To my husband, friend and companion,
It has been almost a year since I last saw you. We still cry every time we hear your name or hear a story about you. Do you feel us and hear what we say?
Do you hear and see what is going on in the country you laid down your life for? Do you know of the other martyrs — who the state propagandists call the Maspero dead, the Mohamed Mahmoud Street “thugs” and the cabinet building “infiltrators”?
They refuse to call them martyrs, as though martyrs are waiting to be honored by such traitors! Tell them that all martyrs are equal and that God will grant them justice.
Do you see what is happening to girls who have taken to the streets to demand your rights and the rights of others unjustly killed? Is that what you saw when the angel of death came to take your life — an ugly tomorrow that you would reject living in? If you had stayed alive, would you have remained silent? Wouldn’t your gallantry force you to stand in the face of the oppressors?
Do you, by any chance, know that one year after the revolution, we still haven’t taken revenge for your death, one that can soothe our hearts, revive our souls and prove that justice still prevails? Do you see your killers standing happily behind bars, smiles all over their faces, being greeted and given favorable treatment for killing you in cold blood? Don’t they know that oppression tugs at our fresh wounds?
But I still trust that heavenly justice will prevail and that the revolutionary youth will not give up until they see real justice and change. Only then will I feel peace.
Tears are rolling down my cheek as I write you this letter. Ringing in my ear is the song you hummed to me about a country that we should sacrifice our lives for and an army that you believed in. Do you still have the same beliefs? Do you still see a better tomorrow that we should wait for? I was used to seeing you silent, pensive and contemplative. Are you still the same? Is your silence in thought or in sadness?
We waited to see you in our dreams to comfort us and give us hope, but we dream of you telling us not to waste what you have done and to continue a revolution that has already left so many people killed and injured.
I promise not to give up on a better future you have died for, a fair retribution that gives you justice, and a changed country where your daughters will live to talk proudly about the revolution in which their father sacrificed his life.
Be sure that if they kill all of the men in this country, its women will continue to take to the streets to demand your rights, and I will be one of them.
So wait until I take revenge for you or die as a martyr.
Rania Shaheen is the wife of Tareq Abdel Latif, who was martyred while participating in the Egyptian revolution on 28 January 2011, dubbed the Friday of Anger.