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Which defeat is greater, Egypt’s revolution or my love stories?

Which defeat is greater, Egypt’s revolution or my love stories?

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Opinion Diversity

Thursday 26 January 202305:46 pm
إقرأ باللغة العربية:

أيّ هزيمة أكبر، الثورة أم قصص حبّي؟


My mother at first beats me because I love my classmate, and my father sees the revolution as a plot to shatter the stability of the state. I reject all attempts at repression, and I revolt and love.

Love is like the revolution.. Both are things that adults do not approve of

January 2011, the first time I feel I own the world. I try everything like a little child and enjoy life’s sweetness, I go out with someone I love, and I breathe in air that has a beautiful scent. It’s the first revolution inside and outside, and I get high at the echo of freedom within myself.

I remember the first time my partner decided to hold my hand. I cried a lot. I thought that it was not permissible. How do I deal with my hand now that someone who held it might one day leave. I confessed my love to him months after we got together, because the convictions of the rural city I grew up in are exactly the opposite of what I do. All my friends from the city scold me on love and being in a relationship, and some of them have even drifted away from me too. They all like Ahmed el-Sakka in the film "Taymour and Shafika", but I am looking for a man that is completely different from the boy of their dreams.

I remember myself, how happy I was, how different life was then, and how naïve I also was. I used to disbelieve my mother when she’d tell me that this was just adolescence and that it would pass. I believed then that love could become eternal and that everything we dream of could be realized

I don't know why I was walking on this path despite all those who opposed it. My mother's objections keep increasing, most of my friends consider me immoral and I lose their support. I live alone in a new city where I have not yet made new friends. I think the revolution is the cause of everything that happened to me.

I remember myself, how happy I was, how different life was then, and how naïve I also was. I used to disbelieve my mother when she’d tell me that this was just adolescence and that it would pass. I believed then that love could become eternal and that everything we dream of could be realized

I used to keep the gifts my partner gave me, thinking that this love is eternal and would only end in death, but as usual, the winds do not blow as the vessels wish! The revolution fails and all my rosy dreams die. Perhaps if we had cared more about the revolution, it would have succeeded and with it, my rosy dreams would have been realized.

The army took hold of the revolution and love was lost

The revolution dies inside me, the army had taken hold of the revolution; “Come down Sisi! Morsi is not my president!”.. Do I cry over the loss of love? Or over all the memories? Or over the revolution? I was nineteen years old at the time and had left our small rural town and went to Alexandria to study. I wished for death every day, because that defeat was bigger than my age, bigger than anything in my imagination. I had to realize that my mother's words were true, that this is not eternal love and that it’s not necessarily true that every relationship ends in marriage, and that it’s also not necessarily true that there is such a thing as eternal love.

January 2011, the first time I feel I own the world. I experience everything like a child and enjoy life’s sweetness, I go out with someone I love, and I breathe in the nice air. It’s the first revolution inside and outside, and I get high at the echo of freedom within myself

I learned a lot despite the pain, I think it's pain that adds to people's shine! Umm Kulthum is still the first lady when it comes to music, and in most of her songs she talks about longing, pain, and the suffering of love. I learned that defeat is sometimes useful, and that my mother's pieces of advice, which she tried to feed me with a spoon — instead of experiencing it — are all true, while I was the one who decided to open my arms to the world.

I never regretted the experience. It was the beginning of getting to know myself. My old lover used to say that we get to know ourselves through each other. And I had then reached the first thread that led me to myself.

“This is the path you have to walk on your own”

In the 1960s, Latifa al-Zayyat wrote the novel "The Open Door", based on Layla, a girl who grew up in an average family, as a symbol of oppression and resistance at the same time. The novel revolves around Layla's life from childhood, through adolescence, and until she reaches adulthood and begins her attempts to break free from all the abnormal societal norms, and her family’s domination over her. In conjunction with the internal and external liberation of Layla's personality, that period of time witnessed the resistance of the Egyptian people to the British occupation and the battle of Port Said. Al-Zayyat succeeded in expressing what women go through in Arab societies matter-of-factly, and portraying this in a very cultured and poetic way in conjunction with the popular movement. In 1963, Henry Barakat decided to turn the novel into a film under the same name, starring Faten Hamama and Saleh Selim. The film achieved great success, and is considered one of the most important films in Egyptian cinema. One of the film’s scenes and words that stuck in my head was Hussein saying to Layla: “This is the path you have to walk on your own.

I broke up with my boyfriend shortly after the military coup. At that time, I did not know Latifa al-Zayyat or the movie "The Open Door", but I was trying to look for reasons to accept that defeat, that I first had to know myself, that this was the path that I had to walk on my own away from all authorities and all oppression

I broke up with my boyfriend shortly after the military coup. At that time, I did not know Latifa al-Zayyat or the movie "The Open Door", but I was trying to look for reasons to accept that defeat, that I first had to know myself, that this was the path that I had to walk on my own away from all authorities and all oppression. I was living in a house alone; three years I spent inside this house in order to know who I am, trying all things to know what I like and what I hate until I was able to reach myself.

Love makes all things beautiful

We from Egypt look at Tunisia with the belief that it is better. We applaud everything that’s happening in it related to the movement to this day, because we know that we all deserve better. This motivation and drive stuck with me whenever friends appeared in my life. I look back on my first experience that I cannot deny was good for me at the age of seventeen. Through it, I formed a memory of experiences that I can measure with, a ruler that enables me to answer the question of whether I am on the right path or not. I began to have a vision of the right path for me; I learned what it means to care. What is participation? What is commitment? All these are concepts that were passed on to me through experience.

I used to keep the gifts my partner gave me, thinking that this love is eternal and would only end in death, but as usual, the 'winds do not blow as the vessels wish!'

In my second love, I was less impulsive than the first, weighing things on the scale of experience and then moving forward quickly, unlike the first time. I remember that I had spent a longer time to express my love to my first partner, but in the second, I was calculating things with my mind. My mind tells me to rise above every little thing, because I deserve the best. Sometimes I feel narcissistic in my judgment, but with the passage of time, I become sure that I had been right. A month later, I told my partner that I loved him, this time I took the initiative and said it first. I got to know him, then fell in love with him, and then we decided to stay together, unlike the first love, where we had decided to stay together before we got to know each other.

This time, my mother did not object, she did not tell me that this is mere adolescence and it will pass. I was twenty-three years old, and for the first time, I decided to tell my father about my feelings because I see them as mature. I was content with the first experience, and grateful to time and myself. I became mature, more tolerant, and more forgiving with the pain of the first breakup, and just like the great Umm Kulthum said, “Time makes you forget the joys and sorrows that have come to pass.

I wished for death every day, because this defeat was bigger than me. I had to realize that my mother's words were true, that this is not eternal love and that it’s not necessarily true that every relationship ends in marriage, and that there is such a thing as eternal love

Everything becomes sweet again. I fly once again higher than the first time, I dance better, I reach out and hold my lover’s hand without tears and hesitation. I didn't think about my hand that someone grasped and that he may one day leave, I didn't think about my friends' objections, I only care for myself now. The second love coincided with me moving to a new house that I did not love. At first, I used to cry because I could not sense the feeling of peace and serenity there, but love gave me a feeling of belonging to my partner and I felt peace and serenity with him, so I adapted to my new home without them. Love makes all things beautiful.

I admit that for a long time I fell into the trap of comparing the two experiences, how he would care and how the old once cared, and why the revolution failed in Egypt and why Tunisia is always better. I cannot find an answer, but I do find my partner one day deciding to leave for no reason. I also decide on the same day to go buy a quilt, I fight the cold alone, I stay in my room for a long time and make new memories and feelings with it. I cry a lot and count the days until the cycle ends and I finish counting.

My second love coincided with moving to a house I didn't like. At first, I'd cry because I couldn't feel peace and serenity there, but love gave me a sense of belonging to my partner and I felt peace and serenity with him, so I adapted to my new home. Love makes all things beautiful

“From where do we get back all those sweet things once again?”

Days pass, I stop crying and think about the memories I carry. I read my old writings and letters to my old boyfriend and I learn that my perceptions of the experience differ once I get out of it. First love is not eternal, and there will be another who understands us, other than the first lover and the second lover. I forget, or I try to forget, I always console myself with the idea that Tunisia is the closest dream, and that perhaps there is a better distant dream.


* The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Raseef22


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