Tag Archives: The Egyptian revolution

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.


2 years later (The revolution continues.)

PS. Parts from my former blogs were used in order to clarify the series of the current events.

‘’I am going to make a surgery in my spinal chord, I thought my back will be better with time but apparently my health condition got worse.’’ My friend said. I answered ‘’ Are you kidding me?! You did not visit a doctor since January 28, 2011?’’  My friend left and in less than one minute everything hit me; the memories of the unfinished revolution are vivid and sharp, the chants, every detail, and the voices…. felt like it happened yesterday.

When Mubarak stepped down many people (including me) thought that eliminating the remains of the corrupt elite is going to be much easier, we were unaware that we are going to face another  violent clashes starting with military forces, and ending with the so-called Muslim brotherhood-or as my friend calls them (Muslim bloodhood.)  We would never believe that the military forces that were protecting us in Tahrir square would be attacking the protesters, and grapping women in the streets violently in one of the most shameful scenes in the Egyptian history. Furthermore, young revolutionaries would never expect that leaders, and members of Muslim brotherhood who were supposedly united with Egyptians side by side in Tahrir square would give up on everything and accuse revolutionaries of betrayal, infidelity and even blasphemy. Ironically, most of the  infidels and betrayals voted for Mohammed Morsy in the second round of the presidential elections, as many people thought resisting conservative parties would be better than bringing a representative of the old corrupt regime to power (Ahmed Shafiq.)

As Muslim brotherhood struggled with the old regime, detained and witnessed injustice. Therefore, they would not clone the unmerciful means of torturing the oppositions.

In order to understand the current situation we must look back to the Islamist’s reaction towards everything that happened during the revolution and after Mubarak’s resignation.  During the first few days of the Egyptian revolution, Muslim brotherhood had stood in a vague position towards the protests. By January 28, 2011 they officially announced their participation in ‘’Friday of Rage’’  However,  before Mubarak’s resignation they attended a meeting with Omar Soliman who was assigned as the vice president,  and that was quiet confusing since it contradicted their history of struggle with Mubarak’s regime,  especially when Egyptians are united against Mubarak’s regime.

After Mubarak’s resignation, Muslim brotherhood’s position became clearer, especially during the first constitution referendum. The Islamist political parties including Muslim brotherhood used religion to direct the people by voting”YES for Sharia’ law and NO for a secular infidel state” as much as this sound absurd it greatly affected the oppressed uneducated majority, especially in remote areas. Nevertheless, their veracity became doubtful among the young protesters. The ulterior purpose to take over the authority became crystal clear after their contradictive statements, for instance their claims about ‘’unity with other political parties and not taking over the parliament’’. However, during the parliament elections their so-called publicity methods were not different from the former national Democratic Party, not to mention their shameful performance during the parliament sessions and giving up all the revolutionary morals.

When the military attacked the protesters it was confusing at the start, and everyone tried to justify the attacks.  Nevertheless, the majority of Egyptians understood that the military junta is the other side of the coin. Unfortunately, Muslim brotherhood chose to be on the military’s side as long as that helps their interests, and on July 22, 2011 which is known as (Sharia’ Friday) The Islamist parties along with Muslim brotherhood saluted The supreme council of military forces (Scaf), and they ignored the consensual demands.

The series of violent attacks continued (Abbaseyya, Musbero, Mohamed Mahmoud, cabinet and Abbaseyya II) Despite of the horrible attacks Muslim brotherhood ignored the undeniable evidences.  Furthermore, Islamist parliament members accused the protesters of betrayal, and funding from foreign organizations that aim to destroy the Islamic identity. Al-katany the head of the former parliament (Muslim brotherhood leader) did not object, and such accusations were met with applause and respect from the Islamist parties.

When Mohammed Morsi was elected, he dismissed Field Marshall Hussien Tantawi and the head of the supreme council of military forces, and the chief of staff Sami Annan.  Shortly, that decision was quiet shocking and promising. However, Morsi announced that Hussein Tantawy and Sami Annan agreed to retire, as they will work as his advisors.  Furthermore, Tantawi received the highest medal in the country, the Order of the Nile and Anan received the state medal.  Ironically, the supreme council of military forces is accused for violent attacks, and killing protesters of the demonstrations opposing military’s rule during the transitional period. Not to mention, that the new appointed country’s defense minister Genral Abdul Fattah Al-sisi hit the headlines when he defended the virginity tests, after the military forces dispersed the peaceful sit-in on March 9, 2011.  The protesters were detained and brutally tortured and women were subjected to strip searches and forcibly submitted to ‘’virginity tests’’ General Al-sissi said ‘’the virginity tests were done to protect military soldiers from rape accusations.’’  These contradictive and confusing decisions from Morsi’s side were met with extreme disappointment and anger from young revolutionaries. Is that supposed to be a revolutionary government?

Later on, Egypt’s civil judiciary decided to investigate the accusations against the former military rulers Tantawi and Annan over killings protesters during the military rule. However, the protesters believe that these investigations would not make any different especially after the contradictive decisions.

By November 19, 2012 in the memory of the catastrophic Mohamed Mahmoud events, the clashes between the security forces and the protesters erupted again. As an eyewitness, I could feel the amount of disappointment and anger among the protesters and martyrs families, especially; those who elected Mohammed Morsi in hope that he will imprison the officials who are responsible for killing the martyr’s. Nevertheless, the second round of Mohamed Mahmoud clashes started and ended like the past events, protesters were detained and the unjustified brutality of security forces is ignored.

Shortly, by December anti-Morsi protesters, decided to camp peacefully outside the presidential palace after a series of Rally’s against the constitutional referendum, and the continuous draft constitution that gave Morsi an absolute power and immunity from judicial oversight. However, Pro-Morsi (Muslim brotherhood and Islamists) attacked the protesters and resulted in deaths and hundreds of injuries. Pro-Morsi protesters detained and tortured the oppositions outside the presidential palace for hours, believing that anti-Morsi protesters accepted money from foreign countries to fights against the Islamist president. Shortly, the activists collected videos, photos and testimonies as an evidence against the Islamist protests. Three of Morsi’s advisory team resigned over that crisis. However, the Islamist parties (Including Muslim brotherhood) led an official media campaign where many official representatives justified the attacks from Pro-Morsi protesters as response to the violence from the opposition protesters and claimed to be the only victim of these clashes, and also accusing the oppositions of betrayal.  Unfortunately, Pro-Morsi protesters believe that defending President Mohamed Morsi equals defending Islam, such quotes became quiet scary, and many Egyptians believes the political war made the country on the edge of a civil war.

The Islamist representatives recently accused the appositions of being Anti-revolution and Pro-Mubarak, and they accuse others of being infidels and Anti-Islam. Unfortunately, sacred religion became advertisement for Islamist political parties and no doubt, during the latest constitutional referendum the accusations of infidelity and destroying the Islamic identity were the main advertisement of a constitution that does not represent Egyptians but only supports the interests of Islamists.  However, when the majority are repressed, using religion as an identification profile becomes extremely effective.

During this political war, fighting for authority and taking over the country’s institutions, Egyptians are in the Middle barely surviving the daily hardships and the demands of the revolutions are not yet implemented. The protesters took to the streets again on January 25, 2013. The series of the brutal clashes with security forces are still going..

Apparently, the Egyptian revolution is currently out of service due to hypocrisy, stupidity, greed, hatred and unavailability of BRAINS. Nevertheless, I still believe in the anonymous revolutionary soldiers that fight for nothing but ”Bread, Freedom and Social justice.” The revolution continues as long as we have these brave fighters.
As a writer I know I should be neutral while reporting the ongoing events, but when you are an eyewitness it is impossible to compromise. ‘’

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