During the week of November 23rd, our class discussed the Egyptian Revolution of 2011. We read Revolution 2.0, Wael Ghonim’s memoir about his role in the revolution, to familiarize ourselves with the uprising and how social media networks played a crucial part in organizing people to fight for freedom.

During class on November 25th we looked at a couple “Words of Women from the Egyptian Revolution” videos. I enjoyed these videos because they provided a different perspective on the Egyptian Revolution. They are interviews of women of different faiths, ages and from different parts of Egypt talking about their involvement in the Revolution. I was intrigued by one video interview of a mother and daughter: Hanan Sadek and Mona El-Sabbahy. It was interesting to hear how the Revolution changed them. Hanan was encouraged by Mona to join her at protests. Her first protest was on January 28th. Hanan was quiet for most of it and even hushed Mona when she started chanting with the crowd. Hanan thought of herself as a loyal Egyptian and didn’t want to cause trouble even though she knew injustices were inflicted every day upon her people. When riot cops moved on to the Asr El-Ni bridge she realized that her country needed to change and felt empowered to make a difference. From then on she fully participated in the revolution. Mona was involved in the Revolution at the beginning. She was a part of the No Military Trials for Civilians Campaign and the Popular Committee to Defend the Revolution. Hanan believes the Revolution has made Mona stronger: “She is a person who knows what she wants, who knows where she is going in life, and has enough convictions and arguments to defend what she believes in.” The Revolution also brought Mona and Hanan closer together. During one of the marches, riot police threw tear gas into the crowd of protestors. Hanan protected Mona from the gas by sheltering Mona under her jacket. Later during the same protest, Mona saw one of her school teachers lying on the ground badly beaten. Hanan quickly responded to the situation by calling an ambulance and caring for the teacher until medical services arrived. Through these actions, Hanna proved to Mona that she is a a part of the Revolution and that she’s always there to support Mona. Also, by encouraging Hanan to participate in protests, Mona helped her mom realize that she can be a part of the Revolution with her.

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One response »

  1. doriebailey says:

    I, too, was incredibly moved by these interviews. Hanan and Mona’s was certainly memorable for a lot of the reasons you outlined above, but the direct and genuine feeling that came from the simplicity of the interview structure is one of the things that has stuck with me the longest after watching this video and some of the others. The messages of those being interviewed can sometimes be lost amongst flashy graphics or distracting text on screen, but the emotional connection that accompanied these personal stories that the women were very bravely sharing made them that much stronger.

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