It's hard to explain, she said. But I feel like I was dreaming before, like my eyes were closed, like there was no hope. I knew I couldn't leave Egypt because I couldn't leave my parents. But still I told myself that if I had children one day that I would go elsewhere so that they, at least, could have a future.
I saw it on Facebook at first -- notices of marches, protests at Tahrir square. In the beginning, my parents were afraid for me when I walked out the door.
The revolution had taught me so many things. I used to see only the differences between us, we Egyptians-- class, education, our approach to religion. During the revolution, we mingled for the first time, sharing a dream, a love of this country. I remember there was one man from the Muslim Brotherhood who came up to me on Tahrir Square and appologized; he said that before the revolution he thought that girls like me were unchaste, bad somehow, but that now he had changed his mind. Another girl wearing a full face scarf asked if I would look after her daughter while she ran an errand; she said that on the Square she had seen me -- really seen me -- and that she trusted me. During the revolution, men in beards with prayer marks on their foreheads walked arm in arm with men in T-shirts and tattoos.