Photo: Asma al-Beltaji
One of the last things Asmaa said was: "Persist, victory will come soon. Do not leave the revolution to the army." This was Asmaa Al-Beltaji's commandment the moment she was murdered, sources close to her say.
She was the daughter of the Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Al-Beltaji. Asmaa stood next to her mother to aid victims at Rabea Al Adaweya square in Cairo during the army's operation to disperse the sit-in there by force last Wednesday.
Due to her young age Asmaa, who was 17-years old, accompanied her mother. But her attitude and dreams reflected maturity. She continued to aid the injured until a treacherous bullet killed her.
Minutes before 10.30 Cairo time (8.30 GMT) on Wednesday morning, 14 August, Asmaa fell next to Rabea Al Adawiya podium when a sniper shot her in the chest and the back. This led to her death within a few minutes.
French features and Egyptian mind Asmaa had angelic features. She had simple features or "French quiet" features as her friends had always told her. Her heart and mind were a hundred percent Egyptian. She showed revolutionary, intellectual maturity in spite of her young age. She participated in all demonstrations since the revolution of January 2011, whether organised by the Brotherhood or not.
Ethar Yousef, Asmaa's best friend remembers the "Baby of Rabaa Al Adawiya," and said to the Anadolu news agency that "Asmaa has encouraged me to always participate in the demonstrations even if they did not involve the Muslim Brotherhood because she believed the real danger is the return of military rule. Asmaa participated in the demonstration of Mohamed Mahmoud in Cairo in December 2011, and treated the wounded and injured."
The Brotherhood refused to participate in the demonstrations against the ruling junta at the time, and described those who participated in the demonstrations as "thugs."
Ethar explained: "Asmaa convinced me to participate in those events and told me it is important to stand against the return of the military, even if the Muslim Brotherhood did not do so."
Asmaa, a senior high school student with a science major refused parliamentary elections under the supervision of the military council. Asmaa did not join the sit-in at Rabea Al Adawiya on June 28 because her main goal was to resist the rule of the military and not the return of President Mohamed Morsi. Therefore, she joined the sit- in when General Abdel Fattah Al Sisi announced the coup against Morsi on July 3rd. She did not leave the square for one day. She had the Quran with her at all times and from time to time she used to throw herself into her father's arms, like a small kitten, for moral support her friend Ethar describes.
Many political forces, despite their different orientations, mourned Asmaa. The socialist leader Jihan Shaaban said about her "she was always present with us and was in the events of Mohamed Mahmoud at the centre of socialist studies with my daughter and girls their age to help the wounded and the demonstrators."
Revolutionary and Hopeful Ethar describes the last hours before Asmaa's assassination and says: "She called me at the time of the dawn prayer to wake me up to perform the prayer. I asked her to return home and she told me she cannot miss the moment the army disperse the protestors so leave the matter to God."
Asmaa was active. The last thing she wrote on her Facebook page was: "They killed us over night while in our prayers while they are the humiliated and fewer in number. So call God's servants to come in numbers as the sea waves to support us."
Her diary includes words that reflect her personality. She wrote: "Lord, let me be one of those who grant smiles to people, who weave threads of hope, be kind to the weak and supportive of orphans, who light candles in desolated roads, who ponder cosmic horizons and grow certainty, revolt in the face of injustice, whose hearts are always hopeful of your kindness."
About Asmaa Shehata, a protester says: "The last time I saw Asmaa was an hour before her martyrdom. She collected and broke bricks and I moved the pieces. Then we reorganised the tasks and Asmaa went to check on the wounded."
Sarah Sweilem, a friend of Asmaa's, says that "Asmaa fell next to her mother covered in blood. The doctors tried to reassure her mother who did not believe what happened to her daughter. Asmaa is the only daughter among 3 brothers. Meanwhile doctors summoned Dr Al-Beltaji and informed him of her murder."
Asmaa's wedding Witnesses say that Dr. El Beltagi, Asmaa's father, told his wife that his dream came true and that "a night before she was murdered he saw Asmaa in a wedding dress and asked her: Is your wedding today? And she answered: Yes, in the afternoon".
Asmaa who dreamed to study at the medical school and join the activities of the Global Relief, had encouraged her father to join the Freedom Flotilla journey on the Turkish Mavi Marmara ship which was attacked by Israel in the Mediterranean. Her friends say she hoped to accompany her father in the trip, despite her young age.
In spite of the strong connection between Asmaa and her father, he was unable to attend her last farewell where her funeral was performed from As Salam Mosque in Nasr City, Cairo, amid hundreds who joined the funeral and bid her farewell. Her brother Ammar Al-Beltaji led her funeral prayer while her mother chanted in a severe state of fatigue, "Free revolutionaries we shall continue the journey." She called everyone to resist.
At the same time a number of activists and friends of Asmaa launched pages through social media websites to commemorate her while others revealed their intention to perform Umrah on behalf of Asmaa. A group of Palestinians performed the funeral prayer in Absentia in Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday.
17 year old Asma Beltaji was the beloved daughter of Mohamed Beltaji, one of Egypt's first ever democratically elected leaders.
Below is the Letter from Dr Mohamed Beltaji to his daughter :
My beloved daughter and dignified teacher Asma al-Beltaji; I do not say goodbye to you; I say tomorrow we shall meet again.
You have lived with your head held high, rebellious against tyranny and shackles and loving freedom. You have lived as a silent seeker of new horizons to rebuild this nation to assume its place among civilizations.
You never occupied yourself with what preoccupies those of your age. Even though traditional studies failed to fulfil your aspirations and interest; you have always been the first in your class.
I have not had enough of your precious company in this short life, especially that my time did not allow me to enjoy your companionship. The last time we sat together at Rabaa Al Adawiya square you asked me "even when you are with us you are busy" and I told you "it seems that this life will not be enough to enjoy each other's company so I pray to God that we enjoy our companionship in paradise."
Two nights before you were murdered I saw you in my dream in a white wedding dress and you were an icon of beauty. When you lay next to me I asked you "Is it your wedding night?" You answered, "It is in the noon not the evening". When they told me you were murdered on Wednesday afternoon I understood what you meant and I knew God had accepted your soul as a martyr. You strengthened my belief that we are on the truth and our enemy is on falsehood.
It caused me severe pain not to be at your last farewell and see you for the last time; not to kiss your forehead; and not be honoured to lead your funeral prayer. I swear to God, my darling I was not afraid for my life or from an unjust prison, but I wanted to carry the message you scarified your soul for; to complete the revolution, to win and achieve its objectives.
Your soul has been elevated with your head held high resisting the tyrants. The treacherous bullets have hit you in the chest. What spectacularly determined and pure soul. I am confident that you were honest to God and He has chosen you among us to honour you with sacrifice.
Finally, my beloved daughter and dignified teacher:
I do not say goodbye, but I say farewell. We shall meet soon with our beloved Prophet and his companions in Heaven where our wish to enjoy each other's company and our loved ones' company will come true.
This video shows how Asmaa El Beltagi was assassinated. Note the man holding the yellow bag. We believe he pointed Asmaa out for the snipers.
Aug 20, 2013Read the full article...