Thursday, January 25, 2024

Remembering #Jan25 : Gaza in the heart of #Tahrir square

I do not feel I have the luxury to write another nostalgic or political post about the #Jan25 Revolution. Aside from the fact I already believe that the real revolution started on 28 January, not 25 January; there is nothing more to be said especially now. I feel angry, frustrated and sad.

In the spirit of the 25 January revolution, I continue to write about Gaza and the ongoing Israeli genocide killing everything living in that open-air prison while the world is still watching and doing nothing for 111 days now. Maybe something will change inshallah.

On this occasion, I would like to share this photo taken on 8 February 2011 at 10 AM by the late Pierre Sioufi’s famous balcony overlooking Tahrir Square during that 18-day sit-in.

"Gaza is in the heart of Egypt" at Cairo's Tahrir Square on 8 February 2011 by Pierre Sioufi
"Gaza is in the heart of Egypt" at Cairo's Tahrir Square
on 8 February 2011 by Pierre Sioufi 

Yes, Gaza is in the heart of Egypt despite all that happened, is happening and will happen.

It’s noteworthy that in October, a small group of Egyptians, protesting in solidarity with Gaza, converged on Tahrir Square in Downtown Cairo from various locations. This marked the first instance since 2013 that a protest of this nature was directed towards the iconic square.

Some of those protesters were arrested and are currently detained pending investigation.

There’s no need to articulate the sentiments of the majority of ‘those Tahrir kids’, as former US Secretary of State John Kerry referred to them, regarding Palestine and Gaza. In fact, their stance on these issues was among the reasons why the West was hesitant about these ‘Tahrir kids’ truly assuming power or any truly pro-democracy power in Egypt. 

There is no need to explain also how Israel did not welcome those changes in Egypt during then.

On this occasion, I would like to share with you an illustration made by the late Graphic artist, painter and art instructor at Al-Aqsa University Nesma Abu Shaira from Gaza to celebrate #Jan25 in 2011.

Abu Shaira wrote a caption for this illustration featuring an Egyptian man adorned in traditional attire while the background featured the colours of red, white and black representing the Egyptian flag and the word “Misr” or Egypt in the middle. She wrote “Egypt.. Egypt, long live Egypt”

That hit me hard.

Abu Shaira was killed along with her daughter on 24 October along with her sister in an Israeli airstrike that targeted her brother-in-law’s family house. Nesma left a husband and another daughter. Her husband who is also an arts and graphics instructor was also injured last month.

Among the reported actions of Israel in Gaza is what some sources refer to as “scholasticide”, or the alleged deliberate disruption of academic life in Gaza. It has been reported that the Israeli army has targeted educational facilities, including universities, in the strip. 

The reported casualties include three university presidents, seven deans, and at least 94 university professors, in addition to thousands of instructors and students, such as Nesma Abu Shahira. Please read this statement released by the Middle East Studies Association. 

Long live Egypt and Gaza.

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