Nabil Farrag: Martyr, Commander and Hero


I would have never imagined that hostilities would rip this country apart, turning Egyptians against one another, and even Muslims against each other. Those who have chosen the path of violence and extremism are now pitted against those who refuse to let terror reign supreme in our land.

I never thought that names like “Raba’a al- Adaweya”, “al-Nahda” and “Kerdasa” would forever be embedded in our memories as sites of bloodshed and venues of horror. In one battle after another, the Muslim Brotherhood dug in, often summoning its friends from Hamas for help, asking the Palestinians to do battle with the very nation that fought for their cause in wars.

General Nabil Farrag

Nabil Farrag didn’t have the chance to celebrate his promotion with family and friends. He had just been appointed Major General in the police force and made assistant security director for Giza. A few days later, he gave his life fighting terrorists.

Known for exceptional valor, Farrag wasn’t the kind of commander who lead his force from a safe distance. He was at the head of the police force that marched out to do battle with terrorism. And now he is a hero, having given his life to protect children, women and the old.

He died by sniper fire in the first minutes of battle. His life was not wasted, but he will be missed by family and colleagues. The police force to which he belonged will not give in to terrorists. This is the legacy which Farrag left behind him, and which will be honored by his colleagues.

We are all in a battle now, not just our police force. Together, we will have to build a culture that would withstand and counter terrorism. We will do so through the four circles of our society.

The first circle, family, is responsible for deploying awareness and instilling understanding of terrorism, and the danger it poses to our lives and nation. We will need to explain to children what terrorism is all about, and why it is not condoned by our culture or religion.

The second circle, school, must start teaching terrorism as part of the curricula, giving examples, telling the history, showing the implications, and offering insight into counter-terrorism. The school books should also mention the state’s role in law enforcement and the need for this role to be respected by all citizens.

The third circle, political parties, must address the young through seminars and raise awareness of the issue, debunking the arguments of terrorists and offering practical ways of fighting terror.

The fourth circle, culture, must also rally to this cause. In cinema, theatre, books, and documentaries, we must shed light on terror and how to confront it. We already have a tradition of discussing this phenomenon in art, as in the films by Adel Imam, Elham Shahin, Yusra, Madiha Yosri and others.

In short, combating terrorism is not just the job of the police, but of all of us.

translated from Al Youm 7

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