Egypt: from the ground by Meram Dawoud

Date: 07 October 2013

Meram Dawoud

In the past three years, I have seen things I never thought I would see and I have experienced things that I only read about in books. In the past three years, I have changed…….

As it is known for all of you that the once stable and peaceful Egypt, known for its peaceful nature, wonderful weather, people working in more than one job a day to earn a good living and tourists visiting all year long, this Egypt that I have known till the age of 24, has been experiencing very fast & very critical changes in the last three years of my 27 year old life!

I have lived a fairly good life in Egypt, my family gave me a good education and I used all the chances and the opportunities given to me, until I became a clever pharmacist. But not all young people like me have been given these chances and not all young people like me have been able to find opportunities to use! And this is why young people rose against the injustice & corruption that deprived them of these chances and these opportunities, dreaming of a new home where there is “Bread, Freedom & Social Justice” for all.

And the president who we thought would die in his chair and deliver the presidency to his descendant, gave up the presidency and gave up the chair, and then, I saw the first thing  never thought I’d see and experienced the first thing I read about only in books :


And one would think he might not experience a revolution in their life, maybe one revolution, but We Egyptian youth experienced two revolutions, two revolutions in a lifetime!! We thought that the Muslim Brotherhood were a harder regime to get rid of, they were worse politicians, worse economists and worse negotiators than Mubarak’s regime, but it happened, a second revolution happened against injustice and oppression, still dreaming of changing our nation into a one that provides” Bread, freedom & Social justice” for all!

I never thought it would happen, nevertheless happen twice! For many years we Egyptians have learnt to cope with the current circumstances whether they are good or bad, helpful or strenuous. We coped with bad conditions from the smallest levels of it in children’s education, through lack of enforcement of laws and up to Government & Presidency levels where many decisions they took were not in the good of our nation. Some learned to cope, but other young people just couldn’t take it anymore, and this is when I experienced the first change:” I will not cope, I will fight Evil around me”.

Many times I gave up, many times I thought that fighting is not going to make a difference, because this is the case in all the world, it is an evil world. Why would bad things that have remained for decades in the society around me change because I stood against them for hours or days?  The only way I would achieve a positive change is to improve myself, but that’s about it! I believed that if I want to experience a change for the good, it would have only to be what I can change in myself; this is the only way to change my society into a better place. But these young people who rebelled reminded me that it is possible to achieve change not only in me (which is important), but also, in the society around me by standing against the evil in it and by fighting for the good. Revolution can happen not just in me but in the society around me.

Many of these young people gave up their lives for one reason, so that they & others live better! And this is when I was reminded of the third thing I want to tell you about: “My message & the other”

It’s been long since I saw people who set the “Message” of their life to be: “Fight for you and for the other”. It sort of reminds me of God’s commandment: “Thou shall Love thy neighbor as thy self”. I personally know a young man who sometimes only went to El Tahrir square during the revolutions against Mubarak’s and Muslim brotherhood regimes because others are under attack. He personally told me that he went to El Tahrir square knowing that he might die, but he had to go to protect the others! And this makes one wonder: how far are you ready to go for the sake of the other?  How far is the “other” included in your life’s “Message”?!

The last thing I have had a changed perspective about during those last three years or let’s say a revived one, actually I have always believed that” Injustice is short lived”, but it was not always clear in my eyes that this happens in “Big injustices” like bad rulers or widely spread injustices that are affecting the whole globe, but what can I say, Humans have a bad habit of forgetting! I forgot how slavery, apartheid, Nazi rulers and many many other “injustices” in this world have ended someday, however long they stayed, but they always end!

I have seen the unjust regime of Mubarak end, although it took thirty years, but it ended. I saw the more unjust regime of Muslim brotherhood end, although we thought it would be harder to get rid of it than Mubarak’s regime, but it ended in a shorter time. Yes still we are suffering from the consequences of what they did when they ruled, but their regimes, their unjust regimes someday ended! And all other “injustices” will do too!

My country has changed, my whole world has changed but most importantly, I have changed! I saw revolutions happen in real life not just in books and not just in me, I learnt not to cope with the wrong or the evil in this world, I will fight it with all the energy I have even if it’s not much. I will think of “my neighbor” more, I will appreciate them more. I saw with my own eyes and during my time that “Injustice is short lived”. And with all that has changed in me, I pray I will fulfill God’s message to my life and be a reason of bringing good to this world like many others have devoted their life to!