Over the past year I failed miserably one time after another to write about this day , a day that defined the core of my existence on many levels ; January 28th, 2011 and now and exactly a year later I’ve decided to put what happened into words and NOT editing it, I want it to be as raw and spontaneous as that day was/is for me.
( 22:15) : I am at a friend’s Birthday dinner, talking about what is supposed to happen the following day , I am asking if anyone if planning to join the protests and I am attacked from all as being overly impulsive and why would I risk getting hurt or killed for that and what difference would it make.
(23:45) : I receive an email from a girl I only met once by then (now a very close friend) asking if anyone is planning to join the Friday’s protests as she is willing to go but can’t find anyone to go with , I reply saying yes I’ve been looking for anyone to go with me as well , let’s meet tomorrow.
Mid-night : I get into this heated argument with a friend and as she was leaving , I wrote on the BBM ” Love your boots btw” as a way to end the day with her on a friendly note ………………… the delivered icon never appeared and it was the telecommunication black out.
11:00 am : I wake up , no internet, no phone ….. so I decide to join the Friday prayers at a big mosque close to home, an hour later I am there and it looks like nothing is happening, the sheikh in the mosque saying that whoever join the protests is an infidel and no one disagreed.
13:00 : I change my cloths in a revolution outfit , hit the streets with nothing but my ID , some money and some surgical equipment just in case.
13:15 I found a huge march on AbuKir st, Roshdy, I stand on the side pavement in disbelief and I come closer gradually , 20 minutes later I am saying Down with Mubarak with a low voice , and then I am in the middle of the crowd ,thousands of people that I’ve never met , Shouting my heart out “the people wants to topple the regime”
The rest of the day was like an epic movie , when I felt liberated beyond words , marching , chanting , screaming , tearing down Mubarak photos from the streets , to being randomly gased and shot, uniting with thousands of people that I’ve never met , running together , taking shelter together and uniting for Freedom , Justice and Dignity.
I will never forget the old woman who pushed me away from the field when I was helping an injured guy and didn’t notice the teargas canister going my way , the old man who made sure that our group of 20 people by then have enough water and food , the young guy I carried on my shoulders to tear down a Mubarak picture somewhere , the old woman who told me “Don’t go back and let’s show those bastards what we are made of.
That day and the year that followed solved my identity crisis and the lack of belonging I seemed to have towards my own people and my country, it made me know who I am and why I am here , it unleashed the me I never knew existed. I knew impossible is nothing and that I matter and am capable of anything.