EGYPT REBORN: The Thoughts and Feelings of a 12-year-old Egyptian Girl

Editor's note: July 4, 2013. We received the following letter today written by the grade-eight daughter of an Egyptian friend iiving in Cairo. We felt that she conveyed her reaction to the political events taking place there with such raw grace and passion and intelligence that we immediately asked for permission to republish it (unedited) here for you. We look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Omnia celebrating in Victoria Square, Maadi

I know that the best thing to do isn’t take an opinion from a twelve year old girl, who probably is just effected by her parents judgment towards all that’s happening. But hear me out please…

Being at this young age does not make me this girl who thinks she knows everything, it makes me someone that is trying to believe in my country and trying to learn. I am fully aware that my opinion is an impact by the people around me and that I am way to young to form my own outlook to all of this. You can’t blame me for that. I am still trying to comprehend everything that is happening and my brain is not mature enough to make and set me own opinion towards Morsy. Morsy hasn’t hurt me as I child. What do I know! I am not handling the family money; I am not the one who deals with the finance problem, that’s my parent’s job. And apparently they weren’t happy about Morsy’s help with it. So we so called ‘rebelled’. However let me tell you something, an amount of people so big trying to say something is not rebelling: its taking your rights and taking what was yours. My dad told me today that for the past two years, he felt that he was just running away from everything, but today; he stopped and he took a break. He was so proud of his country that it achieved.

I have to admit it, for the past several months I was not proud of being called an Egyptian.

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TUNISIA: How I Dipped A Toe In The Revolution

by Judith Fein

 

The last time Americans were riveted to a foreign square, it was Tiananmen, and the year was 1989. Anti-government demonstrators –mostly students and intellectuals--wanting more democracy and less autocracy filled the square in Bejing.  Other protests erupted around the People’s Republic of China. In a show of force the T.V. audience will never forget, government tanks rolled into the square and gunned down thousands of demonstrators. Tiananmen Square went silent, and the subject of the massacre is still taboo in China.

This time, all eyes were on Egypt and Tahrir Square. Once again, young protestors defiantly showed their opposition to the government and demanded that Hosni Mubarak pack up his toys of dictatorship and leave Egypt. But Mubarak played by his own rules, and when his trifling concessions were rejected, when even his offer not to run again was scorned, he pulled a Tiananmen—sending in his heavy guns to shoot indiscriminately into the crowd.

photo by Peta-de-Aztlan via flickr common license

The protestors refused to buckle, and the Egyptian nation mourned its innocent dead who were assassinated for demanding freedom. The world watched and wept and then rejoiced with them.

The ignition key to revolution was turned on by tiny Tunisia, in North Africa. The protestors upended the 23-year reign of autocrat Ben Ali, drove him into exile and exacted the dissolution of his corrupt RCD party. In a rapid move toward democracy, Ben Ali’s minions were fired or resigned, and the young people exulted in what, for many, was the first freedom they had known in their lives.

The cost of this revolution was high: as many as two hundred young lives were snuffed out. And, in a country of 10 million, everyone was affected by this horrible loss of life. There is mass mourning for the deaths, and the victims are considered martyrs to the cause of freedom.

Tunisia is one of my favorite countries in the world. I have been there seven times, lived there for 6 months when I was making two films with my husband, and have a deep and abiding affection for the gentle, kind, extremely generous Tunisians.

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