Friday Prayers for Egypt: Universities

Flag Cross Quran

God,

If protesting has waned on the streets, it has waxed in the universities. Fueled first by some in their support for Morsi, they were joined by others in opposition to a law against protesting. Still others rallied simply because police entered the campus to put it all down.

A last group, presumably the largest and not protesting, just wants to study. Actions by the former make this difficult, whether peaceful or provocative, and perhaps even criminal.

God, the problems of Egypt are well known and offered to your sovereign will. But students are a unique group in confronting these problems. Young, they are without the responsibilities that hold others back from full scale dedication. Intelligent, they see the issues others disregard and imagine solutions. Idealistic, they believe they can make a difference and forswear compromise. Perhaps naive, they may lack wisdom to know if their chosen path of activism will yield positive results.

Bless them, God. These, even the last, are your gifts to them. Their energy, their creativity, their hope, and their single-mindedness are virtues which can serve the people. Their elders have different gifts, some of which must check youthful passion.

In this current confrontation, God, weigh well between the two. Give humility to all that these virtues not be pushed into ugliness. Youth becomes narcissism, intelligence pride, idealism fantasy, and naiveté exploitation.

These may even be traits they learn from their elders. Break this cycle, God, for every youth ages. Students become leaders. Now is still a decisive moment in Egypt’s transition, even if only the universities rage. Honor their passion, and hone it for good.

For this moment may or may not call for their particular gifts. To know, youth and elders would do well to collaborate. University is as good a place as any, perhaps better, to experiment.

And for those encumbered by the activism, give them patience. Give them room for their studies, and the respect of their peers. May their dedication remind all students of the privilege they have been given.

Some for the books, God, and some for the streets. Professors to shepherd the two groups alike. Bless the universities, God. May they prepare a generation that changes Egypt, now, and in the future.

Amen.

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