As of late, watching US-based media awkwardly follow the uprising in Egypt has become nothing more than a maddening task; I have learned more in respect to the apathy of Washington than the alleged “chaos” in Egypt. I have watched a slew of pseudo-analysts and pundits bumble through names, political characters and the roles they play in the region; I cringe as Hamas, Hezb’Allah, Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood are now forced to share one cohesive identity, in spite of blatant disassociation.
The mainstream American media functions tirelessly to reinforce the dominant colonialist dogma constantly repeated during the occupations of both Afghanistan and Iraq – until it became a dry hum, masking a backdrop of wailing and screams.
Yet, despite all attempts being made to salvage the United States’ waning empire,the wings of the eagle are being clipped – in Egypt.
The United States of America now stands stark-naked – in all of its unashamed complicity, in all of its hegemonic cabal, in all of its depraved hypocrisy.
But, this is not about Washington – nor is it about the West. I refuse to grant them center-stage where they may take advantage of being cast as lead or even a supporting role when they are irrelevant. This is about the Arabs, as a people.The Arabs have suffered decades of oppression under the steel boot of colonialism, being forced into submission as pawns in the elusive game of Western hegemony – and over time unashamed apathy became their undoing.Their suffering was furthered by their detachment. They no longer resemble done another in character and dignity; each man becoming nothing more than aforeign entity to the other, divided and decayed.
Decades. Decades. Decades.
For years, arrogance was used to mask harrowing shame – a shame which wept of a homeland occupied, of a people partitioned, of a nation in darkness, of a language numb and powerless.
And they waited, the Arabs, for a single hero to rise.
And they waited.
But, one can only wait so long before slumber pulls at your eyelids, dragging you into a hellish coma – without virtue, armed with nothing more than a pillow of humiliation and a blanket of disgrace; a sleeping death.
The Arab youth became caged birds, creating lullabies for uprisings yet to come. And yet, it came. O’ God, it came at last.
The Tunisian trigger sent a shock-wave up the Arab spine, like a sharp thorn into their backs. And they awoke, in Egypt – where there are no negotiation tables,there are “peace-processes”, there are no meek and hesitant crowds. There is no circus of submitters who lay before dictators and prostrate so that they may eat, just a morsel, off the plate of temporary sustenance.
There is only defiance.
The dust beneath their feet wraps itself in batches, clinging softly to their skin in an act of worship.
I say to you, that no one will understand the cries of a generation lost nor could they understand that of a generation liberated, until they feel this crazed desperation run as deep as their veins. In the streets of Cairo we found our souls, safeguarded in the iron fists of revolutionaries – souls once lost and left idle amongst a valley of old memories long forgotten.
Egypt has become our ballad – a testimony before the world, crying out that we live and submit to the glory of the revolution.
O’ Revolutionary, they attempt to brand your uprising “chaos” as you stand cradling rocks in bloodied hands between heaven and earth; you are reclaiming our history – our past, present and future. O’ Revolutionary, you have awakened the Arab giant and your fragrance has lifted our spirits. I kiss the ground your feet have travelled, I lay my lips upon your head and cry out against the echoing gunshots. I offer you my tears in hopes that you may forgive me for my inability to stand beside you in rank. I wish only towipe your brow and kiss your hands, to taste but a drop of courage, to feel but an ounce of valor.
And now, I refuse to write our eulogy – that of the Arabs – on paper or in ink. I refuse to bury our future amongst the carcasses of wild animals left over from an orientalist wet-dream. I refuse to comply any longer, to remain an instrument in the political machinations which have lulled my people into apathy.
And now, I refuse to sleep.
O’ Revolutionary, I kiss the ground your feet have travelled, for it has given me life.
Roqayah Chamseddine is a Lebanese-American humanitarian activist. She is a an undergraduate student majoring in Political Science/Pre-Law and Journalism. She was a member of the Gaza Freedom March last December in Cairo.