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A year ago I felt a moment of divine inspiration and pure love which made me decide to pause everything I was doing and devote the next years of my life to work alongside my best friends Thomas, Matt and Derin on developing Yes Theory to become a driving force for goodness and love in a world of increasing hatred and fear.
Our idea was simple: four friends from four different countries — Egypt, Turkey, Sweden and the USA — going around the world creating new experiences to say yes to. It was an experiment to get out of our comfort zone and do things that people around us said were not possible. In November, after the terror attack claimed by ISIS in Paris, we felt a duty to share an even bigger message: in desperate times, it is more important than ever to stay strong and to stay together.
We chose love over fear.
Three months ago, I moved to Los Angeles to pursue my dreams of launching Yes Theory and remember feeling terrified that Donald Trump might very well be the next president of this country. And I watched helplessly as the media’s obsession with him continued contributing to his rise. After watching the outstanding speech Barrack Obama gave at the DNC, I realized that I should never be scared.
I can’t give Trump the very thing he wants: my fear.
I am extremely privileged to be living in a free country that allows me to pursue my passions and chase my dreams. Meanwhile young men and women in Egypt, my home country, are suffering from constant harassment to their basic human rights and freedoms. All of the dreams and aspirations we had for Egypt after the revolution were shattered by a regime that threw anyone who disagreed with it in prison. That’s why I’ve made it my duty to one day be in a position that allows me to provide a meaningful positive change for the people of my country. And that’s not at all because I think of myself as some sort of hero who will save the day. I believe that it is my responsibility to do so. I lost friends throughout the revolution and keeping the dream they died for alive is the least I can do to honor them. And the least I can do for myself in order to live the fulfilling life I constantly dream about.
I probably shouldn’t even be publishing this because I could land in a decent amount of trouble if my views ever fell under my government’s radar. Living under fear because I expressed my opinion publicly absolutely sucks. This fear is what living under an authoritarian regime feels like.
This is exactly the point I am trying to make to my American friends here. And please don’t feel bad for me, I wasn’t trying to get your sympathy. I simply want you to do something about your very own demagogue who is becoming more hateful and popular every single day. And don’t blame the people for his popularity. People don’t hate because they are innately bad or evil. People hate because they are ignorant or misinformed, and that means when you educate people and make them more informed, hate and fear won’t sell anymore and people like trump won’t dare to rise.
My American friends, you are lucky to enjoy the kind freedom that you have and I trust that you will vote for the candidate who will help you keep it.
Please choose love over fear. Always.
About the author: Ammar Kandil is a member of WeUnify and the Co-Founder of Yes Theory. He is 22 years old and was born and raised in Egypt. He dreams to one day be the youngest Egyptian to run for presidency.
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