By Jessica Elsayed
GRANVILLE, Ohio — And today they vote.
More than 50 million voters will head today and tomorrow to the polls to vote for the first time in an Egyptian presidential election whose outcome is unknown.
Lines of men and women from all ages and walks of life have been lining up since the early morning and officials even needed to extend the voting time into the late evening in order to accommodate all of the voters.
It is a phenomena Egypt has never witnessed before, despite a history that stretches back to the time of the Pharaohs.
It would take books to talk about the candidates and what kind of thoughts and ideals the people who vote for each have.
The magnificent thing to see is how inclusive the process is and how it was all possible because of the help of God and the glorious peoples’ revolution that began early last year.
All across Facebook and Twitter feeds, young people are thanking the martyrs who died for Egypt to make this day possible.
While it is unclear what powers the new president may have, one thing is for sure, the people of Egypt have the most power.
Still, it is a bittersweet time, with several candidates who actively participated in the old regime and were silent to both its injustices and corruption.
Even today, the blood-soaked hands of security forces remain.
Despite the chaos that still occurs, today is an ideal to pause and take a step back to see the marvel that gathering and fighting for a common unified purpose can do.
No precise words can describe what an old man feels who never in his life thought he could choose, really choose, his president. It is a sense of joy that can only be felt and explains the long lines under the hot sun all across Egypt today.
Entire families and groups of friends voted for different people whom they saw fit for the position of president. Their choices, though sometimes different, show they are active citizens who are displaying for the entire world that Egypt – an Arab and Muslim-dominated country – is capable of doing incredible things.
They used to say Egypt wasn’t ready for democracy.
But now, no longer under military rule, there is hope – and it is not a blind, empty hope either – that Egypt’s youth will never back down from standing for justice regardless of the consequences.
The election results and what will happen next are a whole different story and will mean much to the entire region and to all of the Arab states.
What matters most, though, is a tale of struggle and overcoming, of an oppressed people who found the strength to rise up and seize both their country and destiny.