Liberation Square

“I felt like I was dreaming. We never thought it would get this far.”

Those were the first words Graphic Designer Ahmed Salah said to me. In the last couple of weeks many events took place, if someone came up to me a month ago and told me in one month there will be no government and no president! I would have simply given him the no. of my shrink. Now that it has happened we owe the young heroes who fought for us and risked their lives for us gratitude and appreciation. 24-year-old Ahmed Salah is one of those people he had witnessed the birth of the revolution since the very beginning, he was a regular visitor of the downtown coffee shops and bookstores, and he knew every street and every alley. He says: “It has always been there who looked closely would see that this revolution has been in preparation for a very long time. Anyone who read “Moktanayat Weset El-Balad” knew that it was close and it was going to take place very soon. If you walked in down town streets you would see musicians, singers, digital movie makers, writers, comedians all around you, you just need to look closely.” As I sat with him, I could almost taste the Turkish coffee, smell the sheesha smoke, and hear the music playing. The passion and renewed hope in his voice gives you a feeling that Egypt is bound to change, that tomorrow must be better than today.

He continued: “When we first hit the streets on the 25th most of us thought it was going to be another protest a couple of hundred people that’s all. We were bewildered by the no. of people that were in the streets. We thought we would never see the day when, the police oppressed us and almost conquered us on the 26th and most of us headed home crying feeling defeated but, we didn’t give up we came back strong on Thursday and much stronger on Friday the 28th. We were climbing unto Qasr El-Neil bridge and were actually surprised when the police let us through it was Friday noon but, it was only a trick they let from 5 to 6 thousand only to pass the people in the front who were known to be the leaders of course then closed us off and surrounded us. We were trapped we could not reach Tahrir Square and we could not go back. The Police was as far as the eye could see. It was chaotic there were several cars driving around intentionally running over people, the police was hitting people with gas bombs in the face blowing their brains out, who fell was lost we knew he was dead, live bullets everywhere they were shooting us in the eyes and legs. I had a feeling that the police officers were in some kind of trance unaware of what they were doing they could not have been normal, they could not have been human! We were scared to death then one of us stood up on a car and screamed “Al- Sha3ab Youreed Esqat Al-Nezam” he was shot in the head after that something snapped, we entwined our arms together and  formed close lines, one line after another we started moving and we were honestly taking everything in our way policemen were running, we started jumping unto police cars and throwing the policemen into the Nile. I was a photographer many of my friends got shot trying to protect me so, I could document what was happening there was no media coverage there, all the news channels were in Tahrir we were stranded. Later I knew that State TV had footage from sixth of October Bridge running all day! As we slowly made our way into Tahrir Square I felt like I had just gotten out from a time machine The NDP building burning, thousands of people in the square. We walked around the square in Awe. When we had gotten over the trauma, we claimed Tahrir Square as our own now a State inside the State. We closed off all the exits and searched anyone who was getting in and if we found anyone who was trying to get in with as much as a cutter we threw him in jail =) Of course our jail was the Metro we closed it off with iron sheets and threw the criminals we caught inside till we could hand them over to the Army. We sent people back home to get books and buy cartons of biscuits and other cheap local chocolates and gave them to the people who had no money or food or who had come a long way from other cities they then sold the items we brought to the people in the Square and used the money to buy food. Of course, we bought from them too. We wrote poetry, we listened to music; we listened to activists, politicians, artists, and writers. We were organized and sufficient we had our own logistics teams and took turns guarding the girl’s tents. For the first time in my life, I saw the Egypt I have been dreaming about and writing about for all my life. When he finally left me, felt like I had finally accomplished something that for the first time in my life no one could call me a loser. I felt FREE!”

If you had gone to Tahrir square you are bound to have been feeling the same like him if not much more. Everyone has his own account of Liberation Square it is as if everyone saw the square as his own Utopia, as his own dream world come true. Passion, Hope, Devotion the Egypt we love and adore is in that square all we have to do is live with the ideals of that square in sight then maybe we could actually be a Democratic Developed Country one day.

Marwa Arafa

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