As an Egyptian I've grown up passing day in and day out Masjid of Imam Al-Hussein, the grandson of the prophet Muhammad. I knew who he was and his position in Islam, i passed by the Mosque many times, maybe entered it once or twice. I knew that he had been killed, and that his head lay in that mosque. Why or how i never did care to find out.
About two years ago there was a lecture that i stepped into with a friend, the lecture was about the Battle of Karbala and Imam Hussein's role within it. I think that event was the domino that pushed the chain effect of me picking up books, reading and educating myself. What took place in Karbala is a humanitarian lesson for everyone, not just for Muslims. Imam Hussein symbolizes the stand against oppression, and the ultimate sacrifice as he stood against a tyrant, Yazid, Who despite knowing who Hussein was, did not hesitate to kill him and mutilate his body. I can honestly go on about this forever but it'll suffice to say that learning about this event had and will continue to have a huge impact on my life.