Lyrics of the song are adapted from Alaa Abd El-Fattah's words in the article Graffiti for Two, co-written with Ahmed Douma in Tora prison. The article was published in January 2014. The lyrics are subtitled in English on YouTube.
Alaa and Douma are still in prison today.
The speeches heard on the track: – Alaa Abd El-Fattah's father, Ahmed Seif-al-Islam, who was a human rights activist and lawyer. In the 1970s, Seif was a leader in the student movement. Seif was detained four times, twice during the Sadat era and twice during the Mubarak era. He died in August 2014 while his children Alaa Abd El-Fattah and Sanaa Seif were in prison. (Speech 2014) – Alaa Abdelfattah's sister, Sanaa Seif, who is relentlessy fighting for her brother to be released. (Speech 2022)
Alaa Abd El-Fattah
Alaa Abd El-Fattah is Egypt’s most prominent political prisoner. He rose to international prominence during the 2011 revolution. As an independent thinker who fuses politics and technology, Alaa’s voice came to symbolize much of what was fresh, inspiring and revolutionary. Alaa was imprisoned by every government ruling Egypt in his lifetime. He was imprisoned under the Mubarak regime, and again by the Supreme Council of Armed Forces that took over after Mubarak was ousted. He was detained during Morsi’s presidency, then arrested again by the transitional administration that took over after the 2013 coup. That time, Alaa was sentenced to 5 years in prison for organizing a demonstration. Alaa was released in 2019 after serving his term, then re-arrested 6 months later by the Sisi regime for sharing someone’s Facebook post about prison torture. He was held until December 2021, when he was sentenced to 5 more years in prison for 'spreading false news'.
Alaa's hunger & thirst strike
Alaa has been on hunger strike since April 2nd, 2022. As a dual citizen of Egypt and the UK, he demands his right to a consular visit from the British Embassy. After 7 months surviving on 100 calories a day, no consular access was granted. On November 1st, Alaa escalated his hunger strike to zero calories. Alaa stopped drinking water on November 6th, the first day of COP27. Alaa is determined to leave prison one way or another – either alive, or dead.
Follow on Instagram: @freedomforalaa
Lyrics: Alaa Abd El-Fattah Speeches: Ahmed Seif-al-Islam, Sanaa Seif Composing: Ramy Essam Electric Guitar: Samuli Kivelä Production: Ramy Essam, Samuli Kivelä Mixing and mastering: Samuli Kivelä Music video: Menna Elshishini, inspired by Shady Habash, for Shady Habash Special thanks to Iyad El-Baghdadi, Johan Carlberg Rev House Production 2022