From the archive of Abdelrahim Ali

What has not been seen yet: June 30, a people's revolution

Abdelrehim Aly

Yes, it is a people’s revolution, yearning to recover its dignity that the terrorist organization has stuck in the mud. A revolution that continues until now. Many of those who planned to overthrow Egypt and divide its people, tear its unity, and bring its national institutions to its knees are still standing waiting behind doors, waiting for us to lose sight a little or to disagree a lot, or to weaken our strength or loosen our grip, in order that they attack us and treat us ruthlessly.

It is an ongoing revolution, because we have not yet come out of the bottleneck, we have not finished our war against terrorism, we have not completed the tasks of building our modern civil democratic state, and we have not yet laid down the foundations and rules of the renaissance that our people deserve.

We are still struggling to get up from our stumbles, and they still pursue us every time we try to step forward, with the whips of vitriolic criticism, hurtful verbal abuse, and outrageous betrayal.

They are still trying to convince us that we are wrong, and that the graves they are digging for this people, this nation, and this honest country, are right.

Every year on June 30, memories come back. My daughters and grandchildren, colleagues and friends ask me to tell them some of the secrets of those great days.


What happened in the early days of the revolution, and what has not yet been seen

In fact, the memories always get mixed up and I don't know where to start. Sometimes I have reservations about events that it is not yet time to talk about, and I sometimes recount scattered memories here and there. But I hesitate a lot at the beginning. Should I start from the moment the Egyptian television broadcast the proceedings of the conference of the Supreme Committee for the 2012 Presidential Elections and the announcement of the victory of Mohamed Morsi El-Ayyat as president?

Or should I start when I obtained documents from one of the security services on January 26, 2011 stating that Morsi was spying with the Americans through his companion and later office manager Ahmed Abdel Aty?

Or is it correct to begin with the sunrise on December 12, 2012 when I submitted a complaint to Counselor Talaat Abdallah, the Attorney General at the time who was summoned by the Brotherhood from Qatar and appointed by Morsi to head the Public Prosecution after he overthrew the venerable Counsellor Abdel Meguid Mahmoud, in which I accused then-President Morsi of being a spy and who had previously spied for the Americans?

Those times were decisive in my life and in the life of the country. Morsi had killed our fellow demonstrators in front of the Ittihadiyya Palace, arrested others, and asked the venerable Counselor Ibrahim Saleh to issue a decision to imprison them on charges of storming the Ittihadiya Palace and attempting to kidnap the president.

At that time, the public prosecutor of the Cairo Appeals Court came to me while I was in deep thought, he told me bad news, saying, “There is a big surprise waiting for you.” I told him abruptly, “You certainly mean that some of the security services to whom you sent copies of the papers in my possession, which refer to Morsi’s communication from January 22, 2011 to January 26, 2011 with the intelligence of a foreign country, have told you via fax now that these papers are not true and have no origin with them?”

At that time, the man was dumbfounded. How could I, while I was sitting in the attorney general’s office, know something that had just happened that only the attorney general and the public prosecutor who was conducting the investigation know personally? Before the man recovered from his shock, I told him, “Remember, Counselor, that this is our country, and that the rulers come and go, but we remain the true owners of that land. We are the alliance of the people, the army, the police and the impartial judiciary, and we will win in the end despite those papers in your hands, and the same agencies will send the real papers back in time.”

As for how I knew the contents of the faxes in the attorney general’s hand at the time, this is a story worth starting with our true stories that have not yet been told about June day soon.

I have never felt let down. I knew, and I still do, that governments have their necessities and people have choices. The politician has his choices, which naturally differ with the state employee wherever he is, but they will meet one day on the love of the homeland when he needs them together.


Criminal charge

I think that the real beginning should be from when I stood in Tahrir Square on May 17, 2013 with a group of real revolutionaries to swear in front of 60,000 Egyptian citizens that we would return Morsi and his companions to prisons again. At that time, a senior security official called me to tell me that Morsi summoned him and asked him to put me behind bars for 25 years, but to the satisfaction of God, that is without any political accusation, only a criminal case and the situation ending with “murder or drugs.”

The man told me at the time that he complained to the president about the approaching June 30 date and asked him to postpone the operation until after that date. We remembered that later in his office and we laughed a lot.

Are all these stories suitable as a starting point to talk about the revolution of this people on June 30, or should we start in terms of preparing for the great event?

Before that, I was giving a lecture at the Military Intelligence School about the Brotherhood, and the truth is, when I received the request, I found it a bit strange, so I asked, “Do you know for sure who I am? Are you really inviting me to give a lecture on the Brotherhood inside the Military Intelligence School? Do you know my opinion of them?” The man laughed, emphasizing that he knew everything, and that was why I was invited. So I went, and it was a surprise that might one day be suitable for a long talk about the memory of that great revolution; a surprise that doubled my belief and determination that we would win on June 30, 2013 and achieve the long-awaited dream.

But I do not know why I have a deep feeling that the real beginning should be from when a few of us (I will not mention their names so that some do not get angry) gathered to think about what we would do on June 30, on that day someone said to me, “We want to know whether some state agencies will stand with us or against us?”

I went to ask them in the evening, and the answer was baffling, for my interlocutor drew what looked like a tree on a white paper, a circle and a stick, and he said to me, “If you can draw that tree for three consecutive days, I guarantee you that at least we will not be against you.” It is also suitable for the beginning of a long story, which I will definitely narrate sometime about that great day, when we slept in Tahrir Square and the Qasr El-Nile Bridge and made of our bodies not only a tree, but rivers in the streets that flowed up to the Ittihadiya Palace, passing through Ramses Square and Abbasiya. That day, one of the elders at that time told me, “Now I can tell you congratulations, and I'm assured.”

When some people attacked my office with automatic weapons on the Friday afternoon after June 30, I knew that I was paying the price for my previous positions, so I endured in silence despite the bitterness.

Many deep memories, made by real heroes, some of whom died, and some of whom are waiting and did not change. Perhaps the most painful of them was when Major General Adel Azab, head of the anti-Brotherhood activity group at the National Security Agency, called me at the time to tell me in a hysterical voice, “They killed Mabrouk.” On that day, I was attending the birthday party of my middle daughter, Dalia. I ran out of the celebration, but I could not hear well, and in the middle of Gameat al-Dawwal al-Arabiya Street in the Mohandessin area, I collapsed completely, and some of those who were with me carried me home. Mohamed Mabrouk was for me a younger brother. I saw him almost every day, and we had agreed that we would meet together on that day at one o'clock, so I was in shock for hours after the incident, not believing, thinking that he would ring the doorbell every now and then so I could greet him with his wide smile, throwing himself on his favorite seat by the balcony. But he left before he could tell me goodbye. Does his story fit into one of the chapters of the glorious June revolution? Of course, but it's not too late.

But we may one day have the time and courage to tell it to our children and grandchildren, and to you as well.

Today, however, I am content to say to you and all Egyptians: Happy New Year; our revolution continues, so persevere.