The January 25 Revolution: lest we forget
Five years from today a miracle took place on the Good Land, but it didn't take us by surprise. In Egypt, miracles are never a surprise. It was the best day in the lifetime of many of us who have never witnessed a collective hope for a brighter future. Maybe this is why when, five years from that day we're still far from that hope, some feel shattered and defeated. I was one of those people; I lost hope in the Good Land, the Good People, and myself. It's been five years, and the Good People have still not witnessed the change that many have given their lives, eyes or time for. It's been five years and the miracle has passed without leaving any trace, or so I thought.
Three years ago I've decided to give up, after the Muslim Brotherhood nightmare was over but people were still being killed and detained in the memory of that day, I've decided to push the memories of the January 25 Revolution to the back of my head. I've decided that they bring with them too much pain, pain of a dream that never saw the waking day. But yesterday, after the anger has somewhat calmed down, after more than two years of a status quo, I sat down and started thinking. The Revolution is the best thing that happened in that country, it's the best thing that happened to me.
I decided that it's not over until we're over, until we lose hope. I found the trace the miracle has left, it's in us and it's what should keep us going. When you're at the age of five, you're only good for kindergarten, and it's only after you grow and learn that you're able to be in control. So I brought back all the memories I had, memories of the best of times, of the True Egypt. I almost drowned in the stream of nostalgia of a place that is out of this world. A place that has succeeded to be free of hate, that was so powerful yet had no weapons. A place where people smiled at one another, loved one another and cared for the well-being of every person alive, a place were justice existed and ruled....
I could go on and talk about why I think the Revolution is still alive, I can try to talk politics and make all these comments that may seem smart. I could go on about how I feel that protests today would have led to nothing and how thankful I am that it is mostly calm, but I'd rather not. I'd rather not, because although my anger has calmed down, I still can't see clearly that road that would lead to a brighter future. This is why I've decided to go back to the past, hoping that remembrance may teach us something or two that may lead to a brighter future.
One of my smartest moves was keeping a diary of the 18 days, it's one of the things that will always keep me proud of myself. In this post, I shall use my Tahrir Diaries to bring back all the memories of the greatest days of my life. The memories that should keep anyone assured that the Revolution shall never end until justice is in place.
Day zero - Egypt is no Tunisia
Everyday after the Tunisian Revolution succeeded to bring Bin Ali down, we all shared our thoughts of whether the same could happen in Egypt. Amid loud voices saying that Egypt is no Tunisia and stronger voices saying January 25, 2011 will be no ordinary day, nobody had a clear idea. Online and offline, at work and at home, on television and in newspapers, people talked. There were reasons to believe that January 25 will be no ordinary day; Khaled Said and many others who were tortured to death by police, parliamentary elections that were completely forged, the freedom ceiling that was getting lower by the day, plans of making Gamal Mubarak president, and a good example in Tunisia. But there were other reasons to believe that it will be just another protest: although there were different groups protesting every now and then, there was no strong presence in the street; Egyptians are known to be patient, after all, the Mubarak era was no Utopia and nothing much happened; and police brutality is so fierce that it would probably make people worry for their and their loved ones' well-being and stay home.
With all these arguments and discussions going back and forth, there was this strange faith that took over many of us, faith that this day will change the path of history of the Good Land.
The call was made on Facebook, yes Egypt started a revolution using a Facebook Event. The event that was called for by We are All Khaled Said had more than 80,000 guests and has reached over a million members. It didn't call for bringing Mubarak down at the time, but was merely a day against tyranny, torture and corruption, it was a Day of Rage. The event was finally shutdown by the government on January 24 at night. But the "damage" has been done; The event has done its job for now, and there was no turning back.