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Dr Esam El-Erian…the steadfast fighter

One speech by him from the Rabaa al Adawiya platform was enough to spark the protestor's enthusiasm and keep them keen and determined, until the moment he was arrested on Wednesday morning, October 30, 2013.

The years of fighting and opposing injustice has left no sign on Dr Esam El-Erian, the 'Steadfast Fighter', except for the white beard which only adds to his steadfastness and determination. He has a history of always being honest in his fight against and voicing the truth about the most brutal dictatorships. His loyalty, consistency, his flashing the Rabaa hand signal to the cameras while being arrested and his most recent social networking post, moments before being arrested, all reinforce his belief that there will be no escaping fate and that the people will triumph.

Esam-Eddine Mohamed Hussein El-Erian, known more popularly as Dr Esam El-Erian, was born on April 28, 1954 in Nahiya, Imbaba centre in Giza. He is the vice chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party, assistant to the general secretary of the Egyptian Medical Syndicate and head of the Palestine Committee in the Arab Doctors Union.

He has always enjoyed volunteering for charity work to serve the people of his country. His love for public service developed further when he joined the Arab Doctors Union to support the people of the Islamic and Arab nations, especially in Palestine.

El-Erian earned several degrees. He graduated in 1977 with a bachelor's degree in medicine and surgery from Cairo University's, School of Medicine. He specialised in haematology and medical analyses. In 1986, he earned a master's degree in Pathology from Cairo University and in 1992, he received a bachelor's degree in Law from Cairo University's School of Law. In 1999 he went on to earn a bachelor's in Islamic Studies, with honours, from al-Azhar University, and later, in 2000, he earned a bachelor's in History from the School of Arts at Cairo University. During the same year, he earned his degree in Quranic recitation.

He is married with 4 children and 5 grandchildren and is extremely organised. Everyone who knows him knows how keen he is to make the most of his time. When he was previously imprisoned, he woke up early to read over 10 newspapers and magazines and would then revise the Quran he had memorised during his lengthy afternoon prayers. He would exercise, maximising his time by wearing headphones to listen to recitations of Quran and lectures. His lectures and classes would be tightly scheduled, leaving no room for small talk and he was the perfect model for not letting anything interfere with his daily schedule.

The 'Steadfast Fighter' was arrested five times during Hosni Mubarak's reign and has now been arrested by the coup's forces, who hope to restore the overthrown, corrupt, tyrannical regime. He was first arrested in 1981 and imprisoned until 1982, then an exceptional military trial was held and he was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment from 1995 to 2000 on charges of being associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.

El-Erian was also arrested on May 18, 2006 during protests supporting the Cairo judiciary and his imprisonment was extended numerous times until he was released on December 10, 2006. He was arrested again in July 2007 and released in October, then arrested again shortly before the Friday of Rage in January 2011. None of those arrests have ever affected El-Erian or his determination and commitment to the path of truth.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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