Egypt above everything

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. That is what I view to be the nature of the conflicting emotions which have been surfacing from this two-week old revolution, from emancipation, to anxiety, to anger, to sadness and frustration, to hope.

The rapidly evolving political landscape has been challenging to grasp and understand fully. And as many try to understand the complexities at hand and the opportunities and challenges which lie ahead, I cannot overcome also being in a state of shock at the rapid divisions which have emerged between people in the last few days.

Though we stood in unison at the start of this revolution, I fear that it could be taking the best of what was achieved as time passes. So to try and minimize the emotional and mental exhaustion which I am experiencing, I have been working to identify the accomplishments that I personally intend to hold on to and the positivity that I would like to take with me from Jan. 25 onwards. I aim to re-write my own personal constitution and hope to share my sentiments.

I had lost hope in that one day I would see youth lead this country’s much needed revolution, believing that the system would never allow the best of our capabilities to shine. The fact that it did happen speaks volumes to the strength which we all knew we had but many had lost hope in activating it. This alone is a testament to our empowerment and to the emancipation we gained with our own hands.

Tahrir certainly served to bring out the best in all of us. The unity, the love, the patriotism, the art, the political dialogue, the laughter and the tears. But as we stand at this critical crossroads waiting to see how this empowerment will translate into a political agenda and actions, I cannot help but feel that there is something beyond this which we should be seeking, particularly when the landscape is very quickly being marred by political divisions and tensions.

Governments come and go and part of our success will be evident in the coming governments whose longevity will be determined by our acceptance and the power to oust them when we deem necessary. Gone are the days of political obscurity and repression. Though this is certainly a huge achievement for our generation, I know there is more to realize from this revolution.

Egypt today is being rebuilt. Not only is the political landscape being re-drawn as we speak, but the economic and social order is also being re-built. And here is where I aim to re-write my own personal constitution.

Though the politics at hand affect and involve us all, I also believe an extremely important role needs to be played by us all in what concerns the other fronts. The ideas being suggested and discussed for us to salvage and strengthen Egypt’s economy serve as further evidence to the extent of our power and the positivity which needs to be channeled in all directions. Should we choose, we have the chance to liberate Egypt from the economic shackles which have been impeding us from taking a leap forward and experience economic prosperity at its fullest.

To achieve this we need to redirect our economic power as consumers to support the local economy. Simply put: eat local, buy local, invest local. It’s time we give the ‘Made in Egypt’ brand a global reputation. And for this to materialize I believe we will need to re-assess and re-prioritize our own consumerist habits for a while.

As for the social front, these last few days saw people overcome class barriers, respect and unity were the order of the day, volunteerism and communal work to clean our environment was evident in countless neighborhoods. Needless to say these should not be temporary happenings and I hope we can make this the norm in our society.

In the end, I believe all of the above will require that we reassess our priorities in some respects, and take a very conscious decision to embody the change we want to see in this country, and not only in a political sense.

Egypt above everything.

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Originally published by Daily News Egypt here.

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