Thursday, June 26

D for Dream

Been a while since my last post.. You might think I've started to get lazy or that my enthusiasm is fading. Wait until you hear my side of the story..

I didn't follow a tradition that I saw lots of bloggers following.. and that is celebrating their blogging anniversary, or as you might say the "birthday" of their blogs! It's not that I missed the date or that I didn't think of anything to write.. As a matter of fact, it was quite the contrary. First of all, I can never forget the day I started this blog.. a day which opened a door to a wonderful experience, that looking back now I can't imagine how life was before. Secondly, I shall be forever grateful for the blessings that this blog bestowed on me.. If only for the friends I made, I can write a book.. a big fat happy one.

So, why has my production decreased and why have I been slower?

Well, you might think it's funny, or that I'm joking.. But the truth is.. my production has actually increased, and super fast! Today, I write on several blogs, several groups on the booming Facebook, and I'm the editor-in-chief of a very promising online mag! I've reached out to thousands of people, not only in Egypt, but in different places around the world. I somehow got used to reading about my blogs and groups in Egyptian and Arab newspapers and magazines, or hearing about them on TV. (Had only one TV appearance because I am keen on privacy.)

All of this in only one year! And what a year! I've grown a lot in this year, I gotta say. I've stretched myself to the max and kept branching wherever I could. Mind you, I have a life.. and a very busy one!.. I'm not an online geek. Yet, being a person driven by passion and a strong belief in the message I'm seeking to communicate to the world, it just happened naturally, without any plans.

Aiming high, there was always a force pushing me forward and urging me to do my best. Throughout my life, I've never stopped to celebrate my achievements.. and maybe that's why I didn't celebrate my first year of blogging. What's more important, though, is knowing that there has been an accomplishment and being willing to increase it.

Still, I had to pause and catch some breath. I had to look and see where I'd be heading next. It's good to be driven for a while, but you shall never allow yourself to lose track. Being dedicated to cause is a human blessing, and being able to serve this cause in an efficient way is a double bless. And that's precisely what I'm after.. efficiency.

Back when I was young, success for me was merely "overcoming a challenge," given the many obstacles on the way to it. I believe most girls get tricked the same way, and that might be the reason why they don't continue towards making solid achievements.. Their experiences are usually cut off when they think they've reached the end of the road, like when you pass the last and biggest challenge in a computer game. And that's it for them.. screen says YOU WON!.. so that's where the game ends, right? Society consumes us into this empty game of overcoming challenges towards small milestones that are not by any means an aim in themselves.. Yet, girls are being deceived into mistaking them for a end.

Take education for instance.. A college degree for most of the Egyptian girls is an end in itself. You'd scarcely meet a girl who has planned her career, even if she's about to receive her degree. Some of them do not even make up their minds whether they'll pursue a career or not! "Let me finish the challenge at hand.. that's my success", a typical girl would think.

It is indeed a big challenge to think outside this box into which society has confined us. That's why our girls are not demanding in any way (except when it comes to material demands, huh?). They're kept in their little world, their computer game, their Barbie house.. and likewise, their dreams are tiny, earthly and shortsighted. I wonder if the word "dream" is even appropriate to use in this miserable context. Dreaming women contribute to shaping our world, while those girls never make it past their itsy-bitsy doll houses. And, I must say, they were brought up to think that this is how far they can go, and be safe!

Women who make big achievements are usually categorized as bitches. You can either be a weak woman, or a successful bitch!.. And if you've got a brain, you've got to be a bitch. That's the patriarchal culture we live in. You think and act, then you've trespassed your feminine limitations into the masculine territory. Now, you have to be ready to pay the price. It's not only that in your case the road to success was the hardest of all.. wait until you get there and you'll be damned for it.

Thus, motivation and strong will are other big challenges in a woman's world. Many women think that whatever they can achieve is not worth being stoned for it. Therefore, they follow the safety instructions listed in their old grannies' manuals, which they learned to trust and treasure so dearly. Wisdom is always good, you know. What they don't know, however, is that wisdom never built anything or invented anything. If we allow ourselves to get stuck in this old wisdom safe box, we can never move a single step ahead. Stepping ahead has got its risks.. and you can never be able to take those risks unless you are a dreamer. If you dream, you dare take risks. Only then will you discover, and grow, and make a change.

So, what has this got to do with what I was talking about in the beginning of this post? Alright.. I've been reflecting on the difference between thinking, writing down your thoughts, and publishing those thoughts. Many people think to themselves and then lock up their thoughts inside their heads.. or maybe exchange bits and pieces of their views during friendly chats. Other people have got what it takes to give these thoughts a written form and deliver a coherent piece of their minds. They may keep a journal for themselves, or share it with friends and dear ones. Yet, publishing one's thoughts is a totally other thing.

This blog started with a dream dwelling inside my mind.. and when I dared raise up my voice and reach out to the world, this dream finally made sense. Not only so, it developed in so many ways that I've never thought of.

My partnership with Egyptian Feminist Chic has allowed this dream to evolve, and acted as a live manifestation of how dreams meet and create a new hope. No one can imagine how much we both have in common.. and I wouldn't have found that out if I hadn't taken the decision of going public. She, on the other hand, could have easily been one of those who drift over this blog and say to herself "nice" and move on. But because she is a dreamer, she didn't. She actually took the time to express herself and share ideas and discussions. She had her say. And before she knew it, she turned into a blogger. (I must ask her how this felt like.)

This brings us to the big dream.. a Modern Egyptian Feminist Movement that would inspire women to fight for their rights. All of you are invited to contribute to this one. I've grown so tired of thinking alone, and I stopped this habit a year ago. Let's all cast our cards and think together.. How can such a movement be possible? Does it have to follow the footsteps of the movement we once had in the beginning of the previous century? Does it have to be led by someone from the political arena? How can we pave the way for such a dream to take shape and become real? What's our role as intellectual women and men in bringing about such a movement? OR.. Is there an alternative method through which we can achieve the same aims?

OR.. Am I merely being insane?
"When I dare to be powerful - to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid" - Audre Lorde