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Resolutions for personal revolutions

With revolutions and resolutions, winter in Egypt has become a time of change and resistance, and as the winter chill rises, Egyptians plan ahead for 2013.

“Resolutions this year are all about the country,” says Ahmed Ibrahim, 52, a resident of Mohandiseen. “We’ve got to get ourselves back on track. Each of us is responsible.” For Ibrahim, his top resolution is to get his tourism company back on track by looking at new and interesting ways to entice people to Egypt without putting them in danger.

“Taking initiative,” says Tarek el-Mahdy, 47. “Not only in my life and in my business, I have to go out and make a difference in politics.”

Amira Ali, 35, a yoga instructor in 6th of October, says, “I’m planning to be more understanding.” Despite “believing” in freedom of thought, she has become bitter toward those who think differently in the last year, she admits. “I must free myself of judgment based on political belief — we all want what’s best for the country.”

“Cleaning up clutter,” Mona Salah, 62, says is her resolution for 2013 — but not just in her home. “We need to clear out clutter and garbage in our streets, conditioned clutter in our brains and the useless clutter in our government.”

“My main resolution is to help the poor,” says Mai Salam, 47. “I finally make enough money to put some on the side and I’d love to get into development.” Salam believes that neither Hosni Mubarak nor Mohamed Morsy have focused enough on the large percentage of the population who cannot find food or clean water. “We need to re-focus our attention — it’s not about what we wear or what we believe in, it’s about a roof over our heads.”

“One of my resolutions is to reconnect with family,” says Mohamed al-Sayed, 32. Sayed believes this resolution can also be applied to a country torn apart by vicious political games. “We all need to reconnect,” he adds, “in our buildings, communities and as a country.”

This piece was originally published in Egypt Independent's weekly print edition.

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