My mind is spinning. As I leave campus in the wake of the first two days of the semester, I can’t believe the way I, or should I say we, are feeling. It is a mixture of hope, excitement and determination for a better future. I can honestly say that no super bowl game, no world cup match has ever made me feel closer to a group of people than the events that have transpired in the last two weeks have.
I can only think of one word to encompass all that I am feeling: solidarity. A professor of mine shared an anecdote with my colleagues and I that is worthy of mention. He told us about how he was in Tahrir Square and noticed a group of people passing out a poster of our late president Nasser.
Being one who admired Nasser, he naturally approached the group to take a poster. As he took the poster, simultaneously a group of people angrily shouted “let’s not personify.” Getting their point immediately, this professor did not give back the poster or refrain from taking it. Instead, he tore up the photo, immediately conceding to their plea of unity.
My professor’s personal experience brought me to a delayed realization. Even though we all have heterogeneous political leanings, different opinions about how these events will impact our society, even different ideas of whether this movement will turn out for the better or worse, we can’t deny the feeling of unity that is in the air.
The reason I stress the importance of this movement, this time of hope and aspiration, is because we have difficult days ahead of us. We need not to forget this moment, this moment wherein we believe all is possible, this moment in which our fears are almost equivalent to our excitement.
We need to look back at this moment during these upcoming tumultuous days when everyone figures out whether they are a secularist, socialist, an Islamist or none, and remember that there was a time when our divisions were not what made us victorious, rather it was what the majority of us had in common. If true democracy prospers, we may never feel this close again. Therefore we must savor this moment and make the most of it, for it is a rare one indeed.