My word is free #11Feb

I can do this.

I have been trying to write this blogpost for a while now. But there is an inner conflict going here between me and myself.

My present-self keeps doubting her words and her thoughts. She doesn’t want to share them because she thinks that it doesn’t matter anymore… or that her words might get her in trouble. My present-self has been avoiding trouble for around three years now in hopes of living a normal-like life. But my revolutionary-younger-self is trying to push me up. She’s telling me that my thoughts are still worth of being documented and shared like in the old times. And that one day my future-self might need to read them when in doubt or when she needs to remember who she is.

Anyways, I don’t want to confuse you anymore. My younger-self obviously won that argument. Here I am trying to put out there what I am currently thinking. It’s not going to be as elequoent as I’d like to believe some of previous writings were… but it doesn’t matter at this point. I just want to succeed in finishing that blog post.

Today marks a somewhat holy memory to many of us out there. The day when we thought we win. Six years ago, I thought this was the happiest day of my life.. or of our collective lives as Egyptians. We had just got back home from the square, and in less than an hour he stepped down. We screamed and yelled in euphoria. We went down to the streets, and celebrated. We chanted “People and the army are one hand.”

I woke up the next morning, and I went straight to the square. Without planning ahead I went to help in cleaning the effect of 18 days of protesting and the sit-ins. We cleaned like the square was our home or even more. I even picked up the cigarette stubs! A friend took a picture of me there looking exhausted yet happy and proud. I thought this was the beginning of our time to be in charge of our destiny. Six years later, I realize that I couldn’t be more wrong… or could I?

11 February 2011
Taken by Salma H. 11.02.2011

Honestly, I thought this day would still be painful to me just like I know it is for many of us. But the truth is, I am blessed with a weird selective memory that keeps forgetting A LOT of things without me having any choice in it. And I do believe it is for the best. After all, truth be told, these past six years have been transformational in a lot of ways some of which were not very pleasant. They had excruciating pain. So, the ability not to remember a lot of what happened and what I witnessed may be is a big factor in why I am still alive and breathing, and how I managed to survive till now. You think I’m being a drama queen? You have every right, but those who lived and shared these memories with me probably know I’m not.

May be the time has come to finally admit it: I do not regret taking part of this “revolution/movement/uprising/riots/anarchy”, but I am fully aware now that I might have revolted for the wrong reasons. At one point I used to think that the head of the regime was the sole devil and the reason for all the people’s misery. My mind kept switching between other vile politicians to blame. But in the end, they were not. The people keeps choosing to let this happen. And when I protested out there risking my life several times, my main trigger is that I wanted fair and justice to the people and myself. May be I shouldn’t have gone all that for the people. At least this is what I’m thinking of now. I’m not sure if it’s a phase, or I’m still channeling anger over people letting others die and ignoring it. Nevertheless, I think I would/should have done it for myself.

My only consolation, is that the rebellion lives within me. Hadn’t I gone through this incredible life-changing experience quite early in my life, I wouldn’t have gone closer to knowing who I truly am, and what my core values are. I wouldn’t have known that there is so much potential in me than I realize. And so like I once told a friendly British guy, I shifted my focus to my small daily personal revolution. I fight trying to protect my own identity, and keeps reminding myself that no one can suck the joy I find in little things out of my heart.

A couple of days ago I went to the book fair to attend Ahmed Khair’s signing session for his book “Min Al Shibak“. I didn’t know what the story is going to be about, and had I known, I honestly doubt that I would have read it. They were short stories that details real testimonies from the “deportation truck”. The irony here was I bought around 11 other novels from the book fair that falls under the same genre “comedy/hilarious/light” books. Yes, I have been avoiding all things that would trigger my empathy. I selfishly made a choice to keep on with my life and forget those who lost theirs. And with reading few pages, I felt instantly that these testimonies are real. Are we the only ones who are going to read these stories, get affected by them knowing that there is so little we can do? May be for those behind bars, that’s so much hope and more.

A lot of the time I ask myself whether any of my actions in the past were a reason for how someone lost his life or was put away in prison. The thought even frightens me. The guilt is there, deep inside my mind, and I doubt I’ll ever get rid of it… how come you got away alive while others didn’t.

I don’t know how to end this blog post, except by saying, that no matter what happens next, we still have our memories. My head will still remain high, for I never wanted any harm for anybody. I demanded justice and fairness for the people. I still have hope it will come true, and I might live to witness that day. My dreams still live. I hope to have a conversation with my revolutionary-younger-self one day and tell her, that I hadn’t given up on us. 

76

Hey there,

I came here now because I got an impulse to go back to writing and I pour myself out there. Yes, it’s scary. But I usually find myself more expressive when blogging than when sharing some status on Facebook or Twitter. You ask me why? I don’t know. May be I feel more comfortable in talking to strangers than people I know who will certainly judge me.

I usually ask myself, have I stopped/decreased being judgmental because I became in a minority position where the likelihood of being suppressed/discriminated against is higher or is it because I started to mature and become more aware?

I like to think it’s the second one. I mean, I’ve always argued with my family when they said racist comments about people who practice other religions. I’ve always hated discrimination and the idea of asking for rights for only those who share the same opinions and beliefs as you. May be I was more judgmental when I did not have much empathy for those who were way beyond my comfort zone to get to talk to them and know them.

When I hear someone saying something as absurd as “I don’t mind the lesbians but I can’t stand the idea of gays.. Yuck!”, I try not to judge them much for it. I mean, I did not make up my mind that I totally support LGBT until I have met one. And they were very nice and decent, that I said to myself: “Wow, I never thought about it before and what do I stand for there.. why would I feel that someone like this should be killed just because of who he is? Who is he hurting by being himself?” Suddenly then it struck me how hard it is to be gay, especially in a region like ours, consumed by hating whoever is different.

Whenever I experience something that is totally out of my comfort zone, it gives me a chance to make up my mind about it. Do I accept it? Shall I go for it? Yes, sometimes I make the wrong choice, but then this is part of growing up. Learning from it.

So yes.. finally arrived at my main point here. I wanted to talk about growing up. I admit, the past couple of years (roughly I mean the past 3 ones) were full of self-doubt, self-loathing at times, uncertainty, and countless attempts to forget the pain and to kill my empathy. By the end of last year, I suddenly realized this isn’t gonna work. But then I was too in-depth and too consumed to do anything about it.

Now, I thought 2016 will be my year. The year when I start fulfilling my dreams, break free a little bit, and have hope in myself again. But by April, I totally broke down. Throughout the past few months,  I was stumbling. Rising and falling, enduring, in short: I was in pain. Pain can do two things to you: it can either shatter you in pieces, or motivate you into swimming faster to the shore.. where you can survive and start again. I guess it did both things to me.

There are 76 days left in 2016. This only means one thing: I need to get over my survival mode in this period. Three years are quite enough for it. I tried to play it safe but instead I got myself in much deeper shit and pain. I need to forgive myself for whatever mistakes I have made. I need to forgive whoever caused me so much pain as this is the only means to truly moving on. I need to trust myself more, and to keep believing. I need to enjoy life again. As bad as it seems now, life is a gift that is worth living. And during the 76 days left this year, I am going to try my best and make every single day count.

Here’s to the new beginnings.. here’s to love and life. Here’s to hope. Here’s to me.

14625695_351495591858883_1906231703_o

عبالي.. :) #موسيقى

Sorry Lemonada that I used your title. I swear it’s not intended to be one of like ! 😀

Not gonna lie to you. It’s a bit confusing when trying to get up again on your feet. You will need first to figure out who you were before… In an attempt to restore a sense of who I was and what used to make me happy, I decided to browse my music lists!

Hope you enjoy it as much as I’m doing now. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

tumblr_o1mjuisYEv1rz474ko1_500
“Inception” (2010)

 

 

23 June – #Breathe

One might feel it’s an exaggeration, but for me I mean every word when I say that art can save lives. A song, a movie, a painting , a dance, an expression can help you survive the most excruciating experiences.

I remember now in mind the beautiful movie “The Pianist” based on the real story of  Władysław Szpilman.

“Humanity seems doomed to do more evil than good. The greatest ideal on earth is human love.”
Wilm Hosenfeld, The Pianist: The Extraordinary Story of One Man’s Survival in Warsaw, 1939–45

x600

One of the movies that made me envy artists. Artists can beautifully express themselves. They have a very powerful weapon to fight with. I always admire artists and wish I could be one of them. May be it’s time? Who knows! 🙂

The thing about art that directly touches your soul, is that it’s sincere and authentic. You feel connected to the artist. You feel relevance.

Continue reading “23 June – #Breathe”

18 مايو – شئ سخيف

بقالي فترة مكتبتش حاجة بالعربي… في الحقيقة، انا بحاول بشكل مستمر ارجع اكتب رغم اني في نفس الوقت مش عايزة اكتب.

ليه؟ عشان لما بارجع اقرا اللي بكتبه بيضايقني.. هيفيد بإيه اقعد اكتب ف كلام محبط وحزين وسوداوي..

في البلوج القديم كنت بكتب بغرض التوثيق أكتر من أي هدف تاني. كنت حابة اسجّل افكاري وتطور شخصيتي ف وقت معين كنت شايفاه تاريخي وحيوي بالنسبالي وبالنسبالنا كلنا.

دلوقتي هكتب عن ايه؟

Continue reading “18 مايو – شئ سخيف”

6 May

Hey there,

I couldn’t write the past couple of days.. but here I am 🙂

Lying back during my weekend. Feeling refreshed despite all. I started watching GoT since yesterday.. wanted to see what the fuss is all about. I know I’m going to be hated for it but I really couldn’t connect much with its characters. This isn’t my type of series but I would still continue to watch it.

I don’t want to continue blogging sad dramatic thoughts as usual, so I will try to keep it short, and to concentrate on the positive.

I do realize that there are many things I should be grateful to have in life.. things that might go unnoticed. I also realize that returning to trust people was one of the best decisions I have made. Yes, some might betray your trust, and it will hurt. But this shouldn’t come in the way of having empathy, and investing in others.

Life will still be full of ups and downs. And there is a high probability that this is only the beginning. I do realize that you worry that you are getting older, and that you are waiting for your high accomplishments. But please be patient. It is very needed at these hard times.