Saturday, March 5, 2011

Supporter's Soliloquy

     This is an Egyptian flag with a picture of the pyramids and the Sphinx.

Kinda cool, eh?

Even cooler when you realize that it's on a three-inch piece of chocolate.  I asked Mr. Boo to hold it so that I could take a picture of it before he chomped it away.  He is loving all the "Alm Misr"  or Egyptian flags.  He even colored some of his Legos black so that he could create one in his room.

This chocolate "Ode to Egypt" was on an expensive cake at work today.  Where I live, we don't have cakes quite as fancy. 

I live among the lower middle class of Egypt.

I work among the upper middle class of Egypt.

In America, this wouldn't matter to much among family, friends or co-workers.  We could all wear the same kind of clothes, drive the same cars, live in the same neighborhoods and our kids could go to the same schools together.

In Egypt, it means that my husband, his family, and (by assocation) me get looked down on by many co-workers.  I was told this week that I could have married better.  I could have gotten a man who provided for me; who gave me a nice apartment in a good area of town. 

I married for deen; for faith.  I did not marry for riches or trappings of wealth.

Though, I have blogged about the sadness of the upper class in Egypt, I have not been thinking too much about them in these days post revolution.  I thought that the lower class were suffering more.

One Act Play

The stage is bare except for a desk and a computer along with two chairs.  The chair behind the desk is big and cushy; the chair in front of the desk is low and wooden framed. 

YOSRA:  (smiling) Saba al ful!

SUPPORTER:  (face down; avoiding eye contact)  It's 'Saba Al Kheir'.  Say it properly.

YOSRA:  Everyone says Saba al ful.

SUPPORTER:  No, not everyone.  Only the people you associate with.  You're with the wrong people and they are teaching you the wrong Arabic.  That's street Arabic.  The proper way is, 'Saba Al Kheir.'

YOSRA:  (walks away and then remembers something and returns)  You didn't call me back.  Weren't you going to tell me something?

SUPPORTER:  I've been busy.  You have no idea how busy I've been.

YOSRA:  I understand but I hope you also understand what I've been going through.  We're not connected; you and I.  That's hurt.

SUPPORTER:  You're hurt?!  I am VERY hurt; extremely hurt but what you've said.

YOSRA:  What did I say?

SUPPORTER:  You say that Egypt was in civil war.  And you said something bad about the soldiers.

YOSRA:  They are so young, I was trying to say--.

SUPPORTER:  You called them 'ignorant.'

YOSRA:  I don't think I did.  That doesn't sound like me.

SUPPORTER:  You did and it hurt me so much. 

This is my country---even with the garbage in the streets and the poverty.  I am proud to be Egyptian.  This is me!  I am Egypt.  If you say something bad about Egypt it's like you're saying it about me.  I take it personally, yes.  My father was in the army and no one NO ONE can say one bad thing about the army.  Those men are the blood of Egypt! 

You also said I had, "false pride".  Maybe I do, if that's what you want to call it.  I love my country and you as a foreigner should know to be careful how you talk in this country. 

I know that Mubarak was not right for everyone.  He wasn't but I supported him because he was better than what the alternative was.  I didn't want the chaos of other countries.  We didn't have that.  We had a society.  Ok, it had to change.  The young people really surprised us in demanding the change.  I supported the change. 

If Mubarak had to leave, then he had to leave.  I thought once he resigned that would be the end of the movement and everything could get back to normal.  I planned for getting back to normal.  I don't sleep at night trying to get things back to normal.

You think it's easy?  You think only of yourself!  You don't understand how the rest of us are suffering too!  I have a husband who might be losing his job.  My children have no future after college because there are no jobs.  I try to hold on to my job.  And we can't hold on to our money in stocks.  We invested so much and now we might have nothing.  CAN YOU IMAGINE?  I might have NOTHING!

So, if you tell me that Egypt might be another Lebannon or Iraq, I can't feel nothing.  I (pounds fists on desk and increases in volume) CAN'T LIVE IN LEBANNON!  I CAN'T LIVE IN IRAQ!  DON'T TELL ME MY EGYPT IS ANOTHER LEBANON!  DON'T TELL ME I LIVE IN IRAQ!  I CAN'T LIVE IN IRAQ! 

(SUPPORTER stops and quiets down; almost childlike)  I'm sorry.  I didn't mean to yell.  I'm sorry.  I'm not sleeping.  I didn't mean to yell at you.  I wasn't yelling at you.  I'm sorry. 

YOSRA:  I understand (goes to hug SUPPORTER who starts to cry). We both have our views and only when we speak our truths will we be able to connect on that level and build from there.

(YOSRA leaves)

(SUPPORTER stops wiping tears, sits down at computer and starts an email condeming YOSRA as the scene fades to red, white and black)

May Allah help all the people of Egypt; the rich and poor; the supporters of a dictator's regime and the supporters of freedom to speak their truths and wash clean the corruption.  Then, may the healing begin.


TwinCitiesLynn said...

Are you OK? Did you lose your job? Let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

Yosra said...

Asalamu Alaykom TC Lynn,

Nice to see you.

I still have a job. Tough job right now. No idea about tomorrow (first day back for kids) but I do have a really long email in front of me which I'm supposed to answer to.

Good time to pray!

All blessings come from God so I'll keep my faith that I'll get what I need, inshahallah, and not get transfixed on the thought that a person holds my fate in their hands. They don't. It's God :)

I appreciate your kindness. Really, you are a very sweet person. Inshahallah, this will work itself out---like a boil LOL!

This time...I just want to act from a place of strength and conviction---not fear.

Yosra said...

Asalamu Alaykom,

I just read this quote--on my own blog no less! From long ago I copied these words:

"You can't live an authentic, soul-directed life without disappointing people, hurting their feelings, or making them angry. That's the truth.

You deserve to ask for and receive the support you need—but first, you must resign as General Manager of the Universe.

It's time to stop swallowing your anger and instead, step up and take a stand for yourself in the face of inappropriate behavior.

In order to live a rich and meaningful life you'll need to honor and protect your sensitivity. The days of "sucking it up" or "developing tough skin" are over."

-Cheryl Richardson from her book, The Art of Extreme Self-Care