Sunday, February 27, 2011

Today

I am sitting at our dinning table as usual, laptop flickering in front of, a bowl of cereal with all the essential vitamins and fibers and a literary book next to it. There is some reading I have to do. Meanwhile, more links, videos and articles are streaming in about Egypt, Libya and so many other Middle Eastern countries.
As expected, I am more interested in one of Egypt. It's only natural.

At the back of my mind are the protesters in Tahrir, who have dwindled in size, but still growing as more people joined them. They were attacked on Friday by army-looking forces, to which the council issued an apology, saying we issued no such orders. Apology was appreciated, but still it raised many questions and responses. First of all, fear; the army seems to not be in control, maybe there are divisions within it, maybe we're being taken for a ride, maybe this was all a big charade on the Egyptian people. This theory was issued by many thinkers, one of which is Mohamed Hassanein Heikal, a famous Egyptian historian and writer who happened to have witnessed all important political events of modern Cairo, since the 1952 military coup d'etat, which resulted in the ousting of King Farouk, and the beginning of the Republic of Egypt.
I, for one, did not believe him and was surprised that such a celebrated thinker would utter something that seemed unstudied. However, after Friday, I was more inclined to believe him, or did I?

If you are confused, then you have reached the second state that most Egyptians are experiencing; great and utter confusion. Questions such as "who should we trust?", "Where are we going?" and "what in the Lord's Name is happening?" have become regular, everyday questions that are dodged by the public for their lack of answers. It is safe to say that our trust issues have doubled in size, as we remain unable to differentiate between friend and foe. Although we are now experiencing more "freedom of expression" than any other time in the last 60 years, we still fear what will happen after the wave subsides, after all has gone home and Tahrir square returns to being part of regular traffic, rather than the point of convergence of people. "what lurks in the shadows" remains a source of fear and concern for most, with bloggers and activist fearing the return of random arrests, while the older generation fears the number of thugs, convicts and thieves waiting for the right time to pounce on unsuspecting citizens.

As religious people, our faith in God has multiplied as He remains the only one we continue to Trust. However, on earth we find no leaders, no soothers and no one to which we can run for answers when we're confused. True, this has been a leader-less revolution, but now, when all people seek answers, we need someone to respond. Something the faceless "high council of the special forces" is very slow in doing. We are continuously addressed by the council through communiques and text messages, which include instructions, reaffirmations and at times apologies. The Egyptian people remain faithful to the army due to it being the last possible resort and for the intricate relation between people and army every since the Israeli occupation of Sinai and the victorious 1973 war. The army remains in our hearts as the rescuer and the repeller of evil.

The third state the Egyptians people experience is frustration and anger. Frustration at the lack of knowledge and the lack of a normal life, and anger which is sometimes directed at the pillars of corruptions, sometimes at the protesters in Tahrir and sometimes at themselves. Ever since the events of the 25th of January, the police has been labelled a traitor and not to be trusted. People still squirm away from the supposedly "protector of the people" and avoid them at all costs. This notion has been reinforced by many incidents, lately by the Maadi incident in which an officer shot a Microbus driver three times, resulting in people congregating against him, burning his car and another police car coming to his aid. The officer was kicked in all places and the microbus driver remains in critical condition in the hospital, with rumors of his death surfacing every now and then. This certain incident is great proof of the anger and mistrust that people experience towards any police elements. I myself when I heard the story, I was certain that it was the officer's mistake. This is in addition to many YouTube videos (in which one Senior Security officer said that they were the masters of the people, however his salary begs to differ), articles and hearsay of how the police shall avenge his rights (from the people) once this is all over.  Many police officers are good people, but find themselves in a corrupted environment, and so they are misjudged in the general bunch.

People struggle to return to a somewhat normal way of life, but with the uncertainty and rumors circling our daily lives, this seems more of an aspiration than a reality.

So, What should we do?

Let us not misjudge those who are still fighting for our rights, the people in Tahrir. There maybe be those who want to smear it with their own identities and those who want to make it into something that is not, but that doesn't mean that they are all to be mistrusted.
There,in Tahrir, are the same people that sparked the revolution and who continue to ask for valid rights, which we are yet to receive. They have tremendous patience and a very long breath to keep doing what so many of us has grown tired of. So, let us not misjudge them or insult them or accuse them of anything other than their love for the country and their fear for it. They don't want us to return to the same state we have been suffering from for the last 30 years.

Let us not be quick to disown the army, even if they are slow or disarrayed things seem to happen. For they are our last resort and we should give them the benefit of the doubt.

Let us not give way to any rumor or unconfirmed news, or misplaced article that want to divide us, misguide us and continue the state of confusion.

And at the end, let us realize and believe in our own strength and our own resolve to shape this country, as we now have become certain that we are masters of our own fate, and the power belongs to us, the people.

At the end, I would like to recount the valid demands of people in Tahrir:
  1. The resignation of Shafik's government.
  2. The dissolution of the National Security forces belonging to the police.
  3. The formation of a temporary constitution.
  4. The trying of all pillars of corruption and most importantly, the former president Mubarak.

2 comments:

gjoe said...

Hmm.. that was profound and comprehensive, although the only thing I disagree with is your, and the general view point as a matter of fact, of the army and its higher counsel.

I believe they have been trustworthy,transparent and firm since they were in power. They deserve more than "the benefit of doubt", they are open and communicate well with the people of the revolution (Not just through SMSes, bass through TV, through closed discussions, declaration of statements and the newspaper). And so that you don't lose track of the things they achieved till now, I want you to look up the big "yafta" hung on the building at el ta7reer, and cross out the things achieved so far. Don't lose track of that ya Sina, ever. It will only make you depressed and lose hope.

They were never late, only wise and double check the consequences of their decision before they declare them.

I also want to point out, that if the army didn't apologize, it would have been also criticized maybe more brutally than if it did. The army is delicately in power and is in control. An apology is out of courtesy and is not to be mistaken with weakness. (And although I am one of Heikal's biggest fans, I didn't agree with his point of view at that matter.)

Let me also emphasize on one fact and that is: if there is a thing called "al thawra al moddada" that people loved so much because it aligns well with our obsession with conspiracy theories, then their first and most important target would be to have "el sha3b" not "in trust" with the "el geesh".

So don't fall into the very same trap they want you to fall into (w Belal Fadl, the most skeptic person I have known, had said that)

I believe that trusting the army, and being patient with its mistakes and the time it takes to make decisions, is much much wiser than not trusting it. Then it would true and utter chaos. And even change to the better would be a far away dream.
Am not saying we should blindly trust them, I am just saying to be reasonable with our demands and our time frame. (Let alone the very simple fact, enn whatever they do, msh koll el naas hatwafe2 3aleeh.. dah el naby el naas makantesh mogtam3a 3aleeh!)

Sina, no one has been living nearly away from corruption for a very very long time. Corruption was a must life-style. Eradicating that takes much more time than you think. It is a process that has to be done to ensure justice and fairness without having scapegoats because anger was too loud for some time.

Be Patient, Think Wisely, Demand Peacefully,Trust Yourself, and Keep Your Hopes High.

doniazad79 said...

I like your post,Sina, and I agree that, it is really a very skeptical time for all of us and due to the current events we are all in doubt, angry and want our country to move forward to a better and successful future isa.

What happened on Friday was definitely a mistake due to many reasons that we may understand the coming days, but the army has proven his honesty by actions from day one, the army refused to use force when millions were in Tahrir and used all means to secure them, while on Friday, there were only a few hundreds and force was not needed so this proves that what happened was a mistake and that the army did not order to use force against the protesters.

What heikel said raised many doubts in all of us, but I do not trust this guy at all and at all times he had a hidden agenda behind his comments.

I believe that a corrupted regime of 30 years would take some time to fall down because many parties are involved and no one of the corrupted regime want to believe that the end is near and they are no longer at the controls. So, they resist by using the old nasty tricks that is well known to all like using thugs, issuing threats and creating chaos.

I believe we must not give them the chance and we must believe in god and our trusted army.

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