Originally posted on @kelo3adi:
Growing up, there was nothing I enjoyed more than listening to my friend’s mum narrating details of her own childhood in Cairo. She would tell me of the fig and apple trees casting their cool shade over her parents’ yard and the basil and mint leaves emanating a refreshing aroma. She would tell me of the mosques—their vastness and tranquility. I remember the nostalgia in her voice as she’d remember past holiday prayers, describing the crowds and happiness. I remember hearing about women in niqab riding roller coasters at liberty and multahiya men playing soccer without being questioned. People spoke and acted as they pleased, she’d say. No one was afraid of being shot at or imprisoned simply for believing in a better Egypt.
I smile as I recall these narratives, but as I think about the current situation of Egypt and the past months, I cannot help but cry, Menna.
I’m sorry, Menna.
I’m sorry that you will tell your children of the suffocation of your cell and the insects infesting it, instead of the coolness of your parents’ yard.