Category Archives: Arab Spring

The Fading Art of Revolution

Inhale

Exhale

Inhale

Exhale

“Breathe in life and breathe out distortion. Breathe out violence, blood, and pain. Breathe out flashbacks that are prone to destroy you.” I whisper to myself as I struggle to move from bed.

7 years have passed in an eye blink, however, I can no longer touch the euphoria I once intertwined with in Tahrir square. Those who struggle with depression are aware of dissociation. You space out suddenly, abandon your body, and get lost in time and space. Similar to an unpleasant astral projection experience.

I never thought that I would crave dissociating from the revolution! I wonder if I can hew my heart and my brain, and scrap those memories.

My body was once full of beautiful paintings of the Egyptian revolution. When the revolution failed, I thought it’s easy to scrap these paintings and turn my body into a clear canvas for new events that may come, a day of liberation when once again, I would summon hope. However, who am I fooling? Those memories, like blood, are dancing in my veins, I would eliminate my skin and they will remain to define everything I am.

What have we done? How dare we think of coloring the future? What was the spell that blinded us?

I can no longer remember the spirit, I can’t draw those sincere grins anymore. The faces of the knights are fading, the millions in the streets are turning into Silhouettes, and I am unable to hear those melodic chants… All that remains are corpses, bloodshed, funerals and solid faces of troops.

Blood, scars, screams, tear gas, screams again and again and again.

I torture myself, I overthink and overanalyze, I wonder why did I take off to the streets. I keep wondering if we, too have blood on our hands. Did we incite HOPE? Did we create an illusion? Is it the biggest humane victory or mistake? I am losing my mind, I am fighting with beasts. I hope I can cut my chest wide open and squeeze the heart that refuses to quit aching. However, even if I did, memories still run through my veins. Silent screams are eating me alive.

                                            Is there a place to buy their mundane?

Can I forge reality?

He threatens and says ” What happened 7 years ago, will never happen again.” with his brutal voice he says “I won’t allow it” My naive mind wonders if he knows what came upon us? Does he realize the scars you caused? Does he understand what we have witnessed?

Our dreams refuse to crossover. Our hopes are stabbing us, they refuse to leave, they refuse to quit. We are old weary souls stuck in youthful bodies. We are defeated but the voice of the revolution lingers on.

 

I look at you, Orion and I wonder if I am strong enough, I am deeply sorry, I wish I was born somewhere else. I wish you didn’t have to carry my pain. And even though I choose to fight this alone, my ultimate desire is not to have to fight at first place. I will be forever sorry for charming you with Egypt. I should have told you that this charm comes with a price. I should have screamed that loving Egypt is both, bliss and curse. I think of the day I will tell my daughter about the lost revolution and I pray to have the strength and reclaim the beautiful paintings that once colored Tahrir Square.

– I close my eyes, I hold your hand and pray for a wind of change –

Inhale..

Exhale..

Inhale..

Exhale…

“Beathe in Hope, breathe out grief. Breathe in victory, breathe out defeat.”

The Revolution Continues.

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Made in Egypt

I wanted to call my piece “born in Egypt” but I found “made in Egypt” more appropriate, eventually in this country we are more of “made” NOT “born”; born suggests living with free will and free will is the mother of sins where I come from.

Usually I end every year with positive thoughts and bright new year resolution, but who am I fooling, we all survive here with a manual of terms and conditions…. and once you decide to oppose the herd, you become a misfit like me.

Let me introduce the external shell, on a professional level I am doing pretty well and thankfully, my lifetime war with family and society ended up with victory. But the price of where I am and who I am was/remains unbearable, for I decided to be my true self and speak out loud in a country that despises freedom, let alone a woman who speaks of freedom.

I am angry.

I am full of rage, I can no longer handle the way this society perceives me. I am tired of explaining and expressing that I might be human after all. I am severely sick from hearing “Rana, regardless of your eccentricity and odd thoughts, you are good – genuine -trustworthy and supportive.” these statements don’t make me feel proud, it suffocates me, it’s like a razor blade piercing each and every ounce of hope that I create from shattered pieces to hold on, survive…. Breathe.

I am dissapointed

Once upon a time there was a revolution, we all had hope, we live in an utopic delusion – we sensed euphoria and we failed to understand that it’s just momentarily.

Our hopes and dreams faded because of everything we failed to understand. Not only an oppressive rooted regime – but our corrupt morals, fragile ethics and HYPOCRISY.

How did we manage to fool ourselves? Change? Freedom? Are you kidding me? How could we expect change when we barley face ourselves with our misfortunes. When we breath hypocrisy, when we betray everyone even ourselves on daily bases?

How could you speak of freedom when you still believe that atheists, agnostics etc. should be sentenced to death? What part of the word “freedom” allows you to harass me just because I am different, how could you speak of human rights when you insult, hurt, mislead dozens of people for nothing other than personal reason rooted in your distort mind.

How am I writing all of this while I hurt many people along the way due to the circus in my mind and the traumas I can’t defeat yet. I might have not hurt anyone “intentionally” but I did by every mean during the war with myself. I am as corrupt…

I am numb

I have lost touch with my feelings, 2015 is such an enlightenment. I got to see the raw ugly image of my society, my people… I wonder why am I surprised? Am I that naive?

However, being numb is pretty useful my friends. I don’t get shocked from daily sexual and verbal harassment anymore, I just live with it – After all, I am an Egyptian pierced and tattooed, I am definitely asking for it, if I was a foreigner then I wouldn’t be asking for this but being Egyptian and different equates and invitation for everyone to occupy my body or at least pierce my brain… What’s the big deal anyway?

Someone told me few days ago that I “escape” from my emotions and I runaway from feelings… Seriously! Why is it hard to absorb my numbness… Live with it, I am not there….

If you live in a country where people resist Police and military abuse and torture but they don’t have the guts to speak of domestic violence and child abuse. What change are you expecting?

If you live in a country where many people would fight sexual harassment but wouldn’t dare to open topics like incest and parental abuse. How can we forge change?

If we live in a country where people still consider parenthood as a sacred institution and domestic violence is god given right, how the fuck will we change anything?

If we are living in a country where men are granted to fool around and cheat while women would be tortured to death in the name of honor. Will we ever witness critical change?

Bottom line

“There can’t be large scale revolution until there’s a revolution on an individual level”

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Mohamed Mahmoud 2014. Chained and desperate.

This morning it took me forever to move from bed, I struggled with the seasonal mental circus to get myself ready.

“I have to get up and get ready to work, and afterwards I will head to Mohamed Mahmoud street memorial!”…….

Mohamed Mahmoud where I saw my dearest Ramy Al Sharkawy for the last time.

Mohamed Mahmoud where freedom fighters lost their eyes.

Mohamed Mahmoud massacre where I saw treason in it’s worst shape.

Mohamed Mahmoud where I learnt that weakness is a luxury and it’s not for us.

Mohamed Mahmoud where you imprison pain, fear, oppression and stand still.

Mohamed Mahmoud where speaking out “Down with military role, Down with Muslim Brotherhood” is met with live ammunition and internationally prohibited chemical gases.

Mohamed Mahmoud where there was no inch left without blood.

Mohamed Mahmoud where security forces fired at field hospitals.

Mohamed Mahmoud where we shared immortal scars.

Mohamed Mahmoud is when insomnia started, when I still struggle to get two continuous hours sleeping without bloody flashbacks. Where blood scenes haunt me regardless, haunts me during sleep, as soon as I walk nearby, as close as I get to a friend who was standing next to me in front lines. When getting dressed up, partying and writing cheerful words is nothing but a state of denial that fades away as soon as memories trigger.

I though that I am strong enough, but I am not, I miss the girl I used to be before the revolution and as much as I was irresponsible, plastic and careless, I could sleep!!

I am not strong, I am scared, devastated and desperate, and for that I am not myself anymore, I scream out, I wear masks and I do everything to convince myself of my inner strength. During the past years, I loved people and I hurt them back, I pushed away many fearful of the nightmare of losing anyone, My worst demons controlled me and ironically, I wasn’t weak, on the contrary, I was so egoistic, and so tough on myself in order to continue and stand still. I got disappointed, I was betrayed by every mean as all the hopes which came with the revolution are nothing but a parallel illusion.

I am sorry for those I hurt on the way, I am sorry that you crossed my chaotic path, I am sorry for not being able to keep being my truly self with you… I was scared for anyone to sense the deep craved insecurities.

It’s funny that from the outside my life is heading towards the right path, yet I remain struggling with flashbacks and the current state of the country, I FORGOT HAPPINESS, I am desperate of tasting an ounce of momentarily happiness but it’s not there anymore. Happiness is also a luxury.. Not for me, not for us.

I am tired of standing still, I am sick of facing my worst demons everyday, I am exhausted from racing in the same circle. I miss my father, I miss who I really am, I miss the days of the 25th of January, I miss my secret dilemma, my teenage dream that remains haunting me. I miss you!

Smile Rana— Smile IDEAS ARE IMMORTAL AND LIBERTY IS INEVITABLE.

Anonymous artist. Taken from Arab Press EU.

Anonymous artist. Taken from Arab Press EU.


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