Since January 25th I have been following the events in Egypt with awe. I found their bravery and determination truly inspirational. The sheer numbers of people in the streets spoke clearly of their desire to rid themselves of a corrupt dictator who, to the detriment of the country, had been around far too long. In fact, his first minute in power 30 years ago, brought an end, not only to the freedoms of the Egyptian people, but also Egypt’s unity with the rest of the Middle East.
In the final hours of Thursday, February 10th, my heart went out to the millions in the street as Mubarak delivered his horrendous and discouraging speech. Outrage, however, has a remarkable mobilizing effect. Suddenly the streets of Cairo were filled with more than three million angry people – a number I can’t even fathom – and another two million in Alexandria.
A dear friend of mine lives in Alexandria and, before I was to know of the momentous events of the next day, I wrote the following, as a dedication to her – my thoughts going out to her:
We stood tirelessly on the edge of a dream. The face of freedom appeared and disappeared amongst the rolling waves of desperation and determination. We chased it wherever we saw it. We chanted and roared it’s name. We knew it wouldn’t be easily gained but as the days wore on we drew our strength from our faith in it, from our faith in us. Being shoulder to shoulder was exhilarating but frightening too. The militant and crushing arm of the monster was far-reaching. She whispered to me when she saw my fear, “People are dying anyway, so we may as well die in order to live.” She had placed her soul in the palm of her hand, and when I held it, I felt her courage, I knew her reasons.
We moved forward together; all of us. We clearly saw our future but the path there was unpredictable, full of pitfalls and uneven ground. It’s okay, we said to one another, if you stumble, we’ll catch you. That’s why we’re here. We are doing this for us; I for you, and you for me, for our families, and for our children. When someone fell from our grasp, we whispered their name to god and we held their name within our hearts. They are still with us, we cried. You cannot take them from us, we shouted defiantly. They live within our freedom, their spirits are our future. Our numbers grew by the day; row upon row through the streets to our square. With our feet securely planted on the land that is ours, our unified voices rose unfaltering like the dawn of the sun. You will hear us we cried.
We stood tirelessly on the edge of a dream and there we would remain until the dream became ours, until every face we saw was the face of freedom.
Now it is true, dear friend, every face is the face of freedom! The dream is yours! Alf mabrook to you and to all of Egypt! May the changes you made bring about the Egypt your hearts desire.