The previous article discussed some of the causes of the conflicts that fragment society and impede its peace, such as ignorance, intolerance, injustice, and lack of acceptance of others. It also pointed out that inculcating the concept of diversity takes a lot of hard work.
Just as diversity is one of the pillars, acceptance of diversity is also based on the idea of living together. The people of the same nation must realize the necessity of their unity for the progress and stability of their nation. Without doubt, we are all in the same boat; if it capsized, everyone would drown; if it drifted, everyone would be lost; but if it sailed peacefully, everyone would be safe. Living together is the key to stability and success.
The word “together” is one of the most important factors of stability, success and prosperity in any country. To be together, we have to know the way to living together. One of the most important messages of history is that together, we can achieve our goal, whereas divisions only lead to failure and defeat. I would like to present to you two events from the pages of Egyptian history, so as to highlight the difference between when the people of the homeland came together and when they were divided, and how this affected the results of the two situations.
When we consider the battle of al-Tall al-Kabeer, Orabi and the army were defeated while the British forces were victorious, after a battle that lasted nearly 30 minutes! In the diary, while on his way to exile to the island of Ceylon, Orabi wrote that he was arrested before he could wear his military boots! This happened despite the success previously achieved when the British failed to enter “Kafr al-Dawar” due to the bravery of the Egyptian army. It turned out that the cause of the defeat was betrayal and lack of unity among all, so the enemy found those who provided them with information about loopholes in the army, which led to defeat and occupation.
On the other hand, there were continuous attempts by the occupation forces to dismantle the Egyptian unity during the 1919 revolution, but the Egyptians were not deceived, and their national movement reached its peak then. A historian said about it, “It was a popular revolution, heart and soul. Everyone participated, including farmers, workers, employees, women, men, Muslims, and Christians. At this point, the Egyptian movement was clearly evident.” Therefore, the revolution succeeded in obtaining its demands.
The unity of the people of the nation together offers them:
- Power: There is no power equal to that of human beings when they unite together to achieve something. Among the most prominent examples is India, which managed to liberate its land from the British occupation through the unity of its people together, without firing a single shot. Germany, as well, was able to rebuild the country after its destruction in World War II. Japan did likewise; despite being hit by an atomic bomb, it later became one of the world’s greatest powers. Therefore, we must realize this fact: “United, we stand. Scattered, we fall.” Let us heed the words of Martin Luther King, the American leader who spent his life fighting against apartheid in his country, “We must learn to live together as brothers, or perish together as fools.”
- Success: The saying goes, “No action is taken when solidarity is missing, and no failure is expected when there is unity.” Yes, the doors of success are wide open for those who realize together the meaning and values of their existence, and focus on their goals, in order to get to the top and make achievements. This is confirmed by the greats who have achieved tremendous successes and achievements, whether individually or collectively, such as the legend Helen Keller, who dazzled the world. She said, “ Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
- Speed: Working together helps get the work done faster, with higher mastery and unparalleled excellence. When each of us does what they are good at, the work will be done with less effort.
Acceptance of diversity and having the ability to live together lead to peace and progress in society.
Indeed, the talk about “Beautiful Egypt” is endless.
Head of the Coptic Orthodox Cultural Center
3 February 2021