تضامنا مع مبادرة تسليم السلطة لمجلس الشعب في يناير، الآتي يأتي كمحاولة للجمع بين و اختصار البيانات الثلاث التي   http://www.facebook.com/jan25.2012  يمكن الحصول علييها من

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المجلس العسكري اثبت انه غير مؤهل للسياسة. لم يوف المجلس العسكري بوعدهبتسليمالسلطة للمدنيين خلال ٦ شهور و ازدادت احوالنا الاقتصادية و الامنية و المعنوية سؤا بسبب استخدام المجلس نفس المنهج القمعي القديم.ه

ما الذي اختلف الآن؟

من ناحية،التصعيد الآخير للموقف حيث زاد الطين بلة احداث ديسمبر حين اقحمت سياسات المجلس العسكري الجيش و خلقت بوادر ازمة حقيقة تتمثل في صدام الشعب مع الجيش و بهذا صُعد الموقف لتنقلب الآية و يصبح حامي الشعب و الثورة معاديه. و هنا وجب التأكيد ان هذه المبادرة لا تهدف الي اسقاط الجيش من قريب او من بعيد. بل بالعكس فهي في الاصل حماية لجيشنا العظيم من التخابطات السياسة فليس من صالح الوطن ان يصبح الجيش طرف في صراع سياسي

و من ناحية اخري، في الفترة الماضية باكملها منطق و خطاب المجلس العسكري كان يبدأ و ينتهي بفكرة ان هذا شعب ليس له صاحب. فاذا رضينا بان في الفترة السابقة لم يكن هناك الاجدر بتيمثيل الشعب الا المجلس، فقد تغير هذا بانتهاء انتخابات مجلس الشعب حيث يصبح لدينا برلمان ذات شرعية شعبية انتخابية. لذا فان تسليم السلطة للبرلمان ينسف منطق العسكر في عدم وجود سلطة مدنية منتخبة يسلم لها السلطة..

باختصار الثورة في حالة صدام مع المجلس العسكري بسياساته و ادارته للفترة الماضية و هناك قطاع واسع من الشعب لا يثق في المجلس لتولي الفترة القادمة. لذلك وجب رد فعل فوري و رؤية مختلفة للفترة الانتقالية.مبادرة تسليم السلطة لمجلس الشعب توافقية الطابع من حيث انها تجمع بين الشعب الذي اعلن ثقته في مجلس الشعب بانتخابه و بين الشعب الميداني الذي فقد الثقة في سياسات المجلس و يبحث عن بديل واقعي يأخذ في اعتباره التطورات الراهنة

آلمطلب

مطلبنا في ٢٥ يناير ان تكون السلطة للشعب بأن يستلم مجلس الشعب المنتخب السلطة كامله من المجلس العسكري و ان يعود الجيش الي دوره الطبيعي في حماية حدود البلاد. يتولي رئيس مجلس الشعب في هذه الحالة مهام رئيس الجمهورية في اولي جلساته التي سوف تعقد يوم الاثنين ٢٣ يناير ٢٠١٢ علي ان يقوم الرئيس المؤقت بالآتي:

١. الدعوة الي اجراء انتخابات رئاسية خلال ٦٠ يوم من تاريخ تسليمه السلطة و بذلك يكون عندنا رئيس رسمي في ابريل

٢. يقوم بتشكيل حكومة ائتلافية تمثل الشعب

٣. كتابة الدستور بدون تدخل او ضغوطات من المجلس العسكر

معسكر الثورة يحتاج للوحدة اذا اراد اسقاط العسكر و تفعيل الثورة و حتي ان كان لا يثق بعضنا بالسياسيين و لا البرلمان فالمؤكد ان جميعنا يعلم ان الضغط علي اي سلطة مدنية ايسر كثيرا من الحوار مع من ل ايعرف الا الرصاص و الدهس بالمدرعات  

اشكي لك همي

December 21, 2011

مصر يا اميمش عايزاني اشكيلك همي

هكذا كان الهتاف وهكذا اكتب.لكي يا مصر. لأسباب كثيرة لم اعتد الكتابة بالعربية. كنت اكتب بالانجليزية و لكني بعد الثورة لم اجد الانجليزية تفي بما في قلبي. حاولت بس نفسي اتسدت فبطلت. بكتب بالعربي الان و اطلب منك يا مصر تعذري ضعف اللغة و تشتيت الافكار و تسمحيلي اشاركك همك. لإني انا كمان مهمومة و تأثرا بهتاف الامس اشكي لكي هميه

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من كام يوم كنت افترش سرير ابي و امي مع اخواي حيث اعتدنا متابعة الاخبار و النقاشات. كنا نتابع احد البرامج و النفس مطفية لا يضيئها غير نار الغضب و الحسرة و الالم علي ما حدث من جيشك يا مصر العظيم. فجأة وجدت امي تلتفت الي و تقول وشك (پال )باهت اوي يا دينا. نظرت الي ظاهر نفسي وباطنها و صعقت عندما وجدتها تغلي من الغضب. من الحزن. من الكراهية. صعقت لاني في الطبيعي لا احمل هذا القدر من الكراهية فاني لا اخاف شيء بقدر ما اخافها. و وجدت خوفي يزيد عند تخيلي ما قد يشعر به الذين اصيبوا في الاحداث الاخيرة و ما قبلها من احداث. فكرت في فريدة و غادة و مدام خديجة. و في كل من ضرب و انتهكت كرامته بوحشية غيرمفهمومة. هل يشعرون بمثل هذه الكراهية او بوادئ الكراهية؟ مصيبة اذا كان الاجابة اه.. .ه

نمت و صحيت و صحيت و نمت و هذا الهاجس لا يفارقني. و ظللت احس احساس غريب. و كأيه مريضة مرض يلتهم روحي و نفسي.ه

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يظن البعض من اصدقائي و اقاربي اني ثورية الطابع و ساعات حتي لقبوني بالثورجية. و لكني دائما كنت اتحرج من قبول هذا اللقب لاني لا استحقه. عشان انا ماتضربتش و لا مرة و لا حتي اتقبض عليا و لحد دلوقتي لم يشئ القدر اني اعتصم..ثورجية ايه بقى ونبي؟ و مع ذلك كنت من جواية بفخر اوي بالصفة لاني مع الثورة قلبا و قالبا و اتمنيت لو يوم استحقه بجد. المهم جه يوم في الصيف اللي فات، جمعة من الجمعات مش فاكرة انهي، كنت في الميدان في نقاش مع احد الثورجية الحقيقيين (اظن) . لا اعرف الشاب معرفة حميمة و لكني التقيته عدة مرات في اجتماعات ما بعد الثورة عن الانشطة التنموية. النقاش كان يدور حول مدي وجوب رحيل المجلس العسكري و مدي فاعلية الانشطة التوعوية (في مقابل الانشطة الثورية) في الوقت الحالي. كنت اري فحاشة اعمال المجلس و لكني لاسباب عديدة كنت ضد الهتاف ضده. في مرحلة ما وجدت الشاب يتهمني بلباقة اني انا مش من الثوار اصلا و ان الثوار لهم تعريف اكاديمي لا ينطبق علي امثالي. هجومه لم يكن لشخصي و لم يكن مبني فقط علي موقفي تجاه المجلس ساعتها و لكن ايضا لاني لم اكن علي طول في الميدان (دفاعا عن نفسي، كنت ايامها منهمكة اكثر في نشاطات التوعية سواء في المحافظات او عشوائيات القاهرة).ازاد من حرجي الشاب و وجدتني انظر لنفسي كالمتطفلة علي الثورة و ازدادت بوادئ العقدة باني ادنى من شرف الثورة. بكيت في نفسي و علي نفسي و واستشعرت نغزة غضب (لا ادري من منممزوج بحزن. حزن عميق.لولا حبي ليكي يا مصر و للثورة و حبي للثوار مع اني لا اعرفهم شخصيا لكنت اخذت علي خاطري من الشاب و من الموقف.اشعرني بالإستقصاء والاستعلاء و كأن الثورة لم تلمسني كما لمستهربنا يسامحه

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ابكي الان و انا اتذكر و لا ادري ما جعلني اتذكر. و لكني اشكي. اشكي هميلكي يا مصر. امبارح في الطريق من مجلس القضاء الاعلي لنقابة الصحفيين استوقفني نقاش داير مع مؤيدي المجلس و معارضيه. حاولت ان اسمع قبل ان اتكلم و بدأت ادخل في النقاش بحذر فكان من الواضح ان الاغلبية مع بقاءالمجلس و الجو كان لحد ما مشحون. رأيت شابا يقف هو ايضا يستمع و تفائلت به خيرا عندما بدأ الاقتراب لقلب الحوار ليبدي هو الآخر رآيه. بدأ الحوار هادئا و في غاية الاحترام للطرف الاخر.ولكن بعد فترة ظننتها قصيرة من الوقت بدأ الشاب الانفعال. في وسط تصاعد حدة النقاش وقفت عابرة طريق، سيدة محترمة، بجواري. كان الشاب في ذروة الانفعال عندمااجاب عن سؤال قائلا “..البديل حكومة ثوريةفاستوقفته السيدة تسأل ماذا تقصد بحكومة ثوريةو لكنه لم يسمعها . رفعت صوتها و سألت مرة اخرى فسمعها الشاب و لكنه كان قد فاض به فقال و لا حاجة مقصدش حاجة انا غلطان و مابفهمش حاجةاو ما افاد بذلك مما ادى السيدة لتقول هي دي مشكلتكوا. الاستعلاء. انا بسأل سؤال افهم و انتوا بتستعلوا عليا“.مع اني كنت متفهمة سبب رد فعل الشاب الا انني حاولت ان احوار السيدة بداله. و لكنه بسبب اختناقه من الموقف و احساسه ان الجميع لا يريد النقاش الحقيقي بل نهش العظام و المعارضة للمعارضة كان يريد ان ينتزع نفسه و ينتزعني و البنتين اللتين كنت معهما من وسط هذا الحشد، فقال دينا من فضلك يلا. كان واضح انه منهك و مخنوق و انه دخل في هذه النقاشات مرارا و تكرارا الي ان فاض به فلم ارد ان ازيد عليه فذهبت. و لكني عاتبته لان هذه السيدة لم تكن طرف في الحوار الذي أدي الي انفعاله و لانها بدت كأنها حقا تريد ان تستفهم. انا نفسي مكنتش فاهمة هو يقصد ايه. و تعاطفت مع شعور السيدة بالاستعلاء لأني جربته قبل ذلك و كان مؤلم بالنسبه الي. اشك انه كان مؤلم لهذه السيدة لانها في الظاهر لم تبدو متعاطفة مع موقف الثوار و لكنها مع ذلك كانت تسعى الحوار. كل ما أدى اليه رد فعل الشاب هو انه رسخ عندها شعور ان الميدان يستعلى علي باقية الشعب لأنها قالت انتوا كداو لم تقل انت“. مشكلة التعميم، و الاستقطاب الناتج عنه، مشكلة يعاني منها الطرفان و يستغلها المجلس اسوأ استغلال.

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يا مصر. لا اريد ان احلل موقف و استنتج منه مشاكل و حلول. لست مؤهلة و ليس في نفس ان احاول الان. اريد فقط ان اشكيلك همي . اشكي جيشك يا مصر. أرأيت كيف ضرب نساء مصر و عراهم و كيف قتل شيوخك و كيف تهوانت ذقونك و خذلت بناتك؟ أرأيت كيف كذب قاداته..قادات جيش مصر العظيم. كذبوا. غصب عني اجد نفسي اكرهم.اجد الكره يلتهم نفسي و يطفيا كل ما فيها.اجدني ابكي علي نفسي و علي الاُنتهكوا و علي المُنتهكين و عليكي يا مصر. اخشى تسرب الكراهية في نفوسناجميعافي ضوءحالة الشك و الاستقطاب التي نعيشها الان بفعل فاعل. احاول ان لا اعمم و ان اري الجيش كأفراد مع انه مؤسسة. بحاول ان لا احصر جميع الافراد في شخص المنتهكين منهم. اكيد في منهم عنده انسانية. اكيد مش كلهم زي الحيوانات اللي شفناهم في الڤيديوهات.ه.

اكيد..صح؟

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حاسة ان بوادئ كُرهي ليهم شوهلي روحي.مش عايزة اكره الجيش بس غصب عني. هل هما كمان بيكرهونا؟اكيد اللي عملوا كدا بيكرهونا. ايه تاني يخلي في الغل دا كله ما بينهم و ما بين ناس مايعرفاهاش؟بس حتي لو كارهنا.ازاي عملوا كدا؟ و ازاي فيه ناس بتدافع عن اللي عملوه؟ الناس دي كمان بتكرهنا؟ هو الكره يعمل كدا؟ جايز شوهلهم هما كمان روحهم زي ما انا حاسه انه بيشوه روحي؟ هل انا ممكن في يوم يوصلني كرهي لدرجة اني افقد انسانيتي و اعمل حاجة عمري ما كنت اعملها؟هو ازاي الواحد يفقد انسانيته اصلا؟ ازاي جيشك يا مصر فقد انسانيته. اديني قولت جيشك تاني و عممت. طب و ايه الحل..ه

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مصر يا اميانا خايفة. خايفة اخسر مصري عشان كرهته. خايفة اخسر نفسي و غيري يخسر نفسه و يبرر اللي عمره ما كان بيبرره. مصر يا امي.مخلصش الكلام بس النفس مكسورة.نفسي اللي انكسر يتصلح.نفسي روح التحريرالحلوة الطيبة اللي علمتنا ازاي نبقي مصريين بحق ترجع. نفسي ترجع..ه

يا رب احمي نفوسنا من مرض الكره و طهر نفوس عساكرنا منه.

Some Egyptians doubt, some Egyptians wonder. Some Egyptians have faith.

On Wednesday the 27th of July, about ten days ago, Otobees el Horreya initiative launched its first project in Banisuef. The initiative consists of young Egyptians from different governorates, independent of any political party, pressure group or movement. The aim is to raise civil and political awareness by way of initiating discussion with people on the street. Unlike the lecture or seminar approach, this approach does not assume the people in front of us are ignorant of the information we seek to deliver. Rather, we begin by asking their opinion about terms and phrases that are rapidly becoming part of our everyday vocabulary: what is democracy? Pluralism? Constitution? What are the three branches of government? And what is the difference between Local Councils and People’s Assembly? We right any glaring wrongs and otherwise engage in unperturbed conversation. Both ends of the conversation are then constantly switching roles, being receivers at times and deliverers at others.

Creating dialogue is thus both a means and an end.

Another brilliant point about the initiative is that it creates conversation between governorates. I am a 23-year-old Cairene woman. Prior to the revolution, I was mainly a proud Maadian. During the revolution, I learned what it means to be Egyptian in Tahrir. About a month ago, in a conference in Minya, I learned more and, last week in Banisuef, I learned still some more.

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I stayed three of our four days in Banisuef because I had to go a Mansoura conference on the last day. Ashraf and I were the only people from Cairo, the rest of the group were locals. Ashraf is the one who started it all, the initiative was his brainchild and he worked his butt off for six months to see it through. We were a total of 20 volunteers or so. The first day we set up our tent in Banisuef the city, the capital of Banisuef the governorate. The second day in a markaz called al-fashn and the third in a village called ninna.

We often hear horror stories about el se3eed, or Upper Egypt. About how rigid and uncompromising they could be, about the low level of literacy, the poverty, the hardheaded religious divides. We often also seem to be under the impression that the spirit of the revolution did not resonate with people of the se3eed.

Since I do not wish to replace one stereotype with another, I will not generalize. I will only share my experience as is. Only one perspective. Doesn’t matter if it is a majority or a minority perspective, only matters that it exists.

My experience in Banisuef defied the typical portrayal of el se3eed. The first day we began working, I remember most of us were anxious. I, for one, worried people would be exasperated by our efforts as a fruit of the revolutionary seed. Sure enough as the guys were setting up the tent in el zera3yeen square, a woman walked between them and started cursing at the people for disrupting the country’s stability, el-istiqrar. Seeing how this was Thursday the 28th, one night before the 29th Tahrir “Islamic” millioniya, we realized that with our tent, our uniform shirts, and the very fact that we were in a main square, she thought we were setting up for a parallel sit-in in Banisue. Despite the slightly discouraging beginning, the numbers swelled around the tent. Most of the volunteers were college students, but we also had working individuals and high-school students.

In our feedback session the next day, someone was recounting that a passerby glared at the tent’s citizens and blurted idle bums! to which Mervet, one of the toughest funniest and awesomest women I’ve ever met responded with a “nope I have a job. Two in fact. I’m married too and am five months pregnant”.  She also happened to believe in the cause. She did all the work that the rest of us did, no excuses or exceptions. She came on all three days, took long bumpy bus rides to remote areas, stayed for 5 or 6 hours straight talking with people, filling questionnaires and distributing handouts without any breaks.

Mervet and most of the volunteers were inspirational in their attitude. From the other end as well, people were responding and overall they constructively engaged us. Of course, there were those who opposed. But they were generally a minority and we had headed out expecting a much higher percentage of rejection.  Interestingly enough, I found that the loudest categorical rejections to our cause came from the city and decreased the further away we got from the city and disappeared altogether in the village. In the city I found people who would throw a mean remark and walk away without even attempting to listen and encountered none of those in markaz or village. In the markaz, there were those who attacked the purpose of our efforts, but they would wait and talk to us about what was important to them and it would then become our job to link the two together. In the village, I did not hear anyone object to our being there.

Another interesting pattern was the different priorities of each location and the different ways of expressing them. In the city, discussions inevitably found their way to Tahrir and the revolution. Problems struck me as more abstract and theoretical. Accounts were also more contradictory in the city. For example, there were those who would say that the security problem has become unbearable, that they couldn’t walk the streets anymore (although I hate to be a smart ass, I can’t help but point out that the people I met who made that contention were women walking alone in the streets at 10 and 11 pm). Then there others who said that security for them at least wasn’t an issue at all. Then there were others who said that security was an issue but directed their blame at the police instead of Tahrir. Priority in the city then seemed to be security.

In the markaz, however, they complained about the rise in prices and basic food-shelter problems. Everyone agreed almost word for word on the same issue of prices and low food quality and quantity. They were also very vocal about it. To the point that we had to spend at least a 7 minute prelude listening to them expounding on their problems before relating it to issues like democracy and why it matters, the role of the state, and elections.

Finally, in the village, in the village, unlike in the relatively better off markaz, people did not readily complain . They listened more than they talked. When you asked them if they were happy with their state, they would smile and say elhamdullah. Even when you specifically name a problem like rising prices, they would assent that it is a problem but wouldn’t necessarily spill their hearts out like the people of the markaz and the city. They struck me as very proud people, particularly the women.

I remember the green-eyed tomato-vender with deep lines of age and wisdom, I remember her hoarse voice and warm smile and her vague mistrust of the camera Ashraf was walking around with. She treated us to meshsh (sharp old cheese), tomatoes, 2aring (orange peels), bitaw (dry crispy bread folded like large pizza slices) and an overly sweetened cup of tea. I remember how when her husband came, he extended his hand and shook mine without hesitating for a second about whether hand-shaking was haram or halal. And how they both teamed up and teased us about our city habits.  I remember how when we first approached her and asked “what do you think about democracy” and she replied with four magic words that we rarely ever hear in Egypt: I do not know. From my short excursion, the village was the only place where the person similingly, honestly and unabashedly said I don’t know what you’re talking about to say my opinion about it. And she readily listened to what we had to say. Usually, we Egyptians find it very hard to admit that we don’t know something and we always have something to say about everything no matter how little we know about it. A rather unpleasant habit I have to say that I am constantly trying to purge myself of. The good-natured se3eedy woman instinctively did what we, or I at least, sometimes find hard to do.

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I am not saying that my experience is representative of all the se3eed. In fact, if you were to ask other volunteers from our team, they would probably recount different experiences, that partly overlaps with mine and partly doesn’t. To me the point is not whether we all have positive experiences in engaging the se3eed or any other place in Egypt, Cairo included. It is whether anyone did.

More importantly, I am definitely not saying that by going to the one village, markaz or city once that we left an permanent mark. Chances are, we did not. But I know it left a mark on me and my teammates. Last week was merely a pilot project and we need to go back time and again. Not just now, but always. Yes there is a lot of work to be done and yes it  will be extremely hard. But it is work that has to be done. No way around it other than ploughing our way through it. Six months have gone by since the 25th and the question that haunted us all from the beginning still remains: are we going to make it?

Some Egyptians doubt, some Egyptians wonder. Some Egyptians have faith.

By: Ahmed Yehia

My story was on the 28th of January “The Day of Anger.” What I experienced and what I saw on this day, I will never forget my whole life. The cruelty of the police will never be forgotten. I will forgive, but I will never forget.

On the 28th of January, my father, my little brother and I were planning to go the demonstrations after the prayer. My father told me that people in Maadi were going to meet at “Al Fatah” mosque on Road Nine. On my way to road Nine I was really excited, as it was my first time to participate in a demonstration. I did not know then that this was a revolution that was going to change Egypt and me. I was shocked and kind of depressed when I went to road Nine. There was no one there. The streets were empty like any normal day. I asked my father “what was going on”, “where are all the people.” He said he did not know. All he knew was that a message came to him the day before telling him about the meeting point.

On my way back to home I was frustrated that we were not going to Tahrir. In this moment my doubts that Maadi would never participate in a demonstration came true. So we went back to my grandmother’s home, which is in the same building as ours. As we were sitting, talking about how disappointed we then felt, all of a sudden we started hearing a very strong, loud, voice Al Shaab yoreed eskat el nezam, “the people demand the removal of the regime,” and a lot of other slogans. We ran to the window to see what was happening. We found thousands of people demonstrating. We could not believe that the demonstration was passing under our home. At that moment, I lost control over myself. I was full of energy and I could not stand watching anymore. I blurted out that I was going to join. My grandmother and uncle kept saying “no Ahmed, do not go it is too dangerous.” Actually, I did not care what they said. I did not even answer. I only cared about the demonstrations and just the demonstrations. My mother was not with us at my grandmother’s, so she did not know that I went.  As I was leaving the room, my father told me “go Ahmed you will be beaten up, but go.” So I did go and I did not believe what I was doing. I was scared, but at the same time I was still moving towards the demonstrations.

As I was moving towards the demonstrations people at my street were looking at me strangely, like I was hero or something. Finally, I joined the demonstrations, and I felt something that I cannot even express. It was a mix between fear, happiness, excitement, and most of all patriotism. As I was walking along the protestors, the feeling of fear began to dissipate. The thrill in the voice of the protestors was all I could feel. In the beginning I did not chant with the people. I was in shock. I could not believe that I was actually in a demonstration and, more importantly, I had gone there alone. At the same time, not for a second did I feel alone. After I walked for two or three minutes, I started crying out slogans at the top of my lungs.

As I was walking, I saw a friend of mine standing watching the protestors. I think he was afraid, but when he saw me he joined in and we started walking together. I asked him if he knew where are we walking to, but he did not know. Actually, I did not care. Neither of us knew that we were walking to Tahrir Square. A more than a 10 km walk. Eventually, through the excitement of protesting, we got separated.

A little while later, I bumped into a person that I never thought I would see. I bumped into my father. I was absolutely shocked when I saw him, because I had just left him at my grandmother’s. He explained that after I had headed out, he followed me right after. I was glad that I had met my father, but at the same time, it was a slightly awkward moment to be with him in this situation.

At any rate, that day was an amazing day. The demonstrations were peaceful and all people helped each other. As we passed them, people in buildings started to come down and join us. The women threw water bottles to us from the windows. We would throw our bottles up empty, and they would throw back down full. I was really proud of my country and myself at this moment. I have never seen people so peaceful and helpful to each other. There was no difference between men and women, rich and poor, Muslim and Christian. We were all one hand aiming for one thing “the removal of this corrupted regime.” On our way we all stopped to pray in the streets. It was one of the happiest days of my life, if not the happiest. That was before we arrived at Tahrir. The situation changed 100 percent.

We never actually made it to Tahrir. We only reached the street leading to it, “EL Qasr El Einy”. The sky was a bit smoggy and people were no longer smiling. A cloud descended on people’s faces turning their beaming smiles into frightened scowls. The atmosphere entirely changed. My father and I did not know what was happening. People were swarming towards us. We could see at the end of the street state security vehicles and troops. We could see that they were shooting the people with tear gas bombs. Where we were standing, however, the effect of the gas bombs was not as intense. As we were getting closer to the troops, the smoke increased and the view became foggier. It was hard to breath. People started giving us Pepsi. They told us it decreased the tear-gas effects.

We kept moving until we found ourselves near the front lines, near the police troops. They were not hitting hard yet. We were chanting  “Selmya” “Peaceful” and singing patriotic songs. There was no cursing. I swear to god I saw only two people throughout the march attempt to throw rocks at the police and, even then, the other protestors would turn against them and immediately expel them out of our peaceful lines chanting “peaceful, peaceful” so as to remind them of the nature of our march.

It was amazing how civilized, aware, peaceful and responsible the people were.

All of a sudden the police escalated their ruthless attacks on us with the tear bombs, as if we are animals. Shortly after, they started moving in on us. The number of bombs that were shot was huge, and there was no reasonable reason to justify such a brutal attack. The people started running like we were under attack from Israelis.

Eventually, the disarray of people running for their lives separated my father and me. I saw my dad being pushed away from me and I tried sticking to him, but it was impossible because of all the people pushing. I was scared he would trip and fall because if he did he would most probably die from being trampled on by the frantic demonstrators or worse, he would get caught by the police. I felt terrible seeing my dad pushed away from me. I felt helpless. I felt scared. I don’t remember ever being that scared for my father’s life.

I stood rooted to the spot, desperately trying to find my father when the troops began moving in. Suddenly, I felt a hand on my back and, without a word, my father and I were running for our lives. I could barely see, breathe and much less walk or run. I was falling behind, rapidly losing consciousness, and had to grab my father’s shirt to stop him.He wouldn’t stop. He couldn’t. Instead, he dragged me behind him.

In our desperation we entered a building to find shelter. An old man standing on the first floor ushered us into his house. We went in without thinking and over the course of twenty minutes, we rediscovered the kindness of the Egyptian people. They gave us coke, onion and vinegar to help us recover from the attack. They talked to us to relieve our sense of panic and fear. We even found out that we were relatives. When it was time to leave, I felt sorry for leaving and to this day I regret not staying. But my father was exhausted and he wouldn’t have left me behind. Also, we had no way of contacting our family all day long and they must have been worried sick.

I will never forget that day, nor will I forget these people – the good from them and the brutal. This day and this revolution truly changed me. Now I know that nothing is impossible, and I really mean it. Now I know that I can never again be afraid to express myself. Now I know what true anger is, and what absolute happiness is. Now I know what it means to really love my country, to feel protective of it. I was never into politics before the revolution. I knew that there was corruption in the country, but that was all. I never gave it a second thought. I never cared about what the government did or did not do. But now I am trying to be as aware of what is happening as I possibly can. I now follow the news and hope to play an active role in increasing awareness by joining one of the many initiatives that popped out recently.

There is more to my story but alas I ran out of space. Perhaps it can be another story for another time. In a nutshell, I still cannot believe that I actually participated in a revolution. Just saying the word revolution gives me the chills. The Egypt that I knew in those eighteen days proved what it is capable of. And it deserves even more. The revolution had not yet succeeded in getting all it had asked for, but I am optimistic that it will and that one day we would be able to live in a truly democratic country.

Ahmed Yehia

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