Less than 5 years ago, I recall my reaction, when someone I know from school, or work, went on a protest. My reaction was something in between despair and sarcasm. In my mind I thought ,what is the use? What would drive someone who can afford his meals to waste more of his time that has already been wasted, to protest for a lost cause?
That is what I considered Egypt to be: a lost cause. I despised Mubarak throughout my life, but that was when I was younger. When I grew up I discovered that Mubarak is not a person or a regime, Mubarak is a state of mind: it’s a way of life, we all have been guilty of being a Mubarak.
To me Mubarak, is being negative, being delusional, Mubarak was wasteful. You lose any hope of being better, you think that you can only be what they allow you to be. So you run out of breath running after the carrot that they hold out, and you search for ways to destroy every single bit of extra energy that you have in your body or in your soul. Because this extra aspiration will cause you nothing but trouble, my friend, or so I believed, as well as many others.
Youths would just waste their lives away, willingly or unwillingly, it did not matter much, what mattered was that their lives were wasted. It was wasted on drugs, drowning in the sea while following a mirage, following false leaders and losing your lives at the hands of secret police for nothing. And I considered those who invested that extra bit of energy and soul, in protesting and fighting for rights, to be wasting their lives too, just as well as the others.
Prior to the revolution I had some experiences, and met some people that contributed to my intellectual growth a lot, and they opened my eyes to a lot of things that I have never would have thought of on my own. And I am very thankful to those people, although I had some moments of doubt, and questioned their mental health. When I saw this middle class young woman chanting poetry that isn’t even her own against Mubarak and his regime, publicly, during the most powerful times of his regime. Although it was not her poetry, I couldn’t but salute her for her courage, as I have seen other “ mubaraks “like my self leaving the venue fearing the consequences of her brave expression of self.
I remember passing by the press syndicate a couple of months before the revolution, and saying to myself, “ Why are these fools protesting? Can’t they see that their tiny number could easily be crushed by the huge number of the police forces? Don’t they know that speaking of the Mubarak family and friends out loud only puts their lives in danger? Don’t they know it’s no use?” and I thought so to myself because I was a mubarak then.
We got rid of a bunch of mubaraks by 2011, and some other mubaraks by 2012, and now we are ruled by a brotherhood of mubaraks. But that is not a big deal as long as each one of us gets rid of the Mubarak inside of him. And I bow my head in salute to those who got rid of their mubaraks, and kept themselves free all the way.