On the night former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down in February 2011, I left Tahrir Square late while the celebrations continued. I took a microbus home. The driver wanted to increase the regular fare, exploiting his passengers traveling late at night. The euphoria was palpable. The passengers urged the driver not to raise the fare. They argued for a new Egypt with no avarice and no favoritism; an Egypt where justice prevails. The driver complied, and we did not pay extra. I, too, believed hope was born that day. I daydreamed of breaking out of the cage of corruption. The Arab Spring had arrived — but didn’t last long. On a hot summer’s day in Cairo in 2013, Abdel Fattah el-Sissi — then minister of defense — appeared on TV calling on Egyptians to take to the streets and mandate him to fight against potential violence. El-Sissi was referring to the rule of Mohammed Morsi, and his Muslim Brotherhood. Everyone was glued to their TV sets, listening to the general. It was the calm before the storm. As a woman who believes in personal freedom, and as a journalist who believes in freedom of expression, I did not support… Read full this story
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