Sunday, 13 February 2011

The miracle of Tahrir Square.

Writing two articles back to back and working on two intimate projects I am curating, as well as overseeing the building of two homes simultaneously for friends; and having the debacle of the tiling on the walls of my studio come loose again (!) AND tightening the screws on my students in the collective, has kept me hopping about like a kangaroo with a blistered toe in a marathon! But that's the way the cookie crumbles and you just have to accept that your world gets more crowded than you anticipate sometimes. In some instances even a short passage of time can pack in events more than you imagine is ever possible. The Egyptian people just showed the entire world what a difference a few days can make.

In the span of eighteen days the people of Egypt engaged in a popular uprising, making history with their mostly peaceful demonstrations that articulated their insistence for freedom from a dictatorship of thirty years; and were finally victorious! I used to listen to the news with bated breath each day and often was moved to tears by the dignity and resilience of ordinary people who believed in the truth of freedom enough to lay themselves vulnerable to the abuse and torture of the secret police and the Mubarak regime.

I thought of how much we as a nation could learn from this . Their determination to avoid violent methods of protest despite the repeated provocation and framed instances by the ruling government to malign their peaceful revolution was documented by the international media, who stood by the cause of the protesters and informed with effectiveness the stories of the people from Tahrir Square; that otherwise would have been lost forever to those outside Egypt.

A society who could understand where to take their destiny to achieve their liberty, and who could organise a mass movement without any visible leadership, is a phenomenon that is truly remarkable. No looting, no arson, no rape, no vandalism- just the burning desire and the will to formulate change, achieved without a single weapon raised. A blanket revolution; these people of Tahrir Square made a new flag for themselves. Each night they huddled under blankets together refusing to be threatened or intimidated despite the brute force used on some; and the execution style killings that were caught on home videos, as proof of the ominous powers of a country who has been kept in a state of emergency for thirty years.

The Mahatma will be proud. If not in his own land, then people in other nations known the power of ahimsa. The bravehearts of Tahrir Square and all the martyrs of this movement will surely teach through their actions the lessons of protest, and inspire others who are oppressed to carry their own destinies with the belief that liberty and freedom is fundamental to life.

1 comment:

  1. Great to see you again!
    The world holds its breath wondering which country will now seize the winds of change to bring democracy back to the nation; Yemen, Libya, Algeria, Iran...The list is long but now that the spark of freedom is lit, the fire is sure to spread.