Jehan Fadel is an Egyptian actress whose credits include Sahar El Layali (Sleepless Nights), Imraa’ Hazat Arsh Masr (A Woman Who Shook Egypt’s Throne) and Ice Cream Fi Gleam (Ice Cream In Gleam).
It was about time. The government had been taking away the rights of the people for years. And it was their slow and frustrating reactions to the protests that gave us the fuel to push on to the end. The protests were always democratic and peaceful. It became obvious to every one that this was a dictatorship and the country was being run by a group of criminals. Even the people who were comfortable in their lives could no longer hold back.
The revolution was born in every home, because people had enough. Unemployment is at an all time high and the number of hungry people is unacceptable. All of the country’s wealth was concentrated in the hands of the few, while the rest languished below the poverty line. And yet, we were peaceful throughout. We never held a gun, or blew anything up. In return we were initially faced with tear gas, rubber bullets, and police beating people up. There were arrests, rumors and throughout a flailing state media. They insisted on keeping everything hidden while we insisted on telling the truth.
As celebrities or artists – indeed anyone who works in the arts, from poets to writers, painters to intellectuals – it was our responsibility to showcase the voice of the people. When we spoke, we spoke on their behalf. Yet we just represented a small part of the movement.
Today, Egypt’s youth no longer need a message from high up. They weren’t raised to believe that the President is like their father. They understand a President is there to serve his people. As they say, with great power, comes great responsibility. But our former president turned a blind eye, turned himself into a criminal and there was simply no excuse.
Now that we have come this far, I want democracy. I want free elections. I want to see leaders with transparent agendas who are working for the good of the country and its people. I want the people of Egypt to have the freedom and the power to hold someone accountable if they don’t fulfill their agenda. I don’t want a zayim, I want someone the people have chosen.”