Cairo’s coolest cosmopolitan hotel. General Manager: Youssef Rakha.
Arabic language Arab Spring art Beirut black and white Cairo death Egypt Fiction History Islam literature love Muslim Novel Poetry Revolution
في أي ليلة نحن؟
وأخلط بين حياتي والشمس
التي تلف كتفي امرأة عاريتين
بين الشمس ويدي المرتعشتين فوق كلمات الكتب
بين الكتب والأشجار بسبب رائحة الجذور
حيث ستدفن روحي
بين روحي والشفة المطبوعة على زجاج مغبش
ببخار الأنفاس في ليلة باردة –
في أي ليلة نحن؟
من العادات التي أحاول الامتناع عنها
عناق الرصيف المبلل كل ليلة
معسكر الرجال يذكرني بأيام الخدمة العسكرية
كل شيء هنا يحترف تدوير الملل
I had my camera when I went out to demonstrate on Friday, January 28, the climax of the Egyptian revolution (January 25-February 11, 2011). I was on the streets for over twelve hours but I took only two pictures; they were to sit for years on my hard drive, unedited and undisplayed: my only trophies from the revolution. Unlike the majority of “Arab Spring revolutionaries”, from the moment Tahrir Square was occupied in the small hours of Saturday, January 29 and until the long-time president Hosni Mubarak stepped down, I felt that I couldn’t photograph and protest at the same time, that to be photographing would render my presence in the protests insincere and that the protests were about more important things than photography.
At the same time the figures and the faces that I saw daily in and around the protests, and which belonged to both “revolutionaries” and “counterrevolutionaries”, imprinted themselves on my mind more forcefully than ever before: sullen and despairing men, slim women in high heels and children everywhere.