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How Are You… How Are You All?


MAHMOUD: Fine, I guess. How are you?

SAHIRA: Just worried about you guys. How is the situation? Any chance for a political change? I heard that the army and police are shooting at protesters.

A beeping sound can now be heard on the line. Sahira hangs up and starts texting, deciding that it’s safer.

SAHIRA [texting]: Hey, Mahmoud. What happened?

MAHMOUD: It dropped. The shooting “stars” are hitting us.

SAHIRA: The shooting stars? What are you talking about?

MAHMOUD: The shooting “STARS” you were asking about when you called.

SAHIRA: Okay. I get it.

Text exchange on March 17.

SAHIRA: How are things?

MAHMOUD: Fine. In Nawa visiting friends. [Nawa is a town where many casualties have occurred.]

SAHIRA: Oh my God. What are you REALLY doing there? Don’t get shot by the stars.

MAHMOUD: Will be fine. Shooting stars mite hit us, but we will win the game.

Forgive me for having dreamed

On February 10, Mehdi, a Tunisian, posted this message on the Facebook wall of his Algerian-American friend who lives in New York.

“I ask forgiveness of my children and of the Tunisian people for having naively believed on the 15th of January in a better future.

Forgiveness for having dreamed that they were going to live in a free and just country.

For no longer stressing about their future in Tunisia.

When I see that this wonderful movement—which was started by young graduates on unemployment having no method of survival, no liberty, no hope of a better life—has been taken over by irresponsible opportunists and crooks who are not even dignified enough to be called patriots, who go on strike and demand raises, paralyzing the country and taking advantage of the absence of an administration to have more while others don’t have anything … to the point that they’re making some people miss the dictatorship, I say forgive me for having dreamed.

A hope remains when I think of Mr. Nelson Mandela, who—when all the world was predicting chaos after the end of apartheid—told South Africans, Forget the past, and think of the future.

Reassure me. Tell me that I can still dream.”

I can die with dignity

During the uprising, Sherif Sadek, an Egyptian filmmaker based in New York, participated in an extensive e-mail exchange with a group of friends living in Egypt. Below, excerpts from their conversation.

On Jan 26, 2011, at 8:05 AM, Mostafa wrote:

You would’ve loved to be in Tahrir yesterday! It was inspiring and emotional!

There are reports of some small-scale protesting in madinet nasr and 6 october today. Hope it picks up.

You should’ve seen the women and egyptians from ALL walks! One thing is certain, a strong message was delivered. But that is, of course, if anyone is listening.

Keep it alive around the world!

From: Dallia

Date: Wed, 2 Feb 2011 03:01:08 PM EST

Subject: Re: It is glorious

as a non egyptian but someone who’s been living here for close to 20 years, its amazing what’s unfolded the past week or so, however today’s incidents set the tone for the worse unfortunately.

sabra, u are an asshole for being out of touch, but ur our asshole so i guess ur forgiven.

may, hope ur brother is doing well.

ragab, kudos to you for being there all week

its great to witness history being made, positive history, home grown as well...


On Wed, Feb 2, 2011 at 6:53 AM, Ahmed wrote:

I can die with honor and dignity. We were chased by police forces. Tear bombs were thrown at us and tanks blocked our path to the square. Yet we resisted and made it. On the second day, I stood in front of the national museum along with other Egyptians to block looters and to look after our heritage and treasures. Police tried to disperse again. They couldn’t. When I couldn’t breath because of the smoke, help came from everywhere. Coke was splashed on my eyes, water dropped on my head, and onions were peeled, cut in halves to counter the effect of the bombs.

When the army marched in on the 3rd day, we received them with joy. They let me write on two tanks: “down with the tyrant—we are free...”

On the fourth day, we went again to the square. A police tried to argue with me, I replied saying, “I have been dead psychologically for the last 30 years, I don’t mind dying physically.”


Sent from my BlackBerry

From: Yasmine

Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2011 07:09:45 PM EST

Subject: Re: It is glorious

Mubarak’s resignation!!!!

On Sat, Feb 12, 2011 at 9:36 AM, Mariam wrote:

IM SO HAPPY! THIS IS AMAZING - No words to describe the joy!

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