“We’ll miss you when you go to prison.” That was the phrase my friends used to jokingly say to me every time I make a liberal comment on any political issue.
Opinionated people were not met with much gratitude by those in the ruling power.
At the time of the Egyptian revolution in January 2011, I had that fire in me, that spark that everything was about to change, that for once, I would be able to say what I want and express my opinions without being shut down or told to not speak of such things cause it could get me to jail or even worst.. it could get me killed.
I was only 15 at the time, and even though my family and I lived in fear for 18 long days, where the revolution was met by killings and tortures, my spirit of patriotism was huge.
When the day came and Hosni Mubarak stepped down as president, I was filled with happiness and hope from head to toe! That was it! It was actually happening! I was finally going to be free… or so I thought.
After the revolution in 2011, there was a period of high hopes and spirits which tried to build up the country. Everyone was uniting, all Egyptians had the same dream of making that country a better place. Then came along Mohamed Morsy for presidency, and it all went from bad to worst from that point on.
People divided once more, random arrests were back once more, and blood was shed once more.
It was 2014 when El-Sisi took the presidency chair. It was like dejavu of what Egypt was like before the revolution.
Politics started affecting me personally when I started seeing my friends get either killed or arrested. I would have those panic attacks when my brother would go out and don’t show up until late without saying anything, because god knows if they took him too!
I couldn’t share my opinions anymore because It was scary. I was afraid of what my “liberal,” “Radical” opinions would get me or my family into. It was a time when any thing said would be judged either way.
I started to write. On my mobile memo pad, on a random piece of paper, in my diary. I had to express myself even if meant nobody would read it.
Writing has always been my thing ever since I was a kid. Being opinionated and curious have always been my characteristics. And politics is what I grew to be interested in.
The dream of leaving Egypt started possessing me. I could not stand the judgment or the idea of losing one more person that I know and love to this country anymore. I had to go.
I killed myself, worked ten times as hard, did hours and hours of research and studying, till I finally got what I wanted.
On the evening of December 19 of 2016, I got on a plane to the United Kingdom. It was the dream finally coming true. It was all the hard work finally paying off. It was heartbreaking!
I left everything behind, my family, my friends, my whole life, I just dropped it and let go. I spent the five hours flight praying in tears that everyone responsible for the heartache I felt at the time for saying all those goodbyes, would never be forgiven. I prayed to god for revenge. I prayed for a better life too.
I arrived in Sunderland, UK and was met by warm, friendly support that I was never given before. I met humans. I met people who cared and wanted to help sincerely.
Within eight months only I learned more things than I had learned in a lifetime in Egypt.
For the first time ever, I had a chance to be myself. To be opinionated and express my thoughts. I learned to be a journalist, a proper one. I started writing but this time, people actually saw what I wrote and pushed me forwards.
Today, I start this blog. I start a thread of my thoughts and opinions. I write with no fear, because today I have a voice.
Watch “The Square”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPNp9E7UfX4&list=PLnwvvlTFfs7x1ktT6sKar3yw8Skl-Y5Hv&oref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DJPNp9E7UfX4%26list%3DPLnwvvlTFfs7x1ktT6sKar3yw8Skl-Y5Hv&has_verified=1
Head image credits: Oakland City, Ind., Press of J.W. Cockrum Printing Company