#JAN25 INSIGHT MAGAZINE: ONE ON ONE WITH MARWA RAKHA

Date posted: March 22, 2011


 

 

 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A PDF VERSION OF THE INTERVIEW AS IT WAS PUBLISHED IN (IN)SIGHT MAGAZINE.

Have you been to any of the protests?

I went to Tahrir square only once; on Saturday, January 29. It was the morning after the massacre of the Friday of Anger when security officers used expired tear gas bombs, rubber bullets, metal pellets, live ammunition, water cannons, and armored vehicles to run down and disperse peaceful unarmed protesters.

I was watching that massacre on all satellite channels in a state of disbelief! My friends were out there among a million other brave Egyptian fighting for our freedom and basic human rights and I was at home feeling sad and helpless! On Saturday morning I called a female friend who was out there and she gave me a detailed account of how she almost got killed several times that day. I felt jealous! I wanted to be a part of the new free Egypt and I wanted to contribute anything – even if it was just chanting!

Were you at first pessimistic or optimistic about change?

The outcome exceeded my expectations; I never expected that President Mubarak would actually step down, that the Parliament would be dismantled, that the Shoura Council would be dissolved, that the National Democratic Party would cease to exist, that the constitution would be amended, that the network of corrupt businessmen would face a fair trial, that the Minister of Interior would be tried for his crimes against humanity, that the Minister of Information would resign, or that Egypt would have any form of democracy!

I never expected to see Egyptians come to life again; in Tahrir square I had a glimpse of the Egypt that I want to live in and belong to!

What do you think the future of your baby would be like after 25th jan?

When I was just 4 months pregnant, I bought a baby outfit that had the peace sign embroidered on its front and the statement “BORN FREE” written underneath it! This sums up what I wished my baby would have: peace and freedom!

I hope that the new Egypt would be free of carcinogenic fruits and vegetables, decaying educational system, gagged state media, torture and human rights breeches, and discrimination based on religion or gender or sexual orientation.

What would you tell your kids about the revolution?

I would tell them that I went out there for you!

I would tell them about my childhood, teen years, and adulthood and how corruption impacted all the aspects of my life. I would also tell them about those who paid their lives and precious blood for our freedom.

How do you define a good mum? Do you consider yourself one?

I am not a mom yet:) I do not know if I will be good or not! All what I know is that I will love my baby as he is for who he is! I have no plans for him and no expectations of him! He could be anyone he wants! I do not own him! I also believe that he is coming into my life to teach me new things – maybe even more than anything that I have to teach him.

What’s your horoscope?

Libra

How was your childhood? & What’s the most important thing your parents taught you?

My childhood was happy except for my memories of school! Going to school always made me feel tired and stupid! Now I know that there is nothing wrong with me – so it must have been the education system and the school itself:)

My parents taught me how to independent – they might not have intended for me to as independent as I have become though:)

How would you arrange the following terms according to priority: work, family, romance, money, friends, freedom?

Freedom, family, work, money, friends, romance

Do you describe yourself as a: rebel, emotional, dreamer?

I am a rebel:) I don’t think there is anything in my life that I have not rebelled against! I am an anarchist and I do not believe in authority.

What’s your favorite band or music genre?

Music is background noise for me (blush)

Who’s the best singer or composer to make a song for this revolution now?

I have no clue! But … I do not like how we – Egyptians – tend to turn everything that is so beautiful, deep, and meaningful into one of those old worn out clichés. I do not want the revolution turned into a song, a street, a newspaper, a bridge, or anything of the sort!

What’s your favorite book or writer?

I have grown fond of Dr. Nawal El Saadawi and Franz Kafka

What’s your favorite movie and director?

Kill Bill

What else do you think have influenced you and shaped your character to be who you’re now?

People who told me that I cannot do this or that! People who attacked me! People who tried to compete with me! People who tried to keep me locked into social norms and expectations! I took all those people, stepped all over them, and moved up the personal evolution ladder!

What’s your favorite color? What color do you see the revolution?

My favorite color is orange! It is a warm color that is sensual, sexual, and soothing in all ways.

The revolution is a green flag symbolizing the peaceful protesters with tiny little red roses symbolizing the precious blood that was shed.

What’s you fav joke that has been said about the revolution?

Mubarak died and met Sadat and Nasser in the afterlife; they asked him if he was killed by poison or shot on a stand. He replied: “facebook”!

As a woman rights activist, what’s your comment on what happened to Lara Logan of CBs news?

What happened to Lara is horrible! No woman should ever be violated like that! What makes it worse is that Lara was attacked because she was a woman, a foreigner, and presumably a Jew! Looking at the bright side: Brave Egyptian women rescued her!

What do you think should come first in Egypt now: Political Reform, Education, Economics, Poverty, Tourism, Other?

Political reform will directly impact education and economics. Tourism has always been back no matter what crisis Egypt faced! Poverty will take time to eradicate (40% of Egyptian live on 2$ per day) but we will get there once we see the end of corruption.

I also want to see the end of censorship in Egypt! No book, movie, magazine, article, picture, or website should be censored! I expect the government to treat me as an adult who is accountable for my choices!

I want to see the media set free … no orders and directives from “above”!

I want to see the end of police brutality … and the end of the one-man-show regime! The President should not have all the strings in his hands!

What in your opinion would be a best-case scenario for Egypt that you wish for and what would be the worst scenario, which you dread?

Best case scenario: all my “wishes” mentioned above would be granted!

Worst case scenario: the old regime will find a way back into power! Like in movies when the bad guy dies but you do not see his body, and then he creeps onto the good guys when they are having a great time and kills them!

How did you celebrate the success of the revolution?

I cried! Seriously … I called everyone I know and cried!

What about your upcoming projects/books?

Making a baby has taken all my time and I guess being a mom will take more time – and I don’t mind it at all! I managed to finish my first Arabic book “الدنيا خيارة”. It is online now and by summer I will have a print copy of it!

I am working on the outline of my first fictional novel but this will not come out before a year.

  

 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A PDF VERSION OF THE INTERVIEW AS IT WAS PUBLISHED IN (IN)SIGHT MAGAZINE.

 
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