Mohamed Hefzy is an award-winning Egyptian script-writer and producer whose works include Tito, Malaki Eskenderia (Private Alexandria), Zay El Naharda (A Day Like Today) and Microphone. He is also an engineer.
My position was always very clear. If the revolution succeeded then I was with it all the way, if it didn’t, then I’d think it was a bad idea!
No, I’m joking of course.
Actually, my position changed throughout. But so did everyone’s. Everyone started with one objective – we wanted to see change. But I was never really politically active. I was always cynical about politics in Egypt. It’s not my field. I know everyone should have some kind of political awareness but I kept my opinions to myself until this happened. The protests galvanized me and it was very exciting. When something you never thought was possible becomes probable – and is happening right before your eyes – you become interested. And that’s what happened to millions of people.
I didn’t go to Tahrir at first because I didn’t agree with the demands that were initially set. Although I was for reform, I didn’t agree the regime needed to be changed completely. Yet when I saw the brutality used on the protestors, I really began to sympathize and support them. I first headed to Tahrir on Saturday January 29th, because the violence of the previous night really pissed me off. I was also angered that the government remained silent despite four days of protests.
The demonstrations kept pressure on the system but I also felt there needed to be dialogue. There needed to be discussions and the protestors needed a leader to present their case in a logical way. There’s strength in the power of the people of course, and people are in awe of us. It’s like there’s a special gene in Egyptians. Without communication, we came together to make a stand.
It doesn’t matter who leads next. It’s about the right to choose. I don’t mind if the Egyptian people choose the wrong person and it gets worse before it gets better. We will never allow a dictatorship again. The regime divided the country and their propaganda worked for a long time on breaking our morale; making us think we weren’t important or strong enough, and not ready for democracy. The only way to learn democracy is to do it and make mistakes. We don’t think we will have a miracle, we may screw it up once or twice but that’s the only way to learn. We have to start somewhere. And it’s not just in Egypt that things have changed – across the world people are inspired to stand up to corrupt and repressive regimes. It’s amazing.
Many of the people who are supporting Mohamed ElBaradei don’t want him to lead Egypt. I personally don’t want him to but I respect his ideas and thoughts. People were asking, “Who is he to speak on our behalf?” But isn’t every Egyptian speaking on everyone’s behalf? Everybody has allowed themselves to be the voice of the people. He just has a bigger voice because of his position. I don’t know who I want to see as the next president but I don’t think it’s fair to put someone down like that.
Change will come. I have a huge trust in this hidden gene that was triggered in all Egyptians. I feel proud we stood up and this will go down in history as an amazing revolution. This has set an example to people all over the world that we won’t stand for corruption and repression any longer.