My article published in Egyptian Streets.
As we pave the way for a better future in Egypt, we must instill in society values that empower our women to be everything they could be.
My last blog post titled, The Legend of the Pharaohs: Why Egypt continues to stand strong in times of disorder, gave me mixed reviews. I was delighted to see that some people enjoyed reading my post regardless of their nationality or political affiliation. I was also delighted to see some readers constructively criticize my post. For both of my readers, I would like to thank you for giving me your attention. Your opinion is always welcomed here; regardless of what it is.
With that said, some readers thought my article was outrageous. I was honestly baffled. Thus, I have decided to take it upon myself to clarify a few things. I am not a 70 year old bitter women living alone. I don’t have endless books of history piled around my apartment nor am I ignorant of the circumstances this country is currently living in. I am a 19 year old Egyptian female that believes in her country more than anything. I understand that Egypt has seen better days. I am fully aware of the fact that my article had Egyptian achievements that date back to thousands of years ago. Since that moment in our history, we have progressed as a nation but clearly not enough.
With my experience of living in this country, I’ve come to the realization that what Egyptians need is much more than education, health, financial support or stability. Please, do not go ahead of yourself and think that I am overlooking the importance of all of those things. Without a doubt, they are the pillars that hold together any society. However, what I have continuously experienced as a young female living in Cairo is that some people have all of those things and I am among them. I am among the 1-2 % of society that doesn’t have to worry about whether or not there will be food on the table, nor do I have to worry about the roof of my house collapsing over me because I can’t afford to buy a house in a residential area. Yet, despite our blessed situation there is still something missing among us.
It’s not financial security or health insurance; it is a lot more than that. It feels as though we have lost the will to change. Changing the situation in Egypt is going to take much more than a few years of stability and edible bread. In our situation currently, I think it’s safe to say that financial comfort can only go so far. It seems as though we have lost not just the will to change but the belief that we can change.
It is the saddest thing in the world to see people who love their country more than anything think that they aren’t good enough to change it or better yet give up entirely. Egyptians are, more than anything, optimistic people. Do not let anyone tell you other than that.
This is why I decided to write an article about who we used to be as a nation. I wrote ‘The Legend of the Pharaohs’ not to gloat about my ancestors, but rather to remind Egyptians who we used to be. In my very humble opinion, sometimes the biggest challenge in the world is not getting someone to do something, but rather getting them to believe that they can. This is why I believe that the most motivational lesson any Egyptian can ever learn is not the good parts in their present or the make believe future they can have, but rather their solid past that screams of nothing but promise and hope.
To Egyptians, Egypt has always been indestructible, but this isn’t the case today. I can’t guarantee that this country is going somewhere positive or is about to change for good. All I can do is promise you that I will never give up hope. I will never forget my past just because my present does not reflect it. I will never get bored of reading about the people who have loved, cherished and most importantly who have worked day and night to fight for my country’s freedom and liberation.
In fact, I will do everything you want me to stop doing. I promise you that my words mean much more than what you read on the surface. I am not merrily repeating something I read in a fortune cookie. I truly believe that we are in a crisis today not because of our political instability. In reality, this is all we have ever known. Go ahead and read our history; this is just the start of another year for us. We are in a crisis because for the first time in our lives we actually don’t think we’re going to change.
This is why people needed to read my article. People needed to understand that life brings chaos and disorder. It brings famine and poverty. It brings illiteracy and greed. Life will continue to pressure you to change because change is the only constant in life. Some nations have had to fight hard to get where they are today, other nations have had better luck, but all in all every nation has hit rock bottom before. However, Egypt has experienced one rock bottom after the other; this is why we are different. With every crisis a nation experiences, you can find hundreds of those in Egypt’s history. We, as Egyptians, have fought the hardest for the longest and we are deserving of acknowledgment. Our people deserve to understand that we are different because despite everything we’ve been through we can still say that we love our country blindly and that’s more than I can say for most nations.
With most other countries, you might get change, modernization, stability and maybe even success. However, with Egypt, you get a nation that will put up damn-est fight you have ever seen you whole life. Don’t believe me? Grab your popcorn and watch how my people will fight this year and the next and the next, until we are finally liberated. We might not get there fast enough or soon enough, but I promise you that we will never stop fighting.
In a country that prides itself on its unparalleled history and incredible civilization, very little understand the very words uttered whenever someone says tell me about Egypt. Egypt the land of the great, the land of the world’s greatest civilization, the land of powerful warriors and charismatic leaders, the land of the strongest people and a land rich in history and culture; has yet to be recognized for what it really is. Egypt’s history invites you to witness one of the world’s greatest people that stood strong as invaders walked on its sacred grounds, that invented inventions we still use today at a time where people were still carving caves, and that fought with courage and resilience to liberate their country year after year for thousands of years.
Egypt, the country protected by the Almighty Allah, stands strong today in times of great turbulence. As always, it stands unique among all other Arab countries with a country liberated from its worst enemies and on its way to great democracy. There is a reason Egypt has not become Syria or Libya. There is a reason that until today despite the adversaries this country has seen over the past 3 years; its people are still able to smile and laugh even in the toughest of times. It’s safe to say that the Egyptian people are not among the weak or the unlucky of this planet. They are undeniably the world’s greatest people and let me tell you why.
Seven thousand years ago when the first records of the great Egyptian civilization were recorded, Egypt stood among the first people to make ancient history. As the great country became unified in 3100 BC, the world witnessed one of the oldest and most powerful civilizations develop incredibly. From 3100 BC (the start of Ancient Egypt) to 525 BC (its end), Egypt had a series of incredible historical moments making a name for itself as one of the most powerful ancient civilizations. In this incredible era we witnessed the Egyptians include features in their society that are still commonplace today. For example, their women dressed in beautiful jewelry and wigs, their men played many sports such as boxing, fencing and wrestling and their children played with dolls, board games and many other toys. They thrived to advance their society in many fields and areas through their incredible knack for inventing.
Ancient Egyptians are responsible for inventing some of the most famous monuments in the world such as the great Giza pyramids, the world’s first written language with the Mesopotamians, and the world’s first paper created from the Papyrus plant thousands of years before the Chinese invented paper. However, that is just a fraction of what the Egyptians are responsible for inventing. Ancient Egyptian inventions have influenced the world in many fields such as agriculture with the invention of their calendar that monitored the floods of the Nile and the invention of the plow. The have also influenced the world of fashion by inventing eye make-up with the application of Kohl which is still used today. They have also invented door locks which were a lot more secure than the looks invented years later by the Romans. They also invented breath-mint, toothpaste and bowling. Yes, that’s right. Egyptians invented bowling though the game was quite different back then; it still had the same elements of bowling today such as pins and a collection of balls in different sizes.
With enough information to tell you why this civilization has left an undeniable mark on the world; comes the very need to inform you of why Egyptians are the greatest people.
This civilization brought to the world some of the greatest and most powerful leaders in history. We had leaders like Thutmose III who was called the Napoleon of Ancient Egypt. Making a record for himself with zero battles lost, he was regarded as a national hero and one of the most intelligent military leaders of his time. We had some of the youngest leaders in the world where Tutankhamen inherited the throne at the age of nine. Leaders who lived twice the life expectancy age such as Ramesses II who ruled for 67 years dying at the age of 80 at a time where the average life expectancy was 40 years. We had some of the most powerful women in the world such as Hatshepsut who ruled Egypt for 21 years and declared herself as Pharaoh. She not only announced herself as leader of the nation, but she also dressed the part. She understood that in order for her to be taken seriously she must look and act the part which is why she dressed in men’s clothing. She ruled at a time where Ancient Egypt granted women the rights they deserve by giving them the right to own properties, to hold official positions, to inherit from deceased family members and to be present in court. Ancient Egypt gave women all these rights at a time where women were regarded as mere sex slaves. We also had the great Cleopatra who made Egypt, at the time, the most powerful and most prosperous civilization in the world.
As Egypt’s rich history and culture blossomed year after year, the world took notice of its incredible potential. Thus, the Egyptians began endless battles to liberate and protect their country from greedy selfish leaders who wanted nothing more than to rob the country of its beauty and prosperity. This is where Egyptians shine in the most unquestionable ways. We had pharaohs defeat invaders such Hittites and the Hyksos in Ancient Egypt. Then we had Roman Rulers, Ottoman Rulers, Byzantine Rulers, Persian Rulers, French Rulers, British Rulers and countless Egyptian dictators. Each time Egyptians rose to the challenge defeating their oppositions successfully and liberating the country over and over again. It seems as though Egyptians were born to do nothing but continuously prove to the world that they are the greatest warriors. Standing strong and courageous in times of need, Egyptians have proven to the world that they will stop at nothing in order to protect their country. No matter the adversaries that came with time such as famine, poverty, ignorance and oppression; they have not been shaken once. They remain as the only people that still shock the world despite their third-world status, weakened economies and political instabilities.
With my argument coming to an end I leave my Egyptian readers on this note. You need to understand that once you utter the words ‘I am Egyptian’ you are not just defining your nationality but you are voicing how great you are. You are fully acknowledging the fact that you belong to the world’s greatest people and you will stop at nothing to prove that. Again, this is not a call for violence this is a call for recognition.
And to my foreign readers, I urge you to read our history. Read about the countless battles of peace and war that we have fought to protect ourselves. Read about the countless beautiful Egyptian women that embody beauty for they have come to acknowledge their potential such as Hatshepsut, Cleopatra, Doria Shafick, Hoda El Shaarawi, Nabawiyya Musa, Lotfia El Nadi, Nawal El Saadawi and Sameera Moussa. Then come tell me we are not the greatest of people.