Monday, March 28, 2011

A line in the sand

It's 2:00am and for the first time in my marriage i have left our bedroom to sleep on the couch; I am that angry. I put my head on my borrowed pillow in an atempt to sleep, and this sentence pop into my head: "you always draw a line in the sand". Used as an ingenious manipulation tool by a sociopath ex, who was indeed extremely intelligent and extremely right. I always do draw lines in the sand. On this side of the line lies my couch and on the other side lies our bed. A line in the sand.....

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

The emotional roller coaster: Egypt's uprise

Every single day of this revolution to date, is worthy of several posts. Several. But i was too busy being awakened as an Egyptian, to write. I was too busy following facebook and twitter, then too busy trying to figure out illegal ways to get internet access, then too busy trying to find a phone line, then too busy trying to protect my home and family, then too busy packing to go to my mothers, then too busy convincing my husband to let me go to Tahrir, and in between all this time i was too busy watching BBC, Arabiya, CNN, Al Hayat and dream and reading 3 newspapers daily, and reading articles on the washington post, the independent and every other reputable online news portal available. I was too busy to come to this corner of my world and write. I did not know what to write. I still am not sure i know what to write. So forgive how disconnected this will be, it will be as it is in my head.

Let me just say a few things here before i go on. I have been a disconnected human being. I did not read the papers prior to jan 26 2011. I was actively passive and alienated. Why? My answer is very logical to me: why get worked up over something i don't intend to get up and change? As selfish as that is, that was my reality and i was quite comfortable with it. Let us get something else out there; i am completely and entirely pro this revolution. Completely and entirely. No doubt, no argument, nothing.

i will try to break the experience of the past month into phases, or days, linked to emotions. I think that would make the most sense to me, as i have changed my emotional position many times amidst this "uprising". My emotional position, not my rational one.

Jan 25: i am an oblivious citizen who has seen somewhere on facebook that today something is going on. i know there will be protests, so i plan my day around it. I go to my doctor at 11am, she is right off gam3et el dowal, my husband takes me for safety reasons in his head. i finish, we get into the car, we stop by the gas station in gam3et el dowal, it is very very quiet. And then the gas station tells us they are closing, and we look down the road and see the protesters coming. Hundreds walking towards us, we get into the car and head in the opposite direction and find our way home.

Jan 26th: i am entranced by the coverage and the scene from the day before. I hear the stories of violence. I am angered. I am furious. I fear that this will be the last of it and that the people will go back into their homes. I start nagging my husband to join the streets, without much success. (note: my husband refused that i take part as i have asthma and a leg injury that would have made me quite a burden to him, and i consented in staying home willingly as i chose not to burden him with worrying about me)

Jan 27th: I am proven wrong. I am glued to facebook and cheering it on. I am glued to Al Jazeera (the most channel offering around the clock live coverage at the time). I am flipping between all afore mentioned news channels and i am transfixed and i learn how to access the internet through.... Romania..?

Jan 28th: I wake up to no mobile lines, no internet, no land line! I wake my husband up in panic, i drive over to best friend 5 minutes away, use her phone and camp there for the day watching TV in awe.... violence, live ammunition, people dropping dead, blood, cars running over protestors, live abductions, violence, violence, violence, army take to streets, jubilation, the peace before the storm for like 10 minutes, fire, looting, prisons breaking, neighborhood committees, hiding money and valuables around the house, people calling the TV screaming, weapons, neighborhood, water boiling on the stove, baseball bat in hand, pledge as self defense? husband in the street, gun shots, shouting, repeat, repeat, repeat, 6am meltdown, finally sleep. Somewhere in the middle there was a half ass speech from the then president that i recall nothing from. Was this when he fired the government?

Jan 29th: we abort ship and head to my mothers, where we spend even more time glued to the television if possible

Jan 29th - 30th - 31st, Feb 1st: We watch minister after minister take the screen while we hear gunshots in the background. we hear sporadic rumors that the army has orders to shoot (the one day i had finally convinced husband to go). We watch what seems like a lot of news, but is no news at all. I fear that we have reached stagnation. Shafik makes the infamous speech "3ala re2abty ye7salohom 7aga", referring to the safety of those in Tahrir. I watch Mubarak say that he wants to die on this land, that he will not run again, that he has done the best he could and that history will have the last word with him. I cry. I friggin cry over his speech. I believe that enough is done, he will leave, let him do one last good thing for the country. I abuse my last chance at believing that he really isnt all that bad.

Feb 2nd: Darkness. I watch 16 hours of a live battle between armed thugs and unarmed citizens. I watch, and the world watches, while no one stops it. We all watch as this is left to happen. A day before there were ministers all over TV, and a day after, but on that day there was only one thing happening: murder in broad daylight, with no one stopping it. Till the second i write this i cannot believe that this was left to happen. I do not care who caused it, the fact that it remained unstopped is a crime unlike any other, and it was intentional, and i wait to see who will be held responsible, and he better be hung.
I cry, i do not sleep, i sleep at 7am after the battle ends, i cry myself to sleep over the violation of my innocence and the death of those i am sure died that day, even before we got a count.

Feb 3rd: I watch and watch and watch for some explanation for the night before. Nothing. A feable apology with the excuse of "having no idea". I am even more sick to my stomach.

Feb 4th: I go to Tahrir, i throw such a huge tantrum that led me to Tahrir. And i saw, the chants from a distance, the signs, the humor, the civilized checkpoints, all walks of life. I always understood it, but now i get to see it.

Feb 6th: we go back to work - if you can call it that- and we try to do our part by working hard and do our part by going to Tahrir. Work by day Tahrir after work. The week of perseverance.

Feb 10th: at work, rumors rumors rumors. "He will step down", "Badrway said", "Shafik said", "my mother said". My boss tells whoever wants to go home to leave, while i stay with her till 5:30pm. I go home and sit infront of TV for another 5-6 hours, waiting. I watch "al bayan al awel", and realize that there is conflict between army and president. Build up build up build..... everyone i know in Tahrir (i wanted to watch the speech in a quiet environment, i was not about to miss the presidents stepping down speech!)... build up build up build up........ the worst speech ever given by anyone who ever had an audience. I remember looking at my husband afterwards, so what exactly did he SAY??

I fear the blood.

I pray... i pray that protesters hold themselves peaceful, and i curse a man so narcissistic that he would burn a nation to hell.

Feb 11th: proud, honorable victory..... was it really that easy? Euphoria, Tahrir sq. Dancing and singing to "watany habiby al watan el akbar". Fireworks, Egyptians dancing on the streets. jubilation in all its meaning of the word.

Feb 12th: tears, tears for those who died, tears for not being there the whole time, tears and tears and tears while the magnitude of all we have been put through as a nation sets in.

The next two weeks: the realization of the extent of the filth that this county was turned into. talk show after talk show after talk show. Blood donations, street cleanings, slums visits, how on earth was this country left to be so raped and mutilated?

Tomorrow: uncertainty..... but thats another post.