Throughout my daily blog reads, I've noticed an obvious tone between young Egyptians, many of whom are questioning whether or not they love Egypt, and whether or not Egypt loves them back.
As an Egyptian young woman myself, I like to say that this may be understandable after the daily series of crises we hear of one day after the other, however, throughout history – I don't think the feeling of frustration, disappointment and suffocation has ever stuck youth as much as it does during this particular era. And sadly, the gap between dreams and reality is widening, and consequently deepening the feeling of loss, and hate for the country.
Tigress, an Egyptian female blogger, wrote a post entitled “I no longer love Egypt” [Ar]:
ولكننى مؤخرا استسلمت للارهاق…انا مرهقة من هذه البلد.. ثم ادركت ان الوطن هو الارض وماعليها.
She continued her post going to the extreme claiming that the only solution is a bigger disaster to happen:
She ended her post with a confession that she no longer loves Egypt:
اعترفت اننى رفعت يدى…وتوقفت عن الايمان بمصر
Egyptoz, an Egyptian male blogger, has been working in Europe for a year and just came to Cairo for a two-day visit. He wrote another post [Ar] about his feelings upon his return, and the cultural shock he faced:
Aliaa, an Egyptian female doing her university studies in Beirut, questioned “Does Egypt Love ME is the question?” :
I still love Egypt but I am just angry at what it has become, you can be angry at the people you love but you can never hate them.
She quoted a line from a poem by Tamim Al Barghouti, a young Palestinian/Egyptian poet, entitled “They asked if I love Egypt”. El Barghouti wrote this poem upon his departure from Egypt for 20 days – after taking part in a demonstrations against the American invasion to Iraq saying:
أنا لما اشوف مصر ع الصفحة بكون خايف
When I see Egypt on the page I feel afraid.
Aliaa then clarified her feelings saying:
My country and its citizens treat themselves as second level humans […]. So do I love Egypt? I asked myself that before and now I am asking myself again, well my answer is: Does Egypt LOVE ME?
In the comments section to Alyaa's post, Hicham relates the problem to Egyptians and not Egypt:
I think about relating our problems in terms of Egyptians not Egypt. Our country in terms of many things is to be loved but what Egyptians do since many decades is what to be questioned.
Also Serag, a Libyan citizen who has lived in Egypt for a long period of time, wrote a “post” describing his feelings towards a place he once thought as his home after a short visit:
Does a place grow old ?! this is one of the questions that have kept me awake in the hot and humid nights during my last visit to Egypt. Between Alexandria and Cairo I was trying to find my own Egypt and I have failed. To be out of your place is to be in exile but is there a word of being out of your home.
I might have had a home in Egypt once but now all I have is hotel room.
On a puzzlingly unfortunate but positive note, Mermaid wrote a deep post entitled “Oh Egypt, the bitter honey” [Ar] after her day visit out of Cairo heading Alexandria. In it, she explains her different daily experience in Egypt. One of the beautiful and sincere moments she mentions happened to her last Ramadan:
She also mentioned another nice incident for a man who helped her find her directions downtown, yet then commented on the other daily misfortunes saying:
She further described:
الناس ديه كلها من نفس البلد.. نفس البلد الحلوة.. القذرة. البلد اللي لسة بتدي خير… وبتاخد عمر وشباب ولادها. […] البلد الزحمة الملوثة… واللي الصبح بدري بتبقى أجمل مكان ممكن الواحد يمشي فيه. البلد الدوشة.. اللي ساعة المغرب في رمضان الأذان بيبقى مالي الشوارع الفاضية المسالمة. البلد اللي بتخلف ناس بتاكل حق ناس… وناس سايبة فطارها في رمضان ونازلة تدي بلح ومية وتمر هندي للناس اللي في الشارع اللي مالحقتش الفطار في بيتهم.
بادعي ربنا إن كرهي مايخلنيش عامية عن الحاجات الحلوة اللي فيها.
I pray to God that my hatred won't make me blind to the beautiful things in this country.
Whether it is a general feeling or only shared by some individuals, many agree that today's Egypt is not the Egypt that Egyptians read about in their history books, or heard national songs about on the radio and television.