CAIRO: Giving a face to the martyrs of Egypt’s Jan. 25 revolution is the main goal of the founders of Lan Nansahom (We won’t forget them), who feel the victims have turned into faceless statistics.
“The martyrs have become numbers to the people — [but] there is a story behind each one, a family that is mourning,” said Omnia Khalil, one of the founders of the initiative.
Kicking off on the first anniversary of the January 25 uprising, Lan Nansahom is a database compiling all the names of those killed and injured while fighting for democracy.
The idea came about during the July 8 sit-in, during which demands centered on retrieving martyr’s rights and prosecuting those responsible for their death.
“We felt that there is no one defending the families of the martyrs and the injured,” said Khalil. With that in mind, she and six others got to work at the end of July.
Six months later, their work is still far from done.
“We want to have the profile of each martyr, with a picture, details about their death and a video featuring their family telling their stories,” said Khalil.
The initiative is also planning to celebrate the martyrs’ lives by visiting different neighborhoods every month for a commemoration in that area. “But that is our long-term plan,” said Khalil, pointing out that completing the database may take up to one year.
“We are coordinating and compiling information from the various bodies and databases to make sure there aren’t many groups doing the same thing,” she explained.
“It is not an easy task.”
The challenging process begins with verifying each name, be it a martyr or someone who was injured. “Some names are repeated as you’ll have the same person listed under different names, and others have been left out if they had the same name as someone else,” Khalil explained.
With ongoing clashes throughout the year, the initiative is inclusive to all those who were injured or lost their lives since the uprising began, including in the Maspero, Mohamed Mahmoud and Cabinet clashes, which took place in October, November and December, respectively.
A list of the martyrs’ names compiled to date can be found at http://lan-nansahom.org/