In the past couple of hours I have been trying to put myself together into writing this. It’s not that I can’t find the right words. Cause I can. I really can. It’s that I’ve been weighing between laying the reality or just a sugared, varnished version. I know we usually tend to ignore the good stuff and decide to focus the lens on the bad stuff. But that’s just because there are some stuff you just can’t ignore. And there are some stuff you just can’t turn a blind eye to. I know this because I have tried. I have tried to just find the good in this country, and I have, but they’re just not enough. Every single time I find my gate to a smile, I am trampled upon by a stampede of flaws upon flaws upon other flaws, storming out of that very same gate. And I try to stay content about it. I try to convince myself that anywhere around the globe I will face this same issue. But no. I won’t find a graffiti on the train I just just got off of “نعم للختان، لا للهياجان” (TT: Yes to female genital mutilation -FGM-, No to horniness). Yes, as filthy as just stated. And no one bothered to wipe it off. Because they’re too busy painting over the revolutionary graffitis on their precious expensive buildings and dirt-black walls. Yes, in my country we have it this way. In my country, women are abused. Yes, in my country women are manipulated. In my country, ignorance is a disease. Period.
Let’s stop and stare at that word for a minute. Because it is our black hole. It is our cancer, our diabetes, our hepatitis, our bilharziasis, and our TB. It is why you, the reader, feel unbelonged. Because you can read, and interpret and perceive. And that in itself is a blessing when 60% -if not more- of your country can’t do any of that. But the ability to read, write and articulate shouldn’t be a blessing, it should be a human right. But it isn’t. Yes, in my country our basic human needs are ignored because it is why the big men are on the big chairs. It is why our politicians are able to stand out in a crowd that cheer for them because they were promised by them -the fabricators- a loaf of bread. They never got the bread. Neither did they get the books. Neither did they get the pens. Neither did they get their other basic human needs.
Maybe I’ve been born amid the privileged of this country. I have been to places, seen civilization, tasted a sense of not-so-impossible cultivation. And the bitterness of the obliviousness I experience every single day will be the end of me. Will be the end of you. Will be the end of my county.
Ignorance is a disease. We are diseased. My country is dying. My country is dying of cancer, diabetes, hepatitis, bilharziasis, and TB. My county is dying of ignorance and there is just not enough therapy in the world to save it. There is just not enough goodness in the world to save it.
Unless the people revolt. Revolt in their minds and their hearts as equally powerful as they did on Tahrir grounds. Unless the people decide to wake up.
Hospitalized, fatigued and breathless she laid. Beeps of her monitored pulse was all that resonated the room. A room full of grief and sorrow enough to move the stiffest and coldest of hearts.
I could feel the very faint, aching beats of my broken self. Looking back and diving into my stream of thoughts wasn’t much help either. It wasn’t cold enough to put off the burning flames. Actually, it was more like petrol; it fed the fire within me even more. She was so small. She was so alive and she had a smile so rare, some travel the world in search of. They say humans don’t appreciate what they have until it’s taken away from them. But I appreciated my little friend. I appreciated and loved her so much. And hence I didn’t get why I was losing her.
The chills started to kick in and the miracles my hopeful mind was circling around and searching for were gradually fading, together with every other euphoric voice inside of me. I wasn’t in denial anymore. I wasn’t far fetching for the unreachable anymore. I was giving in. Like standing in the rain. Knowing there is no home to head to, no shelter to rescue you. It was that every strike of raindrop that brought me back to my senses. That brought me back to the world we really live in. To the world where nothing happens according to plan, and where you just have to start getting used to the every blink-of-an-eye change.
I would tell you I was angry, but then I’d be lying. I was sad. I was lost. And I felt naked. It’s not easy hiding away the tears. And it’s not easy finding out you’re crying after you’re already halfway through exposing your pride and solitude. It wasn’t easy, and it hurt.
I can’t remember much of how and why I left the room. It was like I teleported myself out by blackening the memory of my exit, and all I could see myself doing was slamming the hospital’s main exit door behind me and heading to the nearby park. A pitch black garden was a perfect aroma for souls like mine.
The salty waters of my melancholic body were still rushing down my cheeks. My outrageous self gave my body -including my brain- a free pass to do whatever I felt like doing.
And that’s when I saw myself standing up, staring up to the void within the sky, preparing my vocals for a voice so loud, I couldn’t even recognize as my very own. I was talking to Someone up there. No, I wasn’t talking. I was shouting. I was shouting because I was weak and vulnerable. I knew it wasn’t anyones fault but mine. I understood what life is very well, although I played an alarmingly great role in pretending that I didn’t. I see people fall everyday and I also thought I’d never be like them. Inevitably, I gave myself the right to believe in a “good life”. All my life I was lying to myself, not knowing that one day I, and only I, will pay the price alone.
Nonetheless, I remained shouting. So guiltfully, so shamefully shouting to that one existence that has been by my every step. Ironically, it thickened and strengthened my faith even more.
I eventually looked down. And there I saw my shadow. And If it weren’t for that sole lamp a few meters behind, I wouldn’t have ever noticed. I wouldn’t have ever noticed how small I am. How small, wasted and broken we humans are.
I looked down and looked up again. I didn’t apologize because I didn’t feel the need to. The divinity of The Existence did not need my mortal apology. I looked up again because I wanted whoever up there to know that I’m still in need.
That I feel in need of believing in something a lot bigger than us weak, vulnerable humans.