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The Fellah

My Egypt is the Egypt of the struggling, steadfast Egyptian.

A clear blue sky spreads over the horizon. A golden disc shines its replendance down on the country of its origin. A group of Lofty palm trees sway with the soft breeze in delight. A flowing stream of water gushes through the rows of fresh crops. A flock of doves explode from the primitive pigeon house and flutter into the sunlight. Amid this warm cradle, an ever resilient farmer strikes away with the tool of his civilization into the fertile ground of his forebearers.

For more than 4000 years he has hacked, and whacked away in these fields of the Nile valley with an enduring passion. His tan is an earned one, deeply engraven in his heart. His muscles are not the result of leisured excercise but of toilsome hours of daily labor attending to the call of his land. On his forehead are pearls of sweat, monuments to his effort. This pure, simple man who, in a world of glamourized materialism lives a life of utter simplicity has preserved for humanity far more than the ancient techniques of farming. He has through the years managed to maintain his grasp on the dignity and humanity of his kind through the face of challenging adversity. You may find him amongst the poorest and humblest of people yet you will find him home to incomparable dignity, and compassion. He does not have much to offer, but a body of solid principles. His aspirations are high, yet his demands are modest. The kindness of his soul will embrace you in warmth as do the rays of the Egyptian sun, and the generosity of his heart will flow unconditionally to quench you as do the waters of the Egyptian Nile. Through good times and bad, you will find him hacking and whacking away with no complaints, only a wholehearted feeling of gratitude to God, and a persistent smile.

When two of the soldiers who came with the invading, intruding British as usurpers, plundering and ravaging peaceful villages, fell into the deep waters of the Nile, he was quick to disrobe and plunge into the water after them. At that moment, he overlooked the hate which was deeply planted in their hearts, he overlooked the evil will and the feelings of superiority which overwhelmed their minds, he overlooked their sharp bayonets which dug deep into the back of every Egyptian; all he saw, were two helpless human beings crying out in despair for their lives. "Fight hard when you are the underdog; yet forgive when you have the upper hand" (al afw ind al makdera), he would say....

- A. M. Rehab