The Egyptian JEW

Actions speak louder than words so it is no wonder that I am a very LOUD and PROUD peace activist who supports Israel and the Jews around the world publicly, from my Egypt, without fear.
Five years ago, on January 2011, I joined my fellow Egyptians' revolution, went out to the streets, demonstrated for my Egypt's freedom, got shot in the face with a rubber bullet by the anti-­riot police, which almost resulted in losing my eye and was tear gassed like crazy, but trust me when I tell you that it was worth every drop of blood that came out of my face.
After taking Mubarak down, I went back to my house with this patriotic pride and felt larger than life. This motivated me to finally break some barriers and feed my curiosity about Israel and the Jews who had been my eternal enemy according to my education system, my history books and the Egyptian media that kept brainwashing me about how the Jews were in control of world politics and how they owned all the money and used it to recruit young Arabs to spy against their own countries.
So, you see, after Mubarak's regime was overthrown, it was a legit and a very reasonable thing for me to reach ­out to random Israelis on Facebook in order to learn more and understand about my enemy.
The very first Israeli friend I got to know on Facebook was a young Israeli woman whose name was OR, which means 'light' in Hebrew.
Or showed me the light and led me to the truth: the truth that Israelis were regular human beings and that we shared a lot of similarities. I started realizing that there were so many lies that I had been fed with to the point that it created anger in me for having been brainwashed like this for my entire life till then.
I believe that taking the life changing decision of being a peace activist and becoming an advocate for Israel was mainly because of the guilt I felt and blaming myself for being naive, racist, ignorant and a hater of everything that was Jewish.
On the long journey of seeking the truth, my curiosity took me so far to the point that I decided to visit the death camps across Europe, starting from Dachau in Germany all the way to Auschwitz in Poland.
My Holocaust research in Europe changed me in so many ways I cannot even describe and it sealed the deal for me: I was born for the purpose of being a peace activist who seeks the truth and spreads it.
Four years ago I got to know an Egyptian Jewish man through Facebook, Mr. Isaac Cohen.
Through our talks I felt that Isaac was carrying a very deep scar in his heart because of how his family was treated: they were arrested and then were expelled from their homes, businesses and schools. They lost their friends and their country and were forced to leave with only one
suitcase in a way which I am ashamed to describe.
These shameful acts of expelling Egypt's Jews is a dark stain in my Egypt's history.
Over the years I asked Isaac and even begged him to come and visit our Egypt but he always refused to consider the idea until suddenly, two months ago, he emailed me his ticket to our Egypt.
I couldn't believe that Isaac finally took the decision to come back to our Egypt after 60 years of
hurtful memories.
I waited for him at the airport with so many mixed feelings but great excitement and on top of all I wanted to make him feel at home.
I even made a video while I was at the airport in which I shared my feelings and then posted it on my Facebook page.
On our first day together we sat down in a Cafe in downtown Cairo near Tahrir square and had our Turkish coffee. We had so much to talk about. We spoke about how beautiful our Egypt was in the 1940's and how it looked like Europe.
Isaac described to me how the house that he grew up in looked like but we were both pretty sure that it had been demolished and replaced by a modern building but I put his old address on google maps, we walked there and to our great surprise Isaac's old house was still there, almost the same way he
left it 60 years ago. I screamed out of joy and shouted "look Isaac, here is your house!" and the tears came pouring out because we both couldn't believe it was still there.
Then, with absolute confidence my fellow Egyptian Jewish friend said "come with me" and he led me all the way to his old school which he couldn't believe was also still there, the same way he left it.

Then two days later we finally managed to get into the Synagogue that Isaac and his family used to pray.
The most emotional moments I experienced during my time with Isaac were when he sat down on the very bench he used to sit on as a child and to my surprise he brought his childhood prayer book along with him; a Jewish prayer book which was published in Egypt back in 1946.
As for myself I did what I always do in every Synagogue I visit around the world: light four candles in memory of those who were murdered in the Holocaust. You may wonder why four candles and the reason is because I have four Jewish friends who are very dear to me and close to my heart and soul and they all lost family members during the Holocaust, so I promised to myself to honor them by lighting four candles in every death camp and synagogue I ever visit.

Isaac`s trust in me and his courageous decision to visit our Egypt after 60 years of pain as a result of his family's expulsion taught me valuable lessons and instilled hope in my heart that peace is easy and possible.
Watch the entire video: "The Egyptian JEW" and you will be surprised how the Egyptians reacted to Isaac when he told them he was JEWISH.
Thank you dear Isaac for being such a wonderful human being and a friend.