Tahrir Sq, Cairo–I’m an Egyptian living in the US, and after years of not being an activist but working in a poor community and trying to affect one person’s life at a time, I became an Egyptian American activist again during the revolution. Hundreds of people came out in cities across the globe to stand with the Egyptian people, and I work with others in NYC to keep showing up and to stand with them even after Mubarak stepped down.
After Mubarak stepped down a group of us worked on our right to vote from abroad. This really excited me as it would be the first time I ever cast a ballot in a national election. It became clear that I would need to return to Egypt to get my national ID card and, come on, I wanted to see my country during these changes. I also look forward to visiting my sitter who moved back after the revolution. I planned my trip for early July. After I got my tickets it became clear that the youth would be returning to Tahrir on July 8th, one day before my arrival. I took along a sleeping bag and tent, as I knew my sister was going to be sleeping in Tahrir, and I planned to be right next to her. I spent 10 nights in the Square, only leaving to shower, see family, and sleep (I cannot sleep with all-night discussion outside my tent, so I mostly watched my sister sleep). I met so many wonderful life-long friends there, and because of Twitter and Facebook we stay in close contact and follow each others doing.
Once I returned to New York I started getting tweets FROM EGYPT about the US Day of Rage, which would later become the OCCUPY movement. I could not make any of the planning meetings, as I was in the middle of moving to DC, but I made a point of going out to Occupy DC/K Street often, and got as involved as a Mom could be. I brought my children down and even organized a Halloween event for families. I could write a whole another story about the shortcomings of Occupy and Tahrir, and there are many. But I thought is should warm some people’s heart to hear how Occupy and Tahrir made me feel at home only a few months apart and how I have met some of the most amazing people because of these two movements.
- Anonymous -