Friday, Take Two

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Same steps walked ten months ago, same streets, this is where I lost all my fears. This very building was on fire that day. This is where I stood waiting for our fighters to open the way. This is the fence that people climbed to see what's happening on the war-front. This is the place where I stood wishing I didn't listen to my parents and brought my teargas mask. This is where I stood feeling that this could be it. This is where many people, including some who look like they barely have enough money to buy them food to keep them alive. This is where they gave people Pepsi, vinegar, and tissue paper for free. This very same bridge is where I couldn't take the teargas anymore and had to leave. But today I'm walking on continuing the way, and I know my way, and this, just this in itself, is a victory....

Ten months.... And our brothers are sisters are still dying. We're here today to mourn their deaths. They died to buy us freedom, and we're here to show gratitude. It's a funeral, with empty coffins, but I feel the presence of their souls. They're looking down at us from that place, a plus that is so much better than where we are. They're smiling at us, believing in us, knowing that we will never give up on them...

The empty coffins are covered with the flag, a photo of a martyr on each, and a verse of the Quraan, the Bible or a poem. Families, friends and loved ones chanting with broken voices. Voices that tell how much martyrs are missed, so loud just like their will.

A rally not as big as the other, many have lost hope, many have given up, many have forgotten all about it, many got busy living their lives, and I was so happy to be among the others. A long walk, but just like ten months ago, I haven't felt my feet hurt. My eyes kept falling on the coffins, on the flag, on the verses, on the photos and I couldn't help crying and smiling. Us wearing black, others wearing eye patches. Cars cheering for us, some organizing the rally to make way for traffic, and I the memory of how we closed the streets, almost both ways back then hits me. I can hardly see the end of the rally, and I look to the faces, all looking familiar, many of which I have met in the past ten months only in the square, people I don't really know, but faces that lift my spirit so high when I see. Others whom I never really seen before, ones that still look familiar. They have that look, we all do. That look of positivity, the look of people who understand how powerful they are, the look of ones who can never be stopped, ones who will fight for freedom until the last breath. It's either we live free or die rebels, we chant....

Just a bridge away from that sacred place, a woman chanting against oppression, against those who killed our brothers and sisters, the people demand the ouster of the field marshal. A statue of a lion, the statue we all know, looking so big with dignity. A sign of pride and power, but today it looks different... it has an eye patch. More cheers from passers-by, more cameras, louder chants, car horns saluting us, Cairo looking so beautiful, the air smelling of freedom all over again. 

A few meters away from the square, young men holding hands making their way to a certain coffin, one with a photo of a young man in his twenties, Shehab. They make a circle next to the coffin and start singing a song, an Ultras song, written specially for their friend, the martyr, Shehab. Everything stops, and we listen to the song. The few words I make go right to my heart and break it. We will never forget you, Shehab. Chants stop, and people start clapping to the song.
At the square entrance, everyone makes way, no cheers though. The square is so empty, no one is even chanting. Coffins are brought down, we stand there with the coffins sitting in front of us in one straight line, everyone looks our way. Coffins are carried again, we go straight to that street, no, not Mohamed Mahmoud, to Eyes of Freedom. Coffins are carried and laid again inside the street, and we all pray for the martyrs who died in that very street only two weeks ago. They died for us, and now, at this moment, two weeks after, many have forgotten them.
We move again, we roam the square. White flowers, black balloons, the coffins... Black balloons, one for every martyr with a card with their name hanging from the balloon. We roam the whole square, people walk with us, louder chants, a heartfelt, a heartbreaking scene. We stand in the middle of the square, chanting so loud against those who killed our brothers. They're thugs, the MOI are thugs, the chants get so loud, and we let the black balloons fly high above us. Just like their souls, their balloons reach the sky while we chant against those who took our best people away from us. At that very moment, I feel, I believe, I know, that those people I'm with right here, will never, never, never give up on our martyrs. At that very moment, I don't care how few we are, because right here I know that these few people have enough power to make a whole country revolt all over again.

We take the coffins to where the other sit-in is, to the cabinet building, we chant until it hurts, we walk the whole street up and down, we chant after women, men, children. People at the sit-in cheer for us, some join us, the energy is so amazing, it's unbelievable, I didn't know it's still there. No, this revolution will not fail, WE will fight until victory, no matter how long it takes, no matter how hard it is, we'll just keep fighting. And this, just this, is enough to keep me alive...  


  1. I dnt knw if I should smile or cry.

  2. I feel the same way. I actually did smile and cry on that day and while writing this.

  3. ضحكة علاء و ابتسامة حرارة وراها يقين النصر اللى هيكون .الحق هو الله .و الباطل هو ما يصنعونه هم و من يعاونهم و الصامتون .


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