Thursday, January 24, 2013

Diaries of an online activist

The Arab spring turned my life upside down and the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Syria and Bahrain "ate my time". It all started as I was following news of the Tunisian's uprising which turned into a revolution and spread to the rest of the Arab world and with it my Arabism, patriotism and zeal grew and got me hooked to the TV and laptop for endless hours. My days suddenly turned into nights and I wouldn't realize it till the first rays of sun crept on me announcing the arrival of a new day.

I was overtaken by the Egyptian revolution and my "activism" started initially on Facebook. I am an online activist, sadly not a field freedom fighter because I am away. I spent endless hours glued to the screens, monitoring the news, typing, expressing my views, engaging in heated discussions and even debating with very close friends, all on the net of course. Since I was confined to the house, that was my only source of social interactionThank God the Egyptian revolution lasted only 18 days until Mubarak finally stepped down on Feb11th. Everyone was ecstatic and we all thought it was over, WE WON, or at least that is what we thought then. 
Then the Yemen revolution started catching pace and was filling the news along with the Libyan one. I then shifted from the Egyptian revolution which I felt I had given it it's due. We already toppled the President besides there were so many other hundreds of thousands covering it and I started focusing on the rest of the Arab revolutions, but mainly Yemen's and hence I moved from Facebook to twitter, which I felt was more dynamic and powerful.
Twitter transfered me to many places at once. I felt I was in Tahrir in Cairo, in Benghazi in Libya, in Change square is Sanaa, in Hama in Syria and in Manama in Bahrain. Just by following a certain time line I listened to the chants, I heard the explosions and I felt the pain of wounded.   
I was actually apprehensive at first and worried when Yemen's revolution started. Yemen had the highest gun per capita ratio after the US and I thought it will turn into a blood bath from day one, but was pleasantly surprised and so was the rest of the world. However, I never imagined the revolution would drag this long. Nor for the suffering to be this hard. I pray for a peaceful resolve soon, although I doubt it will be peaceful nor soon. It breaks my heart to see all the massacres in Syria, the fighting in Libya and the silent suffering in Bahrain and not being able to do anything about them besides tweeting.
I should mention that before all this started I was a wife and a mother of four (one of which is in heaven). I still am all that, thank God, but before the Arab spring started that was my main job. I suddenly became a full time online activist, an addicted twitter and a new blogger on the block, not to my husband and kids content though. 
I salute all online activist and stand in awe for the many people who suffered and struggled, advocating for change in their country, the ones who paid the price with their lives, blood, sweat and tears. May God bless all freedom fighters in the Arab spring and beyond and have mercy on those who lost their lives for all of us to live a better life. Peace

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