These impressions belong o the first phase of the Arab Spring, less than two years ago.I was looking through my papers, overcome by nostalgia, trying to find what I wrote as the Arab Spring shot through the long winter of the Arab world, bringing gifts like no gifts. I needed to return to the days of hope and and the purity of the vision of Utopia that we saw and loved. I found the reflections below:
Homage to the Youth of Egypt
A great poet once said that in dreams starts reality. The youth of Egypt did dream, a dream of freedom, a mighty dream of liberation which now has spread to the rest of the Arab world and the world at large. In Egypt a revolution of hope permeated with the sweet breath of youth ,rode like the sun, calling for the reinstatement of the great values that humanity has laboured for over the past millennia. The revolution of the youth of Egypt is like no other revolution witnessed by the modern world. I have thought that only poets, artists and writers can sing that great song of the dawn emerging after the long long night, but lo and behold the young people of Egypt, they who have not lived long enough, suddenly burst upon an unsuspecting world with ideals, visions and intimations long stored in the subconscious of humanity. They who have not attained wisdom yet have taught us all what wisdom is really all about.
We never thought in our wildest dreams that the masses would respond to that kind of a dream, to that kind of amazing message, yet they did and in so doing discovered their humanity. Out of their ashes rose the Egyptian people to shake the Arab world, ushering in the irreversible winds of change. The beleaguered starving humiliated despised people of Egypt uttered a great cry that has shattered the edifice of unjust blind power to smithereens. The wheel has turned full circle. They who were almost dead are awake. They who were forgotten are now in the minds and hearts of all those who worship freedom and justice. The millions have written an epic of great resonance whose emblems are liberty, tolerance, nonviolence and justice. This is a thing to die for gladly because it is the dream of dreams. Let love win the day, the love for Misr which the idealism of the youth of Egypt has made a reality.
The age of monsters is over. Now dawns the age of the peoples of the world, Arabs and others. The pursuit of personal greatness and the cult of naked power, which can only be achieved by the enslavement of millions ,is not worthy of this century. Farewell to Stalins, Hitlers, Saddams , Qaddfaffis and Assads. Enter the silent heroism of the humble, the modest and the altruistic. The youths of Egypt and Syria have set the tone for the emergence of a unique republic wherein there is no need for the Narcissistic great men , no accumulation of power in god-like figures, no grandiose , delusional kings of kings, dictators, sultans, or absolute megalomaniac, power- infested hereditary presidents . Good bye to the kings, long live the people
The Spring of Egypt
As an artist and a writer, I cannot help but see the rise of the Egyptian morning star in terms not only of the real and the factual but also that of the metaphorical. It is as if this star whose bright rays are the young people of Egypt is rising on twin worlds: our world and a parallel world of the imagination. For very long and painful decades, nothing has appealed to the imagination of the Arab people as the resurrection in Egypt has done. In the approaching spring of the year, the youth of Egypt also in their spring, rose in love, love of their Misr and love of the freedom their people were denied for years out of count. In the words of an Arab song, like roses blooming in the fields, they rose in beauty, the beauty of their ethos and the beauty of their young souls to claim their inheritance and the dissipated inheritance of the Arab people. They who were dead are now raised. They who were laid in their graves of humiliation, oppression, torture and hunger, they who writhed with spiritual starvation and debasement, are now breathing the sweet air of a new nascent morning.
It is in the nature of the creative mind to condense time and see it as one. It is also in its nature to store the meaning, the significance and the essence of all events, keeping them forever young and radiant, regardless of the outcome, regardless of possible defeats, regardless of the fallibility and failings of us, mere mortals, regardless of the arrogance of the great powers who still think that they have a monopoly on values and principles and who still think that they can steer all events in the light of their own supremacy, profiteering codes of conduct and hegemony. I tell you that immortal songs shall be written about the revolution in Egypt and the rest of the Arab world. New epics shall be reborn whose heroes are the nameless people and the shy humble youths so oblivious of personal glory, who are leading the revolution. History will record and judge the outcome harshly or sympathetically, but what no history can record is the more universal judgment of song, poem and epic.
Artists and writers of the world, please note that in Egypt the new born youthful king is the people, the truly golden pharaoh.
Chants for Freedom
It seems to me that the chants for freedom starting with the immortal words, the people want…, repeated by millions in Egypt, Libya. Yemen and Syria have become the daily bread of the Arab world. They listen to theses chants needing them, hungry for them, breathing their sweet cadences, even regulating their lives by them and drinking every syllable as if it were the elixir of life. These s chants have become like the umbilical cord which nourishes and sustains the unborn in the womb. Millions are collectively connected to these life giving rhymes as if they were their lives support, not daring to stop invoking the vision of freedom lest the dream is dispelled.