Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The upside of revolution, even if it's just a personal one: Egypt edition

Many times I look around myself, even almost three years after arriving, and think how did I get here? What am I doing? How will I ever get back home?

In recent weeks, watching situations unfold in Tunisia and Egypt, things have made a little more sense.

If I had stayed at home I can guarantee I would not be entering "when Mubarak goes" office pools or accepting "revolution cookies" from an Egyptian colleague. I am not sure I would be glued to tweets from Al Jazeera correspondents or context from my Egyptian colleagues and others who are much more knowledgable. I do not think I would have overheard a colleague from Jordan give her Cole's notes in a quick, animated sit-down about why the King dismissing the government was neither a very big deal or much of a surprise to her and others from her country. I would not be surrounded by the brightest colleagues from all corners of the world, their banter having me wishing on a daily basis that having dispensed with Islam for Dummies last year I'd made it more than halfway through that copy of Middle East for Complete Idiots I dragged over here. I would not be wondering why a friend who lives in Kabul would persist with vacation plans in Cairo this week, despite an airport in chaos and people of every nationality getting out of Dodge on emergency evacuation flights. Nor would I be concluding that when you live in Afghanistan, a nation on the brink of change and/or continued, bloody unrest might seem like a welcome bit of fresh air.

So here's to living in the world, not just your corner of it, and to freedom, which I am tonight not only grateful for but aspiring to for millions of others. And to this sentiment, evidenced over and over in recent weeks:

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. -Martin Luther King Jr

1 comment:

Lena Tolmach said...

I absolutely agree. Living in this country gives a lot of understanding of another world we didnt know before