Cries of a Broken Heart

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Dear Egypt, 

My heart breaks for you my land. My home. My heart aches for you. I don’t know whats going to happen, I don’t understand what is happening now. My soul is in agony, distress and in pain. 

I don’t even know what to say anymore, words have run dry. What else is there left to say? How many people have to die for us to see reality? Today, it’s over a hundred, tomorrow 200, a week later a thousand. I’ve lost hope. I’ve lost hope in people, in humanity, in goodness and kindness. I’ve lost hope in hope. 

Egyptians watching other egyptians die and cheering. Egyptians watching mosques being surrounded and people being locked inside. Egyptians dying. And they still don’t see it. They are still standing up against them. They are willing to see them bleed on the streets. I don’t know what to say… 

I am in actual agony. Its just …. how? How can they not see it? Why? Why don’t they want to see it? Someone explain this to me, please, somebody tell me how a human being can be so blinded to another’s suffering. Somebody explain to me how we can watch each other die while cheering with fireworks in the sky. 

This is kills me. I look around and all I feel is disdain about everything, disgust at the monsters roaming the streets of egypt, and misery at the state of my country. People dying, and other claim they killed themselves to get the media’s attention. State tv lying balantly and people believing it. Murder after murder, lie after lie and nobody seems to get. 

Everyday the wedge is deepened more and more, and I scream and I beg anyone to try to think but nobody wants to. My hands shake as I write this. My face sad and soul tortured. 

Egyptians have made history, a dark history that will only ever be remembered with pain and agony. 

I am Egyptian and I am not a terrorist. And I mourn the deaths of those not afraid to stand up against this. 

 

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Why not …

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So a couple of days ago, I discovered iTunesU. It is the holy grail of nerds. When I first looked at the courses, I couldn’t decide what to download first. The things out there are amazing, from Mythology and Philosophy to Macroeconomics and Principles of Accounting. I was overwhelmed, the little nerd in me was jumping up and down in happiness. Eventually I pinned it down to Classical Mythology, Philosophy of Mind, Intro to Psychology and all the TED playlists that just blew my mind.

In two TED talk, this guy Sir Ken Robinson, talked about education, and how our current system of education does nothing but kill creativity. And that got me thinking, where do the creative people come from? And how are they different from all of us? How is it that they manage to express these brilliant ideas, and we can’t? How do they even get these ideas? Do they just sit around and think or does it just come to them?

Kathryn Shultz answered those questions in a TED talk of her own, saying that we can’t be creative, when we’re so afraid of being wrong. And that’s right, because we all come up with ideas, then forget about them because we’re too afraid to be wrong. Because society has taught us that being wrong is bad, when in reality, being wrong, feels like being right. What we’re afraid of is realizing we’re wrong. And why are we afraid? Why can’t we take the risk? Why aren’t we all diving into our own ideas and trying to create something?

Maybe its a question of who we’re going it for. We write for people to read, we draw or paint for people to admire and we invent for people to be thankful.  Why?

Why can’t we do it because we have to? Because there’s this passion inside of us that’s driving us to just put it out there, regardless of what it is. It’s this need to create, to express what we feel and think. Why should we care what people think? We’re individuals. Because what makes me me and you you? Its my ideas, my thoughts, and what my actions. My memories, my ups and downs. All that is the difference between people. We have forgotten the key to our species’ advancement, and that’s diversity. The human race is magnificent. With talents of all kinds, creating so many amazing things. So why do we all aim for the same thing? Why must we all be doctors and lawyers? Why aren’t art schools as appreciated? Why have we forgotten what art is?

Its expression. It is the human soul. It is us. All of us. And by destroying our own appreciation for it we destroy our identity. How did we learn about the Greeks? How did we learn about the Romans? How did anyone learn anything? Through art! The hieroglyphics, the pyramids, the vases and paintings and writings. That’s what we leave behind! So why do we suppress it? Why don’t we tell our stories the way our ancestors did? This is our history! What people will be reading about in their history books! We need to create! To aspire to great musicians and great painters. Because … why not?

Shaken

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I’ve been trying to write for ages, I mean what Egypt is going through, its historic. Be it military coup or revolution or a miracle of the spaghetti monster, it’s still historical. I’ve tried to write my thoughts about it, my feelings, my opinion. But its hard. I’m full of rage, I’ve never felt more betrayed. Because right now not one person betrayed me, but my country did. My friends did. The army that’s supposed to protect me, the people who know me, it doesn’t feel right anymore.

I didn’t care about what people thought about politics. It was politics, everyone was entitled to their own opinion. But what happened, it didn’t show people’s political stance, but it’s like I got a look deep down into the core of most Egyptians. It wasn’t pretty. There was so much hate. So much darkness, it scared me. To think that people I know and love, people who have shown kindness and warmth, can be so dark and hate this much was shocking. I was scared, I didn’t know who or what or how to trust. How am I ever going to trust anyone, knowing that they could be harboring a hate so much it was worse than cancer?

When this is the norm for the majority of people, you’d think you just have to deal with it, but I can’t. Everytime I talk to them, joke or anything, I remember the darkness they carry within them. It’s hard to ignore. Its bigger than anything anyone could have, because how can a person hate so much? I don’t get it, I’ve never seen anyone with the capacity to hate anyone this much. I’ve lived in the country of the oppressed gender for 18 years and I haven’t seen half of this hate.

Its like I lost a part of me when I saw that part them. The part that believes in humanity and kindness, and that deep down we all have the potential to be good people. That’s not true, in fact, it’s the opposite. If it wasn’t for rules and social norms, people would be ruthless. That s not saying they’re not. They are, but they could be so much worse.

When you see or hear or read somebody express so much hate towards somebody else, it scares you. Its shakes your beliefs, your deepest held opinions, makes you reevaluate everything you thought you had figured out. It shakes the very ground that some of us walk on. We look down and realize we were wrong, it’s not solid ground. And soon enough, we fall.

It feels wrong though, that this hate could ever exist. It makes no sense. I mean, why? Why hate so much? It’s not worth the time or energy. It’s not worth ruining your mood or who you are. No matter what. Isn’t that what they say? Don’t let people get to you? Nobody’s worth it?

So was I the only one that actually believed that? It feels lonely here, in the land of no hate. I feel left out, like this hate has made everybody feel like a family, and I’m just on the outside looking in, and terrified of that darkness.

I guess I’m just naive. Ignorant. Innocent. But if that’s the case, I think I’d rather stay like that. Ignorance really is bliss.

 

 

The Egyptian Diary

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Hello everybody,

I apologize for my long absence, but I’ve been busy with exams and such. But I’m back, hopefully to be as active as before, even though I’m not quite done yet.

Anyhow, I’m sure that everybody that knows what’s going on in Egypt. If not, let me fill you in. On June 30th, millions of people went out to demand early elections and that Morsi begone. A day after that, the Egyptian Armed Forces released an announcement, giving Morsi 48 hours to respond to the people’s demands or else. Two days ago the army decided that Morsi is no longer president. A new interim president has been installed, the former head of the Constitution Court; Adly Mansour. Little is known about him. He could have the power to drop a nuclear bomb on us, or the power of my left little toe. We don’t know.

Weeks before that occurred, power cuts quickly became a daily thing, lasting up to 8 hours at a time and sometimes occurring more than once a day. The same with water. Queus suddenly appeared in front of gas stations, extending over meters due to a sudden fuel shortage.

Now, Morsi’s been gone for about 2 days now. Miracioulsly, no power cuts, no water cuts, no lines at gas stations. Its like these problems never existed in the first place. Let’s assume Morsi had all that hidden in his back pockets.

To make it clear, I am not with the Muslim Brotherhood. I’ve never been a fan. But I’m against what happened. Morsi was Egypt’s first democratically elected president who inherited a broken country or 30 years of abuse. He inherited the Egyptian hate for the MB, and failed to manage this in any efficient way.

To me, this is nothing short of Military coup. History’s first people-endorsed military coup. You could say the people’s will denies that, however, it’s still a military takeover. Minutes after the announcement, the live feed from Rabea Aladwea, the site where pro-Morsi demonstrations were occurring was cut off. Three islamic channels were shut down and their journalists arrested.

A little while later arrest warrants for 300 MB member were issued, and more are still to come. If its not a military coup, then this is still not democracy. When the opposing party is arrested and harassed, and beaten by thugs in front of the police, democracy is null.

People are still celebrating, fireworks and flag everywhere. Naively pretending that the days ahead will not be harder than any other. Now that Egypt is clearly divided, God knows what could happen. Because once you make a deal with the devil, it always comes back to bite you.