Blow was strongest so far, Egyptians are sad

Blow was strongest so far, Egyptians are sad

As Egypt mourns its dead and wounded, a temporary state of shock envelopes the heart and mind. Why are we all so shocked? Was it at the sheer brutality of the assault, or was it the high numbers of casualties? Or was it the awakening of the sectarian strife monster? Those were certainly affecting everyone. The main source of shock to many, however, was their perception of the armed forces. The one common element that seems to underpin all actions and reactions is still fear. The unclearness of the future as it confronts the baggage of the past produces more questions than answers.

As the blows continue, it rocks for many the solid and stable ground they once stood on; for others it shakes their faith and hope for change. Change has many paths, and transformation requires a choice. The pain of “Bloody Sunday” was a loud wakeup call for many. Although with dimming hope and bleeding hearts, the traces of good among evil shyly come out. If one could bypass the hurt and circumvent the pain, one can almost get a glimpse of the gain.

On the surface much doesn’t seem to have changed. I try hard to see under the rubble the traces of change that I feel. Those who were for so long silent now speak out. Those who lived in fear and terror now find comfort in the many around them and become braver. The many who never took risks now risk their lives. Even those who were once happy to receive the readymade answers now have doubt and even questions. I ask, “Is that not change?”

Questions and questioning are gaining more ground on the Egyptian scene. There are more people thinking, more questions being asked and more fingers pointed at the right root causes. There is a growing demand for real actions and growing dissent with cosmetic appeasing responses. For certain there is change. A new Egyptian commonsense is evolving. Traces of accountability and demands for more transparency are slowly but surely creeping in. Everyone must recalculate, readjust and react. The values of integrity, transparency and accountability are all being redefined. More significant are the collective changes and the collective choices Egyptians will make.

In the midst of a critical week, and as candidates for parliament started registering Tuesday, the weak are trying hard to divert attention from the important task at hand. The worst will always change last and only when they have to. Sadly, more confrontations are to be expected as the registration comes to an end next week and the month ahead of elections closes in. On the other hand, like the many incidents before, they will only serve to uncover more of the reality and summon all Egyptians to wake up to the task ahead. Egyptians are learning the hard way that crisis deepens the learning process. We are now facing the challenges of learning a new way of life. We find ourselves trying to assimilate what we learn every day to deal with the rapid ups and downs, and we learn to filter what we hear and what we see with newly acquired skills. Slowly information turns into knowledge, and with that we will learn how to choose the way forward. There is always light after darkness.