Blogging now from a free Egypt ... you could feel it instantly as soon as Omar Brother Muslimhood Suleiman announced Mubarak's resignation on Friday 6 pm. Cries of joy ripped our house and when I ran to the bedroom female neighbours were uttering trills of joy ... Mubarak is gone. The air got fresher, the sun got warmer and the food I had tasted a hundred times tasted better, dignity having been added to the recipe.
No one expected the protests to eventually turn into a revolution. Putting political anaylisis aside, no one expected it to be as joyful and civilised as it is. Of course, the first ten days were as bloody as it could get with the police forces and later businessmen and police-backed thugs employing each and ever weapon from gunshots to stones against protesters. The ensuing days in Cairo, on the contrary, were full of hope, perseverence, festivities, pride, uncertainty, anger and anticipation all in a bucket.
I am talking about Tahrir Square which, because of its size and the number of Cairo's inhabitants, garnered the lion's share of attention. I cannot really put into words how it felt like to be in the Square ... I felt like I was among my family of one million people and that we were all sharing our sorrows and happiness. At one point you would find a group forming a march and chanting, insisting that Mubarak steps down. And no it is not a youth movement; it's not even a movement. In Tahrir women of all ages also led the chants or spent the night in tents in the chilling cold waiting for the tyrant to leave. In Tahrir children were chanting "Down with Mubarak!" spontaneously without any guidance. In Tahrir you could overhear an old man saying "Thank God I lived to see this day", even before Mubarak resigns, and a woman saying "the children chanting down with Mubarak ... those children will have no fear anymore". In Tahrir there was music and prayer, hysterical laughter and heartfelt tears whenever a martyr's mother or father passes around unconsciously holding his son or daughter's picture. In Tahrir everyone gave the other food, a hand, medicine, a kind gesture, a laugh, a cry of empathy or very accurate political analyses.
A few days before the revolution, I reached the conclusion that I do not believe in democracy. That even in democratic nations, a million and a half people could protest against late retirement law and the law could still be passed. That you do have the power to choose whom to rule you, but that in any case this ruler is going to provide other countries with weapons to kill their people. I am still not expecting everything to get better, but in Egypt, we all rediscovered ourselves. I now know that integrity dictates that I stick to what I believe is right, and that one day, I will win, no matter how much pain I have to go through, I will win. I now do not care if my economic conditions do not thrive for now, I have paid for my freedom instead, and freedom is incomparable to anything in the world.
All of Egypt has survived this brutal onslaught from an oppressive regime much stronger and more determined than ever to regain their rights and build the basis of an Egypt with less corruption, poverty and ignorance. They all now have the answer to their miseries: faith and strength.