الجمعة، يونيو 17، 2011

Away from the spotlight: The true revolutionaries

Photo by Neil Pollick

 " Revolution is no fun" I screamed out in frustration.

My mother looked at me quizzically, I elaborated " I thought after Tahrir it will be gone, it will be one glorious continuous burst of colors, but they couldn't, the army just couldn't let us enjoy our victory"
She hugged me smiling as she said " When your working on human rights violations it can never be over"

When Mobarak left.
No, Let me rephrase that: When we forced Mubarak to step down.

On that beautiful day I found myself crying among thousands of strangers, Zagharit filling the air, shaking hands and taking photographs with crazy smiling screaming strangers, I thought there will be no more heart ache, there will only be time for us to get over the ordeals of the past.

Then came the day I got a reality slap: Februery 26th
It was awful. It was awful because we weren't prepared and they cheated us. It was awful because minutes before the army beat the crap out of us, there was a young man spreading a blanket to sleep on and his friend asked him if he isn't worried atall and his answer was " The army is here, Nothing could worry me"

Minutes later the army was dispersing the crowd with electric probes, running after them , dragging them while kicking and cursing.
I can still remember the scary sound of electric shocks. I can still remember Amr El Beheiry's helpess look as he was dragged behind the army line, to be handed back to us minutes later all bruised and with a bleeding nose.

Minutes later Amr got arrested again, tortured,and beaten up.
Over the following 3 days he would face military trial over forged charges, in absence of his family and lawyer as they were misinformed of the date of his trial, and in minutes he'd get sentenced 5 years.
Amr was arrested on Saturday the 26th of February, He was sentenced Monday the 28th.

But Amr was just the begining.
Amr was our peek into the backstage of the revolution: While thousands of Egyptians were celebrating our patriotic army, chanting " The army and the people are one hand", thousands others were getting silently crushed by the army.
Families were losing their kids for years of imprisonment over made up accusations, wives were losing their husbands just because they happened to be on the street at a time when the army were totally clueless as to how to deal with this alien situation so they thought " Lock them up, we'll sort it out later"

To some families this is their only share of the revolution: Endless trips to distant prisons where their men were sent off, tens of letters pleading to the mercy of Chief Tantawi to review their sons' cases, numerous trips from one prison to the other trying to findout the whereabouts of their husbands, sneaky phonecalls from their sons in prison assuring them they are fine.

But in all of these bleak moments you would see the real revolution that is taking place, you would see it in:
*Om Sameer, bravely defying an army officer telling him " You told us our sons were heroes, you pretended to support them in their revolution but now you imprison & torture them, if you had told us from the begining they were criminals, we would have locked them up at home & forbid them to go to Tahrir"

Om Ahmed , taking a weekly trip El Wadi El Gedid prison, a trip that takes 2 days, and collecting all info of prisoners inside & their stories and bringing it to us so we can work on their cases.

Om Hassan bravely telling Chief Tantawi " Even if he did something wrong, he should be tried in a civil court"

Dina , deciding to get married to her fiancee the moment she knew his 5 year imprisonment sentence got ratified.

As international media obsesses about " twitter revolution", "role of social media", " Role of women" &   " Fear of MB"
As our media obsesses about " Lack of security", " The Israeli Spy" & " lack of stability"
As we obsess about " Consitution 1st", " elections 1st", " National coalition" & "National dialogue"

Away from all this media frenzy, a battle is taking place and it is lead by the true revolutionaries.

* "Om" means "mother of"

هناك 6 تعليقات:

BOMBOVA يقول...

What brought me to your page, was the Spirit of the individual. and the quest to be earnest.

غير معرف يقول...

Reality check. You didn't force Mubarak down. Had that been the case, there would now be a civilian administration running the country. It was the army that forced his hand for reasons they know and which are coming out day by day as the media censorship, the military trials, the military detentions etc. If you really want to win this, then dispense with the illusion of revolution and realize you are up against an ironclad military dictatorship that has far too much to lose if a true democracy is set up in Egypt.

Omar يقول...
أزال المؤلف هذا التعليق.
Omar يقول...

Brilliant post. Thanks.

I wasn't there, on the 25th of February, but a friend was, she was there with her mom, and we had spoken earlier that night, she was asking me what I thought of the sleep-in that night - and I said I personally felt that it could wait a week or so, but that I would never, ever, tell anybody NOT to demonstrate or NOT to sleep-in if they felt that such actions were needed.

Later, as the 25th became the 26th, they got, as you so clearly illustrated, shocked. They were attacked, beaten, etc.

And then the army, of course, issued it's 'apology' - I didn't care for the apology, and told a 'discussion group' gathering that I had been invited to, that we had to go to Tahrir. That our friends had been BEATEN UP the night before, and that this was no time to talk politics, or plan tactics. That we had to go to Tahrir right NOW, and that apology or not, they (the army, the SCAF, the government, WHOEVER) had to understand that an attack on any of us would lead to more of us there to hold the ground. That the single, most important, and basic right to protect was our right to protest, to demonstrate. That ANY threat to THAT right can be taken as an intention to steal all our other rights. And with that, I said I'm off to Tahrir, and I left.


They continued to play politics and obsess about some of the things you mentioned.

Even now, I feel some guilt, and some hypocricy - because the fight is not over, and yet - I am at home - I understand that the fight is not only IN TAHRIR, but I was there on the 3rd of June, and I don't know if you saw the footage, but there were two small crowds there, of maybe 300 each, and one of them had a man on the stage, and in 3 minutes, he said pretty much everything that needed to be said.

Many of us now continue away from Tahrir, and I just hope it doesn't cause us to lose our sights. Thanks for helping keep them on target :)

Omar يقول...

Reality Check. We kind of did. I know that sounds big and bright, and I assure you most of us realize that until our aims are achieved it's only the promise, not quite illusion, of a revolution that we have. We forced them to have to scapegoat Mubarak - how does that sound :) ? We know he was given up, and not quite even that, since he's still living la vida loca up in Sharm, but it's not that path he wanted, it is a situation that we forced on him by exerting the pressure we did.

FAR from a total or complete victory, which one look at TahrirDiaries would prove to you.

We know.

routums يقول...

كلامك بيريح مش بيوجع ي مني ..