Al-Bawaba News,’ an institute and a newspaper at the service of the Egyptian people
Cairo – It was a dream I have had for years when I, along with a few like-minded fellows who could be counted on the fingers of one hand, had been confronting the forces of darkness, which were attiring in skin-deep religiosity behind a façade of religion, for several decades now.
My lifelong struggle that spanned over a course of more than thirty years, I have never lost my composure nor my moral compass even one day. My pen has never strayed right or left from the truth or swerved off the right path. I have used to see with my heart and think with the deep recesses of my mind, searching for my lost homeland that had been eventually found hidden under the ashes of love.
Thirty years or more of constant struggle during which I had paced up and down restlessly, trying to put my thoughts in order even when the forces of darkness took the helm of power in Egypt. Since day one, my decision was clear, that is, the confrontation was the only viable solution to Egypt’s plight. my motto was to live by the pen trying to make my voice heard and echoing in every street and alley as well as in every workplace and circle. It was such a litmus test to the patience of the restless struggler like me. Frankly, I rested assured only after our struggle has come to fruition by dislodging those ‘evil forces’ that stood for everything that engender backwardness, ignorance and pseudo-religion into an already-troubled nation.
Now I vividly remember our inspiring real-life story with Al-Bawaba, the inception of which was merely a recurring dream of mine that came true only three years ago. To me, Al-Bawaba was simply the culmination of our struggle. We started it at Mahmoud Basiony St., downtown Cairo in 1996, then Champillion St., passing through Hoda Shaarawy St., and 3rd Mosaddak St., and eventually we have settled in 57 Mosaddak St.
The long journey spanning over twenty years was the quest for my own NGO like Al-Bawaba. It was my idea and initiative! I wanted to build an independent, citizen and national research association and a newspaper that would be fending off destructive thought with cogent counterargument and equipping itself with overall awareness and free speech. These are the toolkit of the confrontation against forces of darkness and the hijackers of my homeland and agents of anarchy.
During my lifelong struggle, I had never lost faith in my willpower when I was opposed and attacked from every which way. I have always stood my ground, maintained my resolve and hope in the nobility of my cause. Even my close-minded acquaintances did not leave me to march towards my dream in peace; they used to push me back sometimes, and other times, call upon me to engage into side imaginary fights alongside them. The possibility of joining their lost causes was as far-fetched as preposterous conspiracy theory. From the onset, my goal—or let us say my just cause—was very crystal clear, that is, to reclaim my homeland, elevate my reason and materialize my dream.
We neither expect reward nor thanks, but only more love from our people
Veteran journalist and Parliamentarian, Dr. Abdel Rehim Ali, Editor-in-Chief of Al-Bawaba News
Now, as I am at the threshold of my fifty-fifth year of age and ‘Al-Bawaba News,’ an institute and a newspaper at the service of the Egyptian people, is at the threshold of its fourth anniversary, I am wondering: Do I not have the basic right of being a little bit proud of what I have achieved so far alongside my colleagues, and friends, my sisters and brothers, my daughters and sons, over the past few years since 1996 to date?!!
Al-Bawaba Institution was then just a small office run by three close friends. Now it has turned into a great edifice concerned about issues of the homeland and our Egyptian intrinsic noble values. Now as we are at the threshold of our fourth year, it is not at all an overstatement to say that we are full of hope and confidence in achieving distinct leadership and pioneership, while reposing all our confidence in God’s.
We have expanded the scope of our outreach as we are addressing the West. In France, under the name of “Center for Middle Eastern Studies,” we have established the first offshoot of Al-Bawaba institution abroad. We have also started translating the Arabic publications and researches of the Arab Center for Research and Studies (ACRS) into English and French. We have launched the English and French editions online of Al-Bawaba Arabic, the main publisher, reaching out to a broad set of new audience all around the globe.
This comes in line with our vision and mission to address the West, explain to westerners our just cause, and present our overriding concerns in a language they understand, after we have been fed up with talking about each other while not listening to one another.
Al-Bawaba is a dream come true in the right direction; that is my conviction no matter what haters would say or enviers would do. It is a timeless rule of life that while some may hate you and others will love you; and while some may envy you and feel jealous of you, some others will encourage you and feel proud of you. However, we as usual never—and will never—care about haters, or heed their words. Every day passes by our path becomes clearer than it has ever been before. The more we get hate, the more we achieve success. Whenever we achieve one success, another one looms over ahead of us. Newer chances pop up for our institution, and more goals and aspirations are reached every day. In fact, we owe all our success and excellence to our fellow Egyptians, to our homeland and our Arab/Islamic nation at large.
We know our way well; and we fear none in the love of our country except God. Our work is all dedicated to the common good of our fellow citizens, especially people from among the simple, ordinary, voiceless and less fortunate spectrum in the society.
We neither expect reward nor thanks, but only more love from our people whose love we always hold near and dear to our hearts. Their love is tantamount to ‘crowns on our heads,’ as the Egyptian proverb goes. Their love is what keeps us moving, from which we derive the ability to continue our struggle and give more. Happy return this year and every year to us all in Al-Bawaba, especially to my colleagues who shared in this success without whom our dream could have never become a reality. Let me congratulate you on the 4th anniversary of consecutive success with much love and abundant wishes of more goodness and prosperity to come.
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