Egypt: and the tale of an ordinary revolutionary

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.

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And then it happened.  The revolution.

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.  

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But it took only two days before my parents understood that this was a cause worth fighting for.  They remembered the 1950s -- a time when Egyptians had a real identity.  A time when people had hope.

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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.  

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I know now that this is Egypt.

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