I have borrowed the title of my article from Anthony Doerr’s novel that was published last year about a blind French girl who lived during World War II. The story takes place from Germany’s invasion of France until the landing of the Allies in Normandy and beyond.
The blindness of Marie Laure did not prevent her from learning how to overcome a stunning world of atrocities and disasters. She was able to do so simply because she could see the invisible light of hope and the ability to communicate with others. She was even able to interact with a German who could also see that light.
But this is not really my topic today. I am writing about the optimism and determination that were felt during the economic conference and after the Arab summit, which have turned into pessimism and fading vigor.
Exports and imports fell, companies went bankrupt and the stock exchange dropped. Instead of looking to the future, Egyptians are whining about the miserable post-revolutionary present.
Is it because of the increasing number of terrorist attacks, the war in Yemen that has lured us away from development, or the fact that glamorous projects will never materialize if bureaucracy and red tape are not removed?
Perhaps it is because of the parliamentary elections and the havoc stirred by political parties, human rights associations and foreign countries.
An economist told me the wrong fiscal policies and the delay in eliminating the black market have crippled capital movement in the market.
It is obvious that there are numerous reasons that need numerous solutions, not all of which are in our hands.
For Marie Laure, surviving harsh conditions was the first priority. That would help her to then progress to a better stage. Part of the light she saw is within us and the other part lies in the future and in the ability to communicate with others.
Is our problem that we do not see the light at the end of the tunnel because we are busy with the “now"? Do we not see the potential of our country? Have we lost the ability to communicate?
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm