31 December 2012, and also for Tel Aviv University in 2 January 2013. I’ll also visit Ramallah (Palestine) to meet Palestinian activists. People around the world will be able to follow my trip through Twitter hash tag #MaikelinIsrael
After years of calling for peace, I have realized that practicing peace is more important than talking. My visit is a message from the Egyptian peace community that we have had enough violence and confrontation and we want this to end. We want to live together as human beings without violence, racism or walls.
I’m aiming with my visit to end the monopoly which governments have over peace processes. Our governments held this portfolio for decades, and obviously they have gone from one failure to the next. It’s time to open the process to other actors. If we couldn’t achieve anything, at least the competition will pressure politicians to work harder.
My trip is organized by , the Human Rights organization based in Geneva, which played a role in defending my freedom when I was imprisoned in Egypt last year for 10 months for defending Human Rights. Its director, , is known for his scathing attacks on dictatorships in The UN Human Rights Council. He is a very brave person, and a good friend.
While applying for the visa, I opposed the idea of getting a visa to Israel without putting a stamp in my passport, to avoid being banned from entering countries which don’t allow those who visited Israel before to enter. I decided this simply because I don’t wish to visit any country which doesn’t recognize the right of any other country to exist. Having two passports or having a visa without a stamp is just encouraging racist regimes to continue practicing racism in the 21st century. Racist regimes should pay for their racism, not be encouraged by tourism. In the end, I received my visa on a separate paper. I’m sad that the state of Israel is adapting to this ugly situation.
From the beginning, I decided also that I’m not going to visit any religious places, and I won’t meet any members of the clergy. . Fighting wars, racism and violence obligates me to avoid their causes, and religions are on the top of them.
Middle-Easterners will be following my visit with their eyes. If I succeeded, more will follow. It can be a point of change in history. Anyone who cares about Peace is invited to do whatever he can do to make this visit succeed in improving the situation in the Mideast.
In the end, I understand that I may face a horrible fate because of my visit. While walking in Jerusalem, I won’t be able to stop my mind from thinking about , , and . But still, I’m willing to take this step, to put another brick in the wall, willing that others will follow doing the same thing, believing that one day we will be able to end this insanity which has been ongoing in the Middle East for centuries.
Maikel Nabil Sanad
Germany, 11 Dec 2012
This Article was published in English in The Times of Israel
1- To be a Politician in Egypt (Only in Arabic)
2- Why am I pro-Israel?
3- Re-Production of Shit (Only in Arabic)
4- In which side is Israel standing?
5- Why don’t we also be Peaceful with Israel?
6- Yes to Peace for Egypt
7- I'm the White OX (Only in Arabic)
8- Frivolous thoughts about the Israeli and the Palestinian Affairs
9- Establishing a Palestinian State is in the Interest of Israel
10-Me, And the other Revolutionaries ... Honestly
11-Egypt & Israel: A New Treaty Is Needed
12-Will Egypt’s Christians face the same fate of Egyptian Jews?
13-Destroying the Fourth Reich
14-Several short notes between my Crazy notes