I remember Rabaa

An Egyptian riot policeman points his gun towards at stone-throwers during clashes that broke out as Egyptian security forces moved in to disperse supporters of Egypt's ousted president Mohamed Morsi by force in a huge protest camp near Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque in eastern Cairo on August 14, 2013. MOHAMMED ABDEL MONEIM/AFP/Getty Images)

An Egyptian riot policeman points his gun towards at stone-throwers during clashes that broke out as Egyptian security forces moved in to disperse supporters of Egypt’s ousted president Mohamed Morsi by force in a huge protest camp near Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque in eastern Cairo on August 14, 2013. MOHAMMED ABDEL MONEIM/AFP/Getty Images)

I remember 14 August, 2013, more than I remember most days of my life. I was planning on wearing my new black shirt to work that day; the one with a semi-transparent back.

I remember drowsily getting out of bed, considering which stories I would cover for the paper that day, before being updated by my mum about the latest news.

“They’re dispersing the sit-ins,” she said, shaking, while anchored in front of the television airing live footage of the dispersals.

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Bring back Sadat! (the metro station, not the president)

Interim President Adly Mansour rides a train taking its first trip through the new metro line

Interim President Adly Mansour rides a train taking its first trip through the new metro line

The amount of time it took me to get sardined into the ladies’ cart made it obvious; this would be a special ride. But … it was just way more special than I had calculated. Continue reading

Tahrir Sqaure: there’s room for everybody

Some old shit I wrote back in 2011 when I was way more naive yet obviously less bitter. It was merely reflection on a million-man march organised on 8 July, 2011 in Tahrir Square, calling upon the then ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) to achieve “revolutionary demands”. It was probably the last time the revolutionaries, the liberals, the Islamists, and the Muslim Brotherhood joined in the same protest.

 

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“We’re all one … our goal one … civil country … country … civil country … civil country” Continue reading

Amid the violence and the curfew; Surviving Egypt

"I've watched all the new, AND old, movies, several times" ... "And I think I don't need to count the floor's tiles for the 69th time"

“I’ve watched all the new, AND old, movies, several times” … “And I think I don’t need to count the floor’s tiles for the 69th time”

The number-one question that bombarded me from every foreigner who contacted me since the violence which followed the dispersal of the pro-Mohamed Morsi sit-ins was always:

“What’s happening on the streets of Egypt now?” or “How is it like living in Egypt now?” or “How is it like to be on Egypt’s streets now?”

Some even have gone as far as ask me; “How is your family taking all that’s happening in Egypt now?”

Obviously, other than the death toll, the assailants and the calls for reconciliation, everybody, outside Egypt, is mostly curious about Egyptian’s day-to-day activities in light of what’s happening.

And I don’t blame them. Continue reading

Waiting for the game*

It’s morning already; damn! Out of bed, into the toilet, washing up, brushing off, dressing up, freshening up, and a final look at the mirror: good to go.

The car is an inferno from the sun, I’m melting into sweat and my loose hair is killing me. My hand on the radio switch in a desperate attempt of distraction; all is talking about the game. I snooze off into oblivion and soon park nearby to grab some breakfast. Everyone inside the bakery is talking about the game. Waiting for the game.

I reach the office, where everything is quite festive. Feigning invisibility, I utterly fail. Some quick but sadly interrupted nibbles on my precious pastrami croissants leave me hungry for more. Still, they’re waiting for the game.

“They can’t play it.”

“They will.”

“Wanna bet on it?”

“All the money I own.” Continue reading