Friday Prayers for Egypt: State and Men

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Two of Egypt’s leading statesmen passed away this week, both in their 90s, one day apart. Have mercy on Boutros Boutros-Ghali, former general-secretary of the UN, and Mohamed Hassanein Heikal, the leading journalist of his era. May they rest in peace.

As Egypt honors their memory, may she raise up replacements. Help this generation of politicians, businessmen, and cultural elite to stand on their shoulders and carry the nation forward.

But God, help them first to define well the proper relationship between state and men, to make it possible. Help Egypt to answer: Who serves whom?

For this week also there are people in detention who have not faced trial for nearly two years. There are public figures arrested over offensive words. There are civil society organizations threatened with closure. There are suspicions of police brutality, and officers acquitted in cases of torture.

God, resolve each question according to its merits. Bear justice both for victim and accused. But allow no soul to be sacrificed for a construct; permit no reputation to be marred for a collective.

Honor all, person and people. Build institutions, society and state. Let them work together in harmony, each drawing strength from the other.

For if not, few will be able to rise to the level of a previous generation. Bless Egypt with a working state; bless her with developed men.

And then, call forth the statesmen. May they lead Egypt toward peace.



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