Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Change Within

The revolution managed to breathe new life into Egypt and the people of Egypt. Almost overnight and with the press of an imaginary button, morals, values and a sense of unity presided within everyone that was Egyptian. I remember hearing about those values that older generations used to recall, dreamily as they spoke of their younger days. Those values that we had all lost hope of seeing again, submitting to a notion-turned-belief that we were wading through an age where corruption, selfishness and tyranny would only but mushroom uncontrollably. The revolution made us all realise that those values were subconsciously hammered into us as children. They were there all along, dormant and waiting for the right moment, the moment of freedom to emerge forcefully making a statement that they were here to stay. Differences melted away and all that one could see was a united stand  in the midst an invigorated sense of life. 

I compare it to the attitudes of people before January 25th. Several years ago I worked within a company department in a country outside Egypt where the majority of employees were Egyptians. It was one of the more depressing times of my life. I likened the authoritarian attitude adopted by my managers to that of the Mubarak regime at the time. There was fear, oppression, unfairness and of course, corruption. Ideas were not allowed or if there were, they would be shelved and only the managers' ideas would go ahead. It was like a smaller scale of the Mubarak regime in an office environment. It was like a psychological disease that had taken hold of Egyptians, a projection of the regime into their own lives, an adoption of an attitude as a way of life. It was disappointing but most of all it was disconcerting.

Years of brainwashing and of being oppressed led to continued abuse of society and individuals. Thirty years is a long time and for many, they knew no other way of life. It was accepted as the status quo. Corruption breeds corruption and when corruption becomes the way of life, people find themselves dragged along with their society down a pit of despair. Until January 25th when everything changed.

There is now a deep sense of integrity and justice against anything wrong and corrupt. There is a challenging notion to authoritarian attitudes that threaten basic rights. There is love, compassion, understanding, empathy and team spirit. There is a sense of direction, hope and resolve for a bright future and with it, a sense of social justice that will prevail for all. And all this seems to have burst into an emotional display of fireworks on the streets on Egypt and online, overnight.

Now I look back at that workplace where I endured a lack of values and ethics and erase it from the present day. Groggy minds and souls have awoken. Today the people have spoken up and broken the barrier of fear. Their dormant values are dictating their behaviour today. Given the choice, I now want to work with Egyptians.

The revolution's slogan was: Change, Freedom and Social Justice but with it, a change has also happened within. A change that has rippled through and has breathed new life into Egyptians. 

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