Sunday, February 20, 2011

Why didn’t I find the Tahrir I knew?

Last Friday the 18th of Feb was what was called Victory Friday. I was really eager to go back to the land of liberation. The place I consider was the nursery of our baby freedom. I was eager to see the faces I used to see around there everyday of the protests. I was eager to get involved again in this amazing culture that was present in Tahrir.

I can say that unfortunately, I was extremely disappointed. This was NOT the Tahrir I knew.

The Tahrir I knew was full of positive energy. The eagerness to do something for the wellbeing of the country. The endless determination that I have never ever witnessed in Egypt. But what I saw was a lot different.

One of the most important things I liked in Tahrir was the feeling of safety I felt inside the square due to various reasons; the large amount of security checkpoints, the feeling that everyone around me is here for the same reason I am so we were one.  But on Friday that wasn’t the case, the security was minimum at least so it was really easy for anyone to get in, and of course there was a whole new segment of people that didn’t exist in the square before.

What happened on Friday was what I like to call “هفلطة”. Or what a friend of mine called “مولد سيدي التحرير”. In my opinion the decision of doing a party inside the square was not the wisest decision.

I was actually happy about only two things of what happened on Friday. I was happy to hear such an amazing Goma’a preach by Dr. Yusuf Al-Karadawy and the second thing was that if we really called for any kind of protests no one would hesitate what so ever. People are now more encouraged and more willing to push that extra mile to get what they want.

One of the things I didn’t like was the absence of the decency in human interactions. Before, If you wanted to get out of Tahrir just walk behind a girl and you’ll be out of there in a second because everyone made space for girls to walk through, it was like a human torpedoes. Last Friday, I was there with my two sisters and it was disastrous, I had to push and push and push just to get out of the square. It took us about 30 minutes and a lot of punched people to get out of there.

I am with reassembling the people every Friday to keep asking for demands and regenerate the positive energy that was exquisitely expressed in the 18 days of the revolution. And THE REVOLUTION IS NOT OVER. MANY PARTS OF THE REGIME STILL STAND. WE SHOULD NOT GIVE UP EASILY.

I ask anyone who is responsible for organizing things in Tahrir or knows someone who does. Please deliver the message that it was a great initiative to celebrate a part of the victory in the place where it took place and I appreciate it. But please let’s not do it again..

I am sorry if my thoughts were not well organized that post. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Why people in Tahrir shouldn't go home?

In the past few days, a lot of my friends talked to me that a lot of their friends have given up on the cause and are saying that's enough. They say that people who are still protesting in Tahrir are just greedy and they keep on asking for more demands because they enjoy the stay or whatever.

Why do these people tend to say so? I have a lot of reasons but I am going to share a few of them:
  1. They didn't go to Tahrir. The NEW Tahrir. The one that is built on respect, democracy, dedication, commitment, determination, will, and emotional intelligence.
  2. The annoying feeling called, fear of change. Yes, a lot of people are indeed afraid of the change that might occur due to the revolution.
  3. A word that I hear a lot from my dad "tanbala" a.k.a. "kasal". They just feel tired because they had to go through two rough weeks, so they decided that they've exhausted enough out of their precious effort on the welfare of the country.
  4. Another reason I heard a lot; "الراجل نهب و شبع, ليه نجيب واحد يبدأ يسرق من الأول؟". That's LAME. There is no such thing as "نهب و شبع". These people don't say enough. Why didn't he stop at the first billion dollars? Why did he go for the rest 69? This can be traced back to fear of change.
Why am I with people staying in Tahrir?
  1. Of course, the most obvious reason is that the regime has to fall, and so far nothing happened.
  2. The blood of the martyrs is not something to be taken for granted. The regime has intentionally killed people like us just for them to stay in their seats, steel more money, and most importantly because the know that the second they leave the chair; they will be prosecuted.
  3. Before Jan 25th I had a theory that even if the regime changed that doesn't mean that change is what we will have in this country, because, change doesn't occur through the regime but through the people. I was gladly proven wrong. A point that I didn't think about is that, to have protests and people fighting to change the regime; that’s pure change. And it didn't stop at that I've seen in change inside Tahrir and this positivity was contagious enough to get out of Tahrir. For example, today was a day for cleaning all around Cairo, I can thank Tahrir for that.
  4. I don't think people in Tahrir should go home because, the revolution is NOT over. For the people who are saying that's enough for various reasons; a revolution is not speed dating. IT TAKES TIME. Why did you stay silent for the last 30 years and all of a sudden you want FAST change? It's a time+effort oriented process. Instead of b**ching about it; go and protest.
  5. One point that shouldn't be taken for granted is that every Egyptian now is feeling this sense of ownership to the country which something that we have been trained NOT TO feel for the past 30 years. We were educated and treated as if the country belongs to a dictator and his family.
Since the start of the revolution I've heard an enormous number of rumors, starting the amount of cars shooting fire on people, the robberies, the news that are extremely false. All that is fine with me. But, to say something about the most descent and honorable group of people living in Egypt now is unaccepted. PLEASE, DON'T SAY A WORD ABOUT THESE PEOPLE UNLESS YOU HAVE GONE TO TAHRIR AND YOU SAW WHAT YOU'RE SAYING WITH YOU OWN EYES. 

The worst one that I heard today was that when Wael Ghoniem went to Tahrir yesterday he asked people to stop protesting and go home. I leave the commenting to you. 

A friend of mine wrote something on Facebook that is worthy of reading

Best Regards, Someone who is deeply in love with Tahrir.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Why do foreigners protest?

Why do they? To answer that question we should ask ourselves; why do we protest?

Why did our youth head to Tahrir square on the 25th to protest? What was the trigger? I don’t want this post to be like any other. I don’t want YOU as a reader to close it after reading the first two paragraphs.

The idea of this post was inspired by a friend of mine; she’s half American. I asked her to give me a statement about what she thinks. “I personally went because every day I hear from people what an amazing experience it is going to Tahrir and standing with every diverse member of Egyptian society and coming together for a cause they all believe in. During these last few days, no one has cared what background anyone is and is standing strong because we all want a better future and a better outcome for the country we love so much. History is indeed happening right before our very eyes. And I would be an idiot not to step out of my building and try to witness it for myself. Citizens who have gone to Tahrir have accomplished SO MUCH since January 25th
– Seham Kafafi”

Another Romanian friend of mine said “Because I understand what freedom is and I value it. 

Because Egyptians started something extremely beautiful and surprising 2 weeks ago that made me love Egypt so much more, and made me hope they will have a free country, free of fear and tyranny. 
Because I am against dictatorship, and there should be NO WAY back now, and I am greatly disappointed to see that many Egyptians have lost the cause they had 13 days ago and are being influenced wrongfully by the government lies. 

So I wish I could create awareness about this. I wish I could show them that Romania was in the same situation with the constitution and with the lack of opposition, but it didn't even matter, no one went in this mistake of analyzing any damn law, people knew one good thing: down with Ceausescu!
The goal is simple and clear: dictatorship down! 

I wish that no one will be blinded by the fake promises. A dictator should not be trusted, no pacts should be made with the devil!
Egypt can make it, but has to be ready for CHANGE. And change is not easy. 
I am afraid that those who support Mubarak till September will make the after-dictatorship period even harder than it will be ---- but this is another story.
 I went to Tahrir to see the beautiful people that have their goal still clear. And see how they do it. And to show my support. And to get inspired. And to take the pain away that the other group gave me.
I love the people in Tahrir. I respect them greatly. I wish they can make it. They are heroes!! They are making history

What I noticed in Tahrir?
All kind of people wanting their freedom. There were people hurt and wounded. They were very well organized. Several checkpoints to enter the area. Separate for men and ladies. They had stones grouped in several places in case they'll be attacked again by thugs. They had the garbage collected somewhere. They had many banners against the regime and many funny ones related to the regime's lies. People eating koshary, making fun that it is KFC. 
People singing, dancing, getting married, and praying. Worried peo
People discussing what to do next.

Most of the people in Tahrir are people who lost their siblings, parents or friends in the protest and under Mubarak's regime. The people in Tahrir are not losers, and people who are against the protests shouldn't call them that.

People who are pro-democracy have found that Tahrir sq. is the most democratic place in Egypt now. I saw students, famous people and activists everywhere.

– Lavinia Dieac”

A few last words that I want to say that what's happening in Tahrir has affected people outside Tahrir. Two girls who live in my street decided to clean up the whole street while we were sleeping. That's the kind of changed that happened to the Egyptian community due to what's happening in Tahrir.

A few people are calling the people in Tahrir to go home. I am sorry but I strongly disagree. We still have a lot to accomplish and the Regime hasn't fully fallen yet. 

The people who are saying so, they haven't yet digested the idea of democracy and I am afraid to say that they are just a copy of the previous regime. It's the idea that I am right and you are not. There is no such thing.

Foreigners go to Tahrir and help in our protests because for many reasons including the ones I've wrote. Tahrir square is the most civilized place in Egypt now. If you want to experience something that's amazing; go to Tahrir and help out. 

Tahrir has become the beacon of civilization in Egypt; starting the freedom of opinion going through the feeling of total security, no robberies, no sexual harassment, and no discrimination. 

Again; Why do foreigners protest? Because they are seeing something for the very first time in Egypt, perhaps in the world that is astonishing enough to catch the world's eyes without any war or nuclear crisis included.   

Go to Tahrir.

I am going to post again, soon isA.

Watch this video