Like a sunshine on a rain drop bed
Are the colours her eye-lashes shed.
Like the sequence of a kaleidoscope to the beam
Comes a creature no-one has ever seen.
Un human, but never-the-less,
Her hair, her clothes are all a mess
To the dirt and boulevards she strolls
With a rag dress full of holes.
But I’ve gazed at dresses in the balls
And I’ve glimpsed the diamonds in the halls.
So it is not the rag she wears in her sheepish sense,
But the broken smile I yearn to mend.
The bleeds of rose thorns on her finger
And the petals of rejection that linger.
The girl with roses, and no cent in hand
My fever to her I can’t understand.
The affection, the weakness, devotion and lust
Of her rainbow eyes I will always trust.
But they say I am a man, born with a silver spoon
And she is my juliet who will be gone soon.
But a man is a man as greedy as the sea
When waves crash, nothing can flee.
Trapped in the adrenaline of her mystery
And in the seduction of her history.
But just like a coward I walk away
And to my heart I will always say:
“My concious has invaded and to your defeat
I will live with regrets and I will never seat
Till I find her once again and our eyes meet
And maybe then will I attain my treat
Of her Rainbow Eyes
To my victorious tries.”
I woke up second day after arrival of Harara from Paris . I remember the night of his arrival was very distinct. The sky was dark, yet moonlit, it was noisy, yet tranquil; It was perfect. My body was near my phone accessing twitter, while my mind, my whole spirit was at the gates of Cairo Airport awaiting our Hero. My spirit felt myself embracing this trade-mark of bravery, felt myself telling him, you have changed the way I look to the world, now I look to the world through your eyes.
After I woke up, I paid my visit to the Medical main campus where I found a group of students, packed around a projector and a booth where they had white cloth, and plaster tape. I didn’t get any closer to the booth when I spotted that view across a distance, because it took me time to coprehend the event students, who study at MY University have planned for that day. As I walked towards the booth I was welcomed by tens of posters of Harara, his hopeful smile, and his shining heart.
There isn’t much to say to how amazed I felt at that instant. A group of students had eye patches on one of their eyes. There were a few ladies who participated with the eye-patch. Other conservative ladies would stare in amusement. They labeled their patch: امرأة TT: Lady. One man labeled his patch: عين مصر TT: Egypt’s eyes, while the rest had the usual: جدع يا باشا TT: Good one, Boss (In reply to video of sniper)
One girl broke into tears, she shouted out: I can’t stand this patch for half an hour. I wonder how he’s accepting the fact that he has lost both his eyes. He’s a true hero, my mind can’t even picture how different he is from the rest of us, human.
I went around each and everyone of them and asked if there was one message they’d like Harara to hear, besides their Eye-patch plague event, or as I call it. Here is what I got.
إحن عينيك TT: We are your eyes.
كان نفسي إبقى زييك TT: I wish I were in your shoes.
أنا احمد حرارة TT: I am Ahmed Harara.
إحن هنجيب حق عينيك الراحت و مبروك عليك نور قلبك TT: We will bring justice to your eyes you have lost, and God bless your shining heart.
انت انسان عظيم أوي TT: You are a very great man.
انت عينين مصر TT: You are Egypt’s eyes.
جدع يا دكتور TT: Good one, Doctor.
مصر كلها معاك TT: All Egyptians are by your side.
إحن في طريق مالهوش رجوع، يا نأخذ حقنا يا نموت زي شهداءنا TT: We are in a one direction road, we either bring just and rights to our people, or we follow path of our martyrs.
قال الرسول (ص): من ابتلاه الله في حبيبتيه فصبر، كان جزائه الجنة TT: Quoted by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH): In this world, if Allah tests your patience by taking away your sight, and you succeed, you shall be gifted Aljannah.
بنشوف الدنيا من خلالك TT: You are our eyes, we see the world through.
Shut your eyes and see. – James Joyce
I tell a story, I tell a story.
I tell a story, I am in no hurry.
I tell a story, I am here to stay.
I tell a story, I must say.
A story that started 30 years late.
A story of protests that undulate.
A story as fresh as Alexandria shore spindrift.
A story in Ramadan, Eid, & Christmas to Egyptians I gift.
A story that started by the word “enough”.
A story that continues by the power of love.
Detains, torture, loss of lives
Bullets, fire, and bloody knives.
But nothing can stop a gold-wire will
Because not even scissors will keep it still.
Months and months they serve us words
Months and months warriors sharpen their swords.
They killed our youth, they exposed our women.
They talk of Religion, but do nothing but sin.
A story of men who buried their fear.
A story of women who no longer tear.
A story of a man, who lost his sight
And forever he’ll see the glory of his fight.
A story of a man, who is taped to silence
And forever his words will echo in patience.
A story of a man, innocent as could be
But playing weak would not make him flee.
A baby that cries, missing a half of his blood
And a mother at home, tells stories to flood.
A story of a lady, as strong as a horse
But a victim of act so brutal and coarse.
A story of a lady who can bruise them with words
And all they could do was break her sword.
Break a weapon she used to weaken them more
But that didn’t stop her, although it’s still soar.
A story of a boy, who stitched, helped all he could.
But at the end his white coat soaked in blood.
A battle between black and white.
A battle where grey is far from the light.
Two wars youth strive to win.
One of which, with those close as kin.
The other, on my grounds they strive in fight
With the adrenaline of the dark offers the night.
“Take my eye, or even my life
God knows I have no guns not even a knife.”
It never ends up to this day
When it comes to stories I will always say:
I have a story, only I can tell.
I have a story, where corruption fell.
I have a story, that won’t come to an end
Because our broken heart is hard to mend.
I have a story, all generations possess
Because when they revolt age is meaningless.
I have a story, inside each and everyone of you.
I have a story, of people so true.
Everyday is a new battle, a new experience, a new challenge. You’d think those you live with, those you share a dinner table with, those who know the best of you, would help you fight this battle. You’d think those people would be in front line with you, but instead you see them on the other side of the battle feild. You holler, you stop, just about to trip. You dig your feet in the sand of the battle field, keep yourself strong, take a deep breath because you might be fighting your biggest fear.
Even though I love each and every one of those I may be in battle with, I do not wish to lose this battle. I also know there might be fear behind every sentence my ears are flushed to hear. But those who roam inside me have every counter to shield and attack.
I’ve come up with this short dialogue, to sum up what I’ve been indirectly mentioning above. I know I am not alone here, I know I’m eighTEEN, pretty much makes me still a TEENager, pretty much makes me ‘immature’. And so this is to all my TEEN friends who have dug their feet in the sand, just like I have.
They say: You are too young.
I say: I am old enough to know what’s best.
They say: You don’t know what’s best.
I say: Maybe I dont, but it didn’t take me 30 years to find out.
They say: You don’t understand how much we’re losing everyday.
I say: Actually I do, I understand the value of life; I understand how much lives we’re losing. I understand the value of dignity; I understand how much dignity we’re losing. I understand the value of integrity; I know how much intergity we’re losing. You meant those 3 aspects, didn’t you?
They say: But our economy is deteriorating, do you want to live with no food. The standard you are living in, doesn’t come with a cheap price tag.
I say: I’d rather live hungry, in rags but with dignity, head up high, than live silenced.
They say: You say this because you don’t have responsibilities to face.
I say: I do, I have a country to fight for and build from scratch.
They say: What you’re doing is destroying it even more. Let us keep the little that remains.
I say: The little that remains? If you build on rusted metal, what ever you build will fall into a million pieces, and make a bigger mess than the mess you’re trying to fix. We must get rid of all the dirt, but not hide it under a carpet. We must get rid of it, for good.
They say: But we’re scared.
I say: So am I, I’m scared of the past we lived in, that’s why I fight for the better future.
They say: But all you have to do is study, work hard in your University, and by that, you are building a better future.
I say: I already strive to be the best. Better does not satisfy me, only the best does. That’s what I want for my country, I can not live with better, my country deserves to be the best.
They say: You give chance for those who do not want the best for this country, to destroy and manipulate all that is good.
I say: And without us, they’ll be doing the exact same, but you wouldn’t notice. They’ll make you see what they want you to see, they are of power our minds have limitated capacity to imagine. But as for now, I have seen greater power, I have felt stronger vibes. On January 25th, our power was so strong, it made Tahrir the centre of the globe. We need that power once again, because sadly some have forgotten all about it.
Highlights of Alexandia, on Friday 23rd of December.
Alexandria just like every other governorate, breathes freedom. The people of Alexandria are pumped with energy, raised by the flame of rage SCAF have implanted inside each and every one of them. This rage is expressed in a wave of men and women marching the streets of Alexandira. Both men and women protesters avenge martyr’s blood, and tahrir women who were sexually assaulted infront of the world.
Therefore, in return they decide to scream, expload, burst into a hundred chants, no more silence, no more keeping quiet.
I decide to write highlights of today’s protests because Alexandria is nothing less than Tahrir. The people of Alexandria stamp the coast of Egypt, with uproar pride of winning this battle.
Chants varied from those about Martyrs, to those againts SCAF, to chants about Tahrir woman and finally chants concerning Muslim brotherhood.
There were a couple of ladies with the microphone, dressed in black, one of them held a picture of one of the martyrs up high and they both had that grief look on their faces and eyes. If you couldn’t tell from that, well you had the view of them screaming their hearts on the microphone, different chants, to prove their broken hearts. They were powerful women, women who crossed the taboo of keeping themselves low-guarded, or as Egyptians would put it, keeping themselves near the wall. They were strong, they had a heart that was bruised, and that heart had many stories to tell, many souls re-lived, souls of the dead still roaming our streets.
When the chants directed towards a more discomfortable topic, SCAF, chants got louder, more agressive. There isn’t much to describe, but dertermination about them being anywhere but our side, and Egypt belongs to its people. Therefore, SCAF does not belong in the equation.
The minute you hear women’s voice outweigh men’s, the minute you see the leaders of the march are a group of women, the minute you hear the words, ‘our daughters’, ‘exposed’, ‘A women stronger than a hundred men’; that minute you know they’re just like the rest of the world. Like the rest of the world, who puts their feet down to sexual assualt, against exactly what happened to the famous ‘blue-bra woman’. I would have preferred not mentioning that nickname, but sadly that’s what she’s famous for. For all who are reading this, and know her as ‘blue-bra girl’, please, let it known to you and the rest of the world that she is what we, Egyptians, call ‘Tahrir woman’, or as Twitter would put it #TahrirWoman. Women have marched alone, symbolically, and now both women and men march with pride to how Egyptian women have become as they call themselves, the red line.
To a more selfish topic, I remember walking near the area where all the marches will gather for mass-protesting. I remember the look on every protesters face seeing how packed it had already been before us even joining them, I remember the sparkle in their eyes. Even though I couldn’t see my eyes glow, I could see it through everybody else’s. In that instant, the leader chanted “Alexandria, we did it, we made it a million man march, without the brotherhood, without the brotherhood.” I remember I kept my eyes over 2 ladies who were in niquabs, it was because I was anxious what got them here when their representative asked them not to join. To my surprise they were chanting, they were chanting solemnly and merely. I guess that moment gave me hope, hope that actually those who support them might have realised that it’s not a two direction feeling. They might actually have popped their bubbles, opened their eyes to the main reason why the brotherhood wanted Mubarak out. To take his place instead.
Banners of all sorts were everywhere, my favourites are the ones published with this post. one of which, a caricature, work of the famous yet criticised artist Carlos Latuff, showing Tahrir woman as being some sort of comic super-lady. The other, which is the banner held by a man up high, its translation: A message to my precious sister, I’m sorry, sorry for everything. They’re the ones who were exposed and not you.
I would go on and on typing words of how bewildered it felt today being around the bustle of all this. But I wont, all I have to tell you is this. It’s priceless to feel the air of democracy, you should try it.
What I’ve learnt from strangers:
I was sitting on a couch in the middle of a huge mall, my friends come up to me, and we talk a little. Usually us socio-upper-class Egyptians, have a manner of talking both in English and Arabic simultaneously. My friends leave and I see this man, staring at me, imprisoning the words in his mouth waiting for the exact right moment to burst a conversation. He looked Arab, I could tell by his wrinkles. You never see as much engraved wrinkles except on an Arab face. Us, Arabs, endure a lot, and we fail to hide it; the carved aching wrinkles say it all. It didn’t have to take him to speak in that strong, rich, resonant voice of his for me to notice his ethnicity, everything in his face pointed it out -crystal clear-.
You will notice the English structured sentences of his were not so fluent, and I deliberately write them in the same way they were uttered from his mouth.
HIM: Where you from?
HIM: I could tell you are ‘Arab
ME: How come?
HIM: The way you talk to your friends, I heard the Arabic pronunciation. Very distinct, only in Arabic.
HIM: You say you come from Egypt?
HIM: So how is everything now? okay?
(This was in july 2011)
ME: Not its best, our economy is deteriorating by the second, it goes down as we speak. Islamists are opportunists in disguise and no-one truly believes Mubarak is facing justice. Martyrs’ families are devastated, all they want right now is the integrity of their children.
HIM: Typical Islamists, beware of them.
ME: Where are you from?
ME: That explains. But I don’t think they’ll be of any harm. I’m sure they’re just using them as a taboo to get us all scared of Islamists to give us more reasons to keep gripping hold on to the old regime.
HIM: You are naive my son. I dont blame you, I was once like you. Iran was the most beautiful country in my eye. All the beautiful scenery and people. It was like the diamond, while every other country was ordinary gem. My country, Iran, was different, I loved it so much. But THEY destroy it, it is rubbish now, it is kharaba*
*(Kharaba Arabic word for destroyed)
-Moment of silence-
HIM: Are you Muslim?
HIM: I was
I stayed silent.
A million thoughts lingered my mind. Am I really na
Eye to eye, they would stare
Feet to feet, they would pair.
Empty and soulless on one side
A masterpiece the other stands with pride.
Dear mirror, who am I to be
Dear mirror, what should I see.
The tangle of hair, the knot of the throat
The tightening of jaws to all that was fought.
Infront a portrait of her life
Where the scars, the tears the pieces can hide
And there she stands with all those inside.
Dear mirror, I’ve been through sleepless nights
Dear mirror, it’s not all about what’s on the outside.
But it fails to show what lies underneath
Because a beauty is all it could see.
How superficial and cynical a mirror can be?
But it’s just like many others, who fail to see
The shredded thoughts, the vague pictures
The broken ruins, the disappointments
The break downs, the laughters
The hatred, the happy ever afters.
But after all she fakes a smile
Because the world will fade in a while
And what will be left is the beauty she sees
And all the rest, are like autumn leaves.
You might be all wondering, and especially those who know me, where did that come from? What influenced me to write such a piece of writing? What’s the message behind this poem?
I’ll write a short paragraph that will hopefully answer any question arising in your head after you read this poem.
First of all, I’m 18 years old, and I’m a guy. You’d probably expect such work from a girl and not from a guy and therefore I tell you, I write this poem influenced by a strong female character I know. Actually that female character is someone very close to me. The time I wrote this, I was seeing her on daily basis, practically living with her. I read the expressions whilst she’d move her eye-brows, whilst she’d twitch her nose, whilst she’d wipe her tears in discrete secrecy. This woman lost her 11 year old daughter; she watched her suffer for nearly 2 years after her daughter’s cancer-diagnosis. She was strong, she didn’t publically breakdown, at the same time, she was dying from the inside. Day by day, she realises she has to live yet another day without her daughter, but she’d smile. Smile to everyone around her, smile to her friends and family so they wouldn’t worry about her emotional breakdowns, she left that to herself to worry about. Smile to God, and accepting what ever destiny and fate he has treasured for her. Her faith to God.