الجمعة، مارس 02، 2012

A revolutionary girl in the tahrir square - Nawal Alsaadawi

written by: Nawal Alsaadawi
Translated by: Reem Abdelrazek

I watched her walking in the square, she had a slim figure,like a tree's trunk , lifting her head, she looked as if she was holding the sun , or may be she is " ma at " the Egyptian goddess of justice, her curly hair surrounding her head like the wires , no body touched it to avoid being electrocuted. her brown complexion like burnt clay, her eyelashes are dusty and obtrusive like thorns, her black eyes shoot bullets at any one daring to harass her , her name not contain the Arabic letter which indicates her gender , her name is " fagr the daughter of ferdous " ( fagr means the dawn , fardous means the heaven or paradise ), her mother bear her inside the jail with the appearance of twilight,with this spot of light which appear before the sun rising. if some one describe her by " female " he will receive a slap on his face without rising her hand , if he uttered the arabic word " harim " , he will be kicked without moving her leg , she has a highly attractive soul , not feminine nor masculine , only a mix of power,tenderness and primitive intelligence, she is crying for a simple reason and killed in an angry moment .

twenty-five years old, her father fled with a girl after she had been conceived by her mother, the mother killed him and got into prison while she was just a foetus in the uterus, she was five years old when she came out of prison with her mother and her baby brother, her mother had been raped, then the three family members were thrown out on the street. her brother didn't have a birth certificate , her mother filled a birth certificate forms with the name of an imaginary father. she took care of her brother while her mother was working from six in the morning to seven in the evening, her brother cried of hunger till he slept, his mother breast fed him when she got back from work. her breast milk dried of fatigue and lack of food , she brought him the mediocre milk of the free market, all night he cried from stomach ache and diarrhoea, his sister putting her arms around him while sharing his tears.

Her mother had gotten sick and stayed in bed, the girl went out to work, she was fourteen and her brother was nine, she spent money on her sick mother and student brother, bought him a bicycle to go to school with, took a loan from her boss the "professor "to buy it.

On the day of Eid she was bending over scrubbing the toilet, the professor put his arm around her from behind like a compassionate father, she punched and kicked him, bit him with her sharp teeth, he slipped and fell failing to rape her.

the professors wife arrived home the very next day, upon knowing what happened she slapped and fired her from work. «Fagr binti ferduas» worked in many homes, in Zamalek, Giza, Heliopolis. I realized that the masters of the home cheat on their wives in secret, women keep the secret for fear of Gods punishment and to preserve the Holy Matrimony.
She taught herself to read and write and do math, saved money to buy books and novels, was in love with literature, then married «Muhammad», he spent three years in prison on political charges, he had no income after being fired from his job, she took him in her arms with the tenderness of a mother,sister and wife, took over sole responsibility for spending and working inside and outside the home.

On February 11, 2011 Mubarak stepped down and she became twenty-four years old. Her brother was nineteen she had gotten him into university and bought him a Vespa instead of the bicycle, She and her colleague «Khadija» participated in the Revolution from its start on Jan. 25, the demonstrations did not interfere with her work in at the marital and upper-class homes, she got back home late at night the day Mubarak stepped down, her husband asked her:
- Why are you late?
- I was in the tahrir square. She answered.
- The demonstrations are for men only, not for "harim" (he meant women), he said .
- Mohamed, listen well, I am not "harim ", she replied.
- Of course, I became "harim" and you become the man! , he said with Ridiculeous accent.
- Mohamed, all people protesting in tahrir.
- I said that you are not permitted to participate in the demonstrations, do you understand?
- She opened the door to go out , he pulled her and slapped her with violence, she slapped him back and said :
- Mohamed, you are divorced.
- The man only has the right to divorce ignorant donkey, he replied.
- So, I will use my right to give your dowry back and divorce you.

She shared a room with "khadijah" in sharabeya (one of Cairo districts). after she had finished her work, she went to Tahrir square, then she got back to the room to spend the night, or she spent her night with the mothers of the revolution's martyrs in the tents, or in the field hospital in tahrir, helping the nurses in cleaning the wounds of injured people, or washing the towels and cloths , cleaning the floor of the blood, medical gauze and cotton, at the beginning of every month she went to her mother's home, giving her money and medicine, and putting money in a closed envelope for her brother's university expenses, at the day of women demonstration, she fought against army and police thugs, she kicked them with her leg if they tried to harass the girls and children,that day she returned back to her mother's home with a bleeding nose, her brother was sleeping, at morning, she heard him saying that the revolution youth is just spies , they take money from America ! And those girls is just bitches, she replied him angry:
- Stop it; they are the purest people in this country.

Her brother started swearing and she heard her mother crying in her bed.
- I will not permit you to participate in this fuckin demonstration, I made a decision, her brother said.
She went out and closed the door forcefully after her.
At night, her friend heard her silent crying saying that:
- My mother tortured much, khadijah; she dreamed of celebrating the success of her son.
I watched her walking yesterday in the tahrir square , she shaked hands with me , I remembered how the hand of my grandma was in my childhood, she asked me :
- Did you forget me doctor? I am "fagr bini ferdaus"; I read your books when I was fifteen.
original text in arabic : click here

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