Judith Barry | Cairo stories | Nawal

…Cairo stories – Nawal

Nawal | Pregnant at the Revolution

There is no need to be afraid anymore. We have broken the barrier of fear. If I were not seven months pregnant, I would not have gone down.l would’ve just stayed at home. But I really felt like that I owed this to my son, for him to have a future in this country and for him to have choices.

When I saw Asmaa Mahfouz’s video asking people to come to Tahrir and to join in the protests for the Day of Rage, I was convinced. I am not political. I am not an activist, but this was so much bigger than both politics and activism. She said that if we all had no hope in the country, and no hope that things could change, we would maintain the status quo, and that there would be no hope. But if we all went down to Tahrir and we took a strong stance for change. Then we could be optimistic.

And she was right. There is a level of optimism in Egypt today that I have never felt in my lifetime. A new Egypt was being born. Everyone was supportive. Everyone wanted a role. If one person fell down, a million hands would reach to pick them back up. There was no sexual harassment of any sort. Only optimism! So much happiness in the street! Ecstasy even! Our hope had united us.

I went down to Tahrir with my mobile. And I felt like the whole world was watching us and was supporting. When they started throwing tear gas, I got messages saying to put onions and to put vinegar underneath my scarf and to put Pepsi in my eyes to wash out the chemicals. When there was violence, they reminded us to maintain passive resistance because we wanted this protest to be peaceful.

Nobody cared that day…

Nobody cared those eighteen days…

About religion, social class or gender…

We were all just Egyptian…

And we were all there for the same reason.

Now is really the time to dream!