“Muslim, Christian we’re all one hand”, “Coptic means Egyptian” and the chants can go on and on forever. I haven’t really noticed, though, our whole sectarian issues unravel except with those chants and interest of matter, frankly speaking. Christians might have not felt like they’re home in this country, but neither have Muslims, nor Jews, nor Atheists for all it counts. In the past 30 -or even more- years, each Egyptian has felt nothing more than a fish out of its own pond; we’d feel exposed outside our borders yet naked inside of them, susceptible and vulnerable to anything, anywhere. We felt unprotected, regardless of our religion. This might sound far fetched, but just a reminder: the fundamentalists of Islam were locked up in jails, weren’t allowed a life in this country, and what for? Their beliefs.
We thought the revolution would come up, and cleanse this whole mishap. Believed that once we all battled, on the same side of the battlefield, we’d let everyone be what ever they choose to be. BUT, we were wrong. Right after 25th January 2011, we split up, like a ball of mercury bouncing on glass tiles; we split up into the million Egyptians the census says we are. There were the Liberals, the Salafs, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Leftists, the Capitalists, the Communists, and finally -with the least of members-the Revolutionaries. (Go ahead categorize yourself)
I don’t know though. I still think we’re all missing the big picture here. I was too, until I was hit with the biggest wake-up call ever. Our major issue here isn’t our difference in beliefs whether politically or religiously, the big picture here is whether you can ride a car, you can provide food for your children, EVERYDAY, or not. Thanks to the bubble we all live in, its perfect, glass, round rim only reflects problems like whether the Muslim Brotherhood will dominate this country or not, whether we’ll be able to be given freedom of choice or not. But as transparent as any bubble could be, it left most of us blinded to what really matters here, the other 70% of this country, what about them? What do they want?
A couple of days ago, I was fortunate to have destiny arrange a sort of, let’s call again, ‘wake up call’ to this whole matter. While driving home, a little girl running bear-foot in the alleys of this country with minimal care from her parents near by, jumped on my car, in an attempt to run after a dog. So, course, her parents, family, homeless people of that alley, without even checking on the girl whether she’s fine, ran towards me, to literally, murder me. I’d hear them scream and shout while trying to smash the windows of my car, “BECAUSE YOU HAVE MONEY, YOU THINK YOU CAN GO AROUND KILLING THE POOR.” “THEY HAVE YOU RIDING A CAR BECAUSE YOU HAVE MONEY.” “I WILL KILL YOU, AND SHOW ME WHAT YOUR MONEY CAN DO FOR YOU.” Money, money, money, and money…
I had two options; either talk to them and explain that it wasn’t my fault and blame them, careless parents who leave their children in the middle of the night wandering between the cars, and street dogs, call my family and have myself protected. OR be on their side, not blame them.
And that’s when it hit me, they don’t disagree with me regarding neither my religion nor my political background, they disagree with me because I can ride a car, because I have a shoe on, because I have…. –as painful as this is to type- money.
I, hence, chose the second option. I told them I was a Medical Student, and that I care for the injured, and I won’t run off and leave their girl if she’s hurt. And with that, JUST THAT, they calmed down. Like they were expecting me telling them, if they’d touch me I’d send them all to jail. The girl was fine, just needed cleansing of the wound, so I took her to a nearby hospital and everything was okay.
Point is, DROP EVERYTHING you’re gambling for, you’re fighting for, you’re losing yourself for, and LOOK at the big picture here. Why lose everything we’ve done so far, just because we look, and not see? So I repeat again, rather than preparing a march with Stella bottles in hand, resembling freedom of choice, prepare marches for freedom of shelter. Rather than preparing marches for freedom of speech, prepare marches for freedom of education. There’s a whole world out there, in our own country, which has not only given up on itself, but on us, as well. Put your differences aside, finally do it right this time, and prioritize your demands.
So eventually at the end of the day, you’re left with two choices: Blame anyone who comes your way to finally get what you want. Or start painting the real picture you’ve ignored all this time.