2011 Democracy Award: Acceptance Speech of Zahraa Said

It is a great honor to accept the Award of Democracy on behalf of those courageous human beings that fought for freedom and democracy in Egypt.

Whether it was the thousands of Chinese students that were massacred in Tiananmen Square while fighting for their basic human rights of freedom and democracy…or the young Europeans that, in the very same year, were victorious in bringing down the Berlin wall. The struggle is the same. The freedom is the same.

The iconic image of the anonymous Chinese man courageously stopping a column of Chinese army tanks shall forever be engraved in the collective conscience of humanity.

This was reincarnated several years later in a similar unforgettable scene of another anonymous Egyptian young man stopping water canons on their way to crush the freedom of Egyptians protesting in Tahrir Square.

We are witnessing an avalanche of young Arabs fighting for the very same rights of their Chinese and European brothers and sisters before them.

Mohamed Bouazizi’s memory stands as a powerful symbol of an Arab phoenix of freedom. A spark that ignited the Tunisian revolution.

The winds of freedom and democracy swept across the crystallize so vividly in Tahrir Square of millions of Egyptians peacefully demanding their dignity and basic human rights.

On June 6th of last year Khaled Said was tortured and brutally murdered by the same dark and evil forces of tyranny that crushed the Chinese students in Tiananmen Square.

My brother Khaled is just one ring in an endless chain of human souls that transcend race, color, nationality, or religious beliefs.

This “Goddess of Democracy” was born in Tiananmen Square and now her spirit lives in Tahrir Square as well. Her spirit of liberty lives on.

She has become a universal symbol and a legacy for all honorable human beings fighting for their humanity. Fighting for their liberty and fighting for democratic values…for Mohamed Bouazizi, for Khaled Said, and for all Egyptian victims of torture, injustice and tyranny across the globe.

Their purified spirits dwell in her. Their eternal memory bestows upon her great universal values of human dignity and freedom everywhere.

Thank you.
Zahraa Said