On the Jan 25 Egyptian Revolution and delivering Twin Girls…
I think the topic of the revolution has been over exhausted, and rightly so. So let me proclaim that there’s nothing new I can disclose that hasn’t already been said. There is no genius political insight into the bog that is local politics. Like many people, before the revolution I was as interested in local politics as George Michael is in women. And as much as the revolution has politicized much of our daily discourse, local politics still mystify me.
It doesn’t help that while the nation was undergoing a historic change on the political front, I myself was being overhauled! Delivering twins, spending the core days of the revolution in the Intensive Care Unit, recovering, and so on. So you can say I missed a lot of the initial details, and it took me a while to catch up.
And between my attempts at catching up, pumping breast milk, changing diapers, and hating my body, all kinds of locution novelties emerged out of the revolution. Kanassa, Mondaseen, Salafeyeen, and of course, Folool.
Folool, the remnants of the old regime, or supporters of the old regime became the word du jour. Even the classist beaches of the north coast did not miss the opportunity to make it their own. Annoying people became folool, tacky people became folool; even socially pretentious people became folool. Yes I know, puzzling… Now, when my husband bothers me in the slightest, I derive immense gratification from calling him “enta folool!”
And as post-revolution events progressed, the semantic snowball kept gaining ground. After all, semantics tell us what to think and how to judge. Remember the word “Terrorist” post 9-11? What images did that word conjure up? Bearded Muslim, blood-thirsty fundamentalists, even though really anyone can be a terrorist. Timothy McVeigh – the Oklahoma City Bomber – was a essentially a text-book terrorist, but not one that fit the discourse created by a dirty game of semantics… And so accordingly Salafis became deranged religious fanatics, Ikhwan became power hungry old-regime religious fundamentalists. Even if there is truth to this, actual truth, and not “media truth”, we are conditioned by a political game of semantics to fear the Salafis and hate the Ikhwan. And by we, I mean the educated upper echelons who fear for their beaches and their bars, and who find no specific category to fit into and so go by the broad label of Liberals.
Speaking of dandies… I mean Liberals, I attended one of Amr Hamzay’s political party presentations in an attempt to discover my closeted politico. I was after all having a political identity crisis, and like many, was racing to learn my true political orientation. The meeting was held at the clubhouse of El Gezira compound in Sheikh Zayed city, an upper class compound of villas. In other words, a place where Hamzawy can preach to the choir! Lovely ladies decked out in their designer shoes and Rolex watches came to see the man who quickly gained “hotttie” status over the course of the revolution. Of course it did help that he had just declared his love for the actor Basma in so many (cryptic) words just the day before in a local paper. Women were twirling their hair on finger-tips and sitting up straight in anticipation of this hot Romoeo’s arrival. Even my husband was nervous. And I must say, the man did not disappoint! Even hotter than he is on TV, well dressed, casual but expensive casual, smiling, with a slight tan. Oh and he said some political stuff.
Walking away from that meeting I was hit with two things: Ikhwan are so going to be in power, and secondly, this is the last we’ll hear of the Liberals! It didn’t help that Hamzawy sounded like he came from an already established Western-modeled political system, that his expectations were so high they reached beyond idealistic and into hippie, and that he did not speak the language of the masses: i.e. food, money, survival. My heart broke for this hottie as I kept checking my watch eager to make it back in time for the late night twins’ feed! It also didn’t help that the panel presenting the party’s platform was comprised of social development workers and NGO-ers. No savy political strategist, no business personas, no politicians. Just good, honest, caring citizens… all I could think of was: they’re doomed!
To make a long story short, my twins’ poop is getting bigger and smellier as the days go by. Their poop used to be so adorable when they were born around the revolution. It was tiny and cute, and its production was an event to be celebrated, nothing filled me more with pride! They would lay wherever I put them, and I didn’t have to watch them vigilantly. Now eight months later they’re all over the place, they require so much work, their demands are increasing and becoming more and more complex, and their poopie diapers would send anyone running! Much like a revolution that began so full of hope and is now going to the poop!