A message to Egyptians in Egypt from Egyptians in Egypt

Please help me get this to people in Egypt.

My sister and mother and the rest of my family are in Egypt.

They called asking to get the word out:

They are trying to call Al Me7war, OTV and Dream because these are channels that Egyptians might be watching right now

They want to tell everyone not to panic about food.  People should stick together and ration consumption.  They are asking people not to panic.

If you don’t panic, then you can think and act better.

And this is a message from me:

Everything has a price and right now this is the price of freedom and a better future.

As long as people do not panic and focus on the important thing, taking the regime down then you will prevail.

The regime is using intimidation tactics and making sure that this kind of standstill will cause panic and prices to rise.  Do not let them win.

Stand firm and you will win.

28th January 2011 in Egypt

Yesterday was a very long day for me, I was up from 7 am trying to get as much news as possible.  Egypt being under total lock down communication wise, I had to rely on AlJazeera and tweets.  Aljazeera Mubasher was shut down and Aljazeera and AlJazeera English were doing live broadcasts all day.  There was nothing else to do but follow the news and retweet and tweet about it.

For the first time in recent history the Egyptians have really taken to the streets, the last time being in 1977 when Sadat wanted to increase prices.  People have been protesting since Tuesday the 25th and what was supposed to be a 1 day protest has turned into 5 days of protests.  Thursday night rumors started circulating that phones and the internet would be shut down.  They had already been blocking social media sites and by Friday morning they were completely cut off.  It was as if Egypt did not exist anymore.  The idea was if people could not communicate they would not take to the streets, but people were already decided on protesting after Friday prayers.  And that is exactly what they did.

Tear gas, rubber bullets and hosing did not stop them from standing firm.  There are also reports of live ammunition being used.  And by the evening the riot police had pulled out and the army started going into the streets.

Mubarak did not make a statement until after midnight.  In my opinion they were either in total chaos or they wanted looting and chaos to start in the streets ( I also beleive they were the ones causing the theft and vandalism ) so they could justify use of exccessive force and more violent retaliation.  A speech that was annoying and maddening, it did not calm the people.  Almost thirty years under his rule have taught people not to believe or trust the government.  Why would a new cabinet be any different from the ones before.

People don’t want reform they want real change.  And right now they are still waiting and fighting for it.  Rumors are circulating that a 4pm curfew has been implemented and at the same time people are heading to Tahrir square for another protest. Will the army interfere?  Will they fire at citizens?  Or will they protect them?  All questions that are burning my head.  Oh and state media?  It is very reminscent of what it was like in 1967 (el naksa) with totally skewed and misleading reporting.

If you want real news and information then you can check the news websites.

This is my own personal account and feelings that I am documenting because I know that whatever happens today, history is usually rewritten and modified later.  It is also the only outlet I have left.  My relatives and friends out of Egypt are also stressed and anticipating what is yet to come.  My husband and I were glued to the TV and the computer all of yesterday until we heard Mubarak’s speech.  I think my blood pressure went thru the roof then and refuses to come back down.

I managed to call my mother this morning.  My mother and sister live in Alex and even though they are stressed and slightly scared, I know my mother understands that the situation was not only inevitable but is willing to pay the price.  You see even if right now the president decides to step down, Egypt has a very long way until things stabilize and even after that a longer time for things to turn around and real reform starts to happen.  Just thinking of the stock market’s 12 billion dollar loss is enough to make me shiver.  Which brings me to another question, why was trading suspended for one hour and then resumed again?  In such a situation why didn’t they close it altogether to save the stock market from this kind of downfall?  Other questions like why did it take the president 4 days before he addressed the people?  Who is a good presidential candidate later on?  How will people trust communications companies later on?  The fear always was that these companies were spying on the people for the government, now people will not trust them at all.  I understand that these are companies that have to follow orders, but they are also huge multinational entities that must have some kind of leverage.  Which then brings us back to the constitution that does not really protect us.  Wait it should protect us, but we are under Emergency law.  Which they couldn’t place us under because we’ve been under it for the last century or something.   Oh, the same constitution that states in the case of the absence of the president we have 60 days to elect a new one!

There are positive outcomes from the situation, regardless of what happens in the end.  The first being that the Egyptians have decided to take matters into their own hands.  A whole generation of Egyptians (anyone under 30) has never known any president other than Husni Mubarak, myself included.  We have been fed lies for years that ‘ele ne3rafi a7san me ele mane3rafhoosh’  what we know is better than the unknown or that the Muslim brother hood would take over and turn Egypt into another Saudi Arabia with their Wahabist ideas.  I am starting to feel that this was all a conspiracy.  After the Muslim Brotherhood’s obvious lack of involvement or ability to lead the people they are no longer a real threat.   If a real democratic election takes place I don’t think that would be a problem at all.  Another really good thing, is that people have started forming local watch groups to keep their neighborhoods safe.  I watched in awe yesterday as protesters cordoned the Museum to keep it safe.  The museum is not just an Egyptian museum, it houses many priceless artifacts and pieces, it would be a colossal cultural loss for all humanity if it were to be under any kind of threat.  Not to mention that these are people demonstrating while they have not leader, they are not part of any organization but they all want the same thing, basically a better Egypt.

So many unanswered questions, that only time will answer.

I know that half of this is totally incoherent babbling, but I am miles away, I can’t protest myself and don’t have anyone else to discuss it with except my poor husband who is probably just as stressed out and confused as I am.  We are Egypt loving Egyptians who would love to go back, who would love to see Egypt how it should be and not how it actually is.  So even though we are not in the Egyptian streets right now helping our country men, we are still very worried about them, praying for them and trying to do anything we can.

P.S. And to my almost 3 year old daughter who does not fully understand what is going on on:  I hope that when you are older I can tell you the story of the day Egypt woke up from a very long slumber and said no.


أقولكم إيه حكايتي مع مصر
أنا صحيح ماتولدتش في مصر ولا عشت طفولتي في مصر
بس أنا مصرية في الصميم
و بحب بلدي، أصل بلدي دي مش حكومة ولا أرض
مصر دي أمي و أبويا إلى مدفون في ترابها
مصر هي عيلتي و أهلي
مصر هي البلد الوحيده إلى بنتميلها
مصر إلى أنا ماكنتش عايزة أسافر و أسيبها عشان حاسة و مقتنعة إن لو مش أنا و أنت و إنتي حنبنيها نعمرها ماحدش حيعمرها ويخليها أحسن
مصر مش الحضارة بتاعت الفراعنة ولا هي أهرامات و نيل
مصر هي أوقاتنا الحلوة و أفراحنا مصر هي أحزان و أيامنا الصعبة
مصر حلم جميل موجود جوا كل واحد فينا ببلد جميل آمن
إحنا جيل مظلوم
جيل تربى إنو ماييحلامش و مش بيسدأ إن بكرة ممكن يكون أحسن
جيل ملهوش حلم يجمعه
أنا صحيح مش قادرة أنزل أقف في الشارع
بس أنا أقدر أربي بنتي صح
أقدر أفهم الدستور بتاعي عشان أفهم حقي صح
أقدر أحلم ببكرة في حق و عدل
أقدر أبطل خوف من الدنيا
أقدر أفكر و أشتغل و أعمل حاجة حلوة عشان بكرة يبقى حلو
إحنا نمنا كتير و سكتنا كتير و دلوقتي آن الأوان إننا نقف يد واحدة وحنا متأكدين إن إحنا حنغير و نتغير
الله أعلم المرحلة إلى جاية حتكون عاملة إزاي بس أكيد مش حتبقى سهله
بس ده مش مهم المهم إننا جاهزين و مستعدين ليها

ولكل واحد أو واحده واقفين في الشارع من يوم 25 يناير بدعيلكم بالسلامه و بالقوه و بدعيلكم علشان إنتو بتدافعو عن حقي و حق أهلي في بلدي
ربنا معاكم يصبركم و يقويكم

Friday’s Five: Why?

1. Why do people wear sunglasses inside?
2. Why do I always need to go back five or six times to check that doors are locked?
3.  Why do some people think it is not possible to be pragmatic and romantic at the same time (Shi this one is for you because you were wondring)?
4.  Why do some people insist on using lots of English words in their conversations when they can’t pronounce them and then get really defensive when you correct them?
5.  Why aren’t there good quality clothes for muhajabat that are both comfortable and modest and aren’t made out of polyester and look good too?

Friday’s Five: Things I would love to drive

Tractor, submarine, vespa, cessna 185 and a mobile crane

Friday’s Favorite French Word

Just because every once in a while I like to step out of my comfort zone and do something completely different.

Here is my favorite French word.


Thursday’s Thought: Floors and Ceilings

Thursday's Thought

The first thing I look at when I enter a place is the floors and the ceilings.
I have no idea why. I just do it.

Isn’t this one cute?

At restaurants I then look at the silverware, then the flatware, then check out the rest rooms.

:-) can’t help it.

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2010 in review

And I am back.
This post might be a couple of days too late but, better late than never.
2010 was the year of change and the year of self discovery.
It started out really rocky and stressful and managed to change into a totally different experience.

I started this post yesterday but then couldn’t find the right words.
People who know me, know that I am a woman of few words, but every once in a while I do a lot of talking.
I would like to confess I always have a lot of things to say but I always need a lot of time to decide how I want to express those ideas in my head.

But part of the decision I made in 2010 was to be me and to just say stuff I felt like saying when I felt like it.

2010 was the year I decided to be me again.
2010 was the year I decided to accept my differences and live with them.
2010 was the year I gave myself permission to take over my fear and yes I do still feel afraid a lot of the time but now I am certain I can fight it.
2010 was the year I decided it was ok to say no to relationships I didn’t want
2010 was the year I realized I could tell people no, be more assertive and the world would not end then and there.
2010 was the year I accepted that I was not the right person in the wrong place but the right person doing the right things for the wrong reasons. I just needed to find the right reasons and things that were even more right for me.
2010 was the year I decided to break out of the stereotype I had created in my head
2010 was the year I mourned by father (11 years too late)
2010 was the year I unleashed my creativity.
2010 was the year I decided that unless I would live up to my full potential I would never be happy.
2010 was the year I decided to really stop what people think. Not the people I care about or care about me, but people that don’t matter.
2010 was the year I realized I could do so much more than I ever thought.
2010 was the year I decided to take better care of myself so I could take better care of others.
2010 was the year I found peace inside of me.
2010 was the year I found myself again after so many years of feeling lost. I was never really lost. I just thought I was lost.
2010 was the year I decided on a parenting style.
2010 was a year of change and hope.
2010 was the year I decided to let go of everything I don’t need. Old clothes, books, memories, people, dreams, ideas so I could make more space for the things I really did need and want.
2010 was the year I decided it was ok to want more from life and go after it.

2010 was a good year.

I still won’t make resolutions but that’s ok because I don’t need them. All I really need is to go out and live a full life no matter what life has in store for me