Wednesday, November 5


In celebration of Obama's win.. and in response to this positive air of change which proves that dreams are indeed possible to achieve.. and in expressing hope that one day nations will rise above all kinds of discrimination, to finally co-exist in harmony and declare the victory of their humanity.. I thought about re-publishing the following post, which I wrote more than a year ago, calling for keeping the faith in our dreams. I seize this opportunity to revive this call and share the optimism that the wind of change will reach us here.

I have a dream.. that one day Egypt will have a woman president.

A Woman with a Dream

When Martin Luther King stood there, giving his public speech in 1963, saying his famous "I have a dream...", he certainly had no idea that his dream will come true. He had no idea that his speech will be a historic one, or that it will later be ranked the top American speech of the 20th century. He was only being sincere and dedicated to his cause. He spoke his mind and heart, giving the American people a peek on his dream: that one day both blacks and whites will exist harmoniously as equals.

That was a black man, whose dream exceeded himself to include all people of his race. He did not hide his dream in shame. He did not say that everything is OK as long as he himself is not negatively affected by the racial discimination practiced in his country. No, he made it his mission to fight for the rights of the vulnerable and to stand up in the face of the powerful. He knew that nothing will change as long as he and others are silent. He believed in the power of reason and justice. He understood the value of words and how taboos can be broken by talking about them. He stood there, solid and firm, expressing a beautiful dream, where black and white kids can play together, without feelings of hatred or superior/inferior relationships to destroy their innocence.

Just like it took a black man to fight for the rights of the blacks, it takes a woman to fight for the rights of women. It takes a woman with a dream; a dream of a better future, where men and women would coexist harmoniously as equals in society. It takes a woman with a mission and determination to bring down all the false taboos and misconceptions about her sex. It takes a woman whose dream extends beyond herself and her present wishes. It takes a woman who believes that she's not an inferior and that she deserves to be treated with respect. It takes a woman who believes that she was created equal, and that she holds the same brain that men hold. It takes a woman who's not afraid of imaginary ghosts haunting her life. It takes a woman who believes in herself and her abilities. It takes a woman who is strong enough to face the winds of opposition and ridicule. It takes a woman who won't give up the fight for justice and humanity. It takes a woman who will stand up and face the world with her dream.

Don't say that most girls are happy with the way things are. You know better. Your level of awareness is a gift, a precious gift that only a few get to possess. And with this gift comes a responsibility. Your awareness enabled you to understand why those vulnerable girls are silent, why they act satisfied, and why they even sometimes stand against their own rights. They are victims of a massive brainwash, just like black men were once made to believe that they were born black to be marked as salves, and that it was their inescapable destiny.

Patriarchs used the same mechanism used by Great Britain when they invaded African countries and made its inhabitants become their salves. The British colonialism was clever enough to convince those slaves that they were born slaves. They made them believe that it is a bless that they now found masters who can take care of them, because slaves can’t think for themselves. They even turned their colonialism into a crusade of some kind, where the mission was to bring civilization to these savage lands. The idea of “The White Man’s Burden” was so popular and found its believers among the colonists themselves. The “burden” was that of educating and civilizing the black barbarians. It turned intro a sacred mission, just like that of the Arab men, who want to protect women from themselves. So now we have ”the Arab Man’s Burden.”
Women are the only ones who can fight their battle. Just like blacks were liberated by the blacks, women will be liberated by women. Therefore I'll continue to say, "I have a dream."


Rocky said...

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Raouf said...

Fantasia says: "I have a dream.. that one day Egypt will have a woman president"

That is a noble sentiment, I hope it will happen but it doesn't seem near the horizon.

The election of Obama does raise hope. In the sense that oppression cannot last forever and someday reason finds a way.
To see how far things have come we can remember the following:
- As recent as the 1920's the Ku Klux Klan and other racists used to lynch black people sometimes just for the fun of it. None of it was prosecuted.
- As recent as the 1950's blacks were not allowed in areas designated for whites only.
- As recent as the 1970 blacks did not have the full right to vote.

On the other hand, until recently, in Egypt the following was the normal:
- Women used to go out without a veiled and not be harassed.
- If a woman was touched while walking in the street, the perpetrator would be at least beaten on the spot.
- Women used to express themselves freely and not have to look down when they were in public places.
Things have gotten worse, I hope that this will stop.

I have a more modest dream for the Arab world:
I hope that they get ONE president who is not the son of a ruler and is not part of the military or the mokhabarat.
I also dream that he (or she) would leave after the 6 years by his own choice and not try to hang in there forever.

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raaasa said...

Dear Fanta,

I would like to once again tell you how awesome I think you are for consistently getting the message out there.

I was reading today about a woman in Canada who won a sexual assault case after being attacked by a police officer 30 years ago:

I realize that the context is hugely different, and the obstacles in Egypt at times appear overwhelming, but women are fighting and women are sometimes winning. There will be change one day. There is room for optimism. Don't give up.

micheal said...

in these countries, u can dream and work hard 2 acheive ur dream
in our countries..u r free 2 dream as u like and as much as u can but then they ll tell u "wake up"
best regards , fana

Fantasia said...

Hi Rocky,

Thanks a lot for passing by and for your kind invitation.

Fantasia said...

Dear Raouf,

It's true that Egypt is moving backwards.. One can not help noticing that, especially when it comes to the status of women in our society.. Things have definitely got worse in so many ways.

Still, I have reasons to be optimistic.

There are those who wanna lock us up and prevent the wind of global change from reaching us.. However, they won't be able to keep up for long. On the political level for instance, who would have thought that all those rebellious moves would appear all of a sudden and become able in such a short time to practice an actual pressure on the Egyptian regime, compelling it to make changes and respond to public demands?

There is an old song by Gloria Estefan called "The Rhythm is gonna get you", and I say "Freedom is gonna get you," democracy is gonna get you, equality is gonna get you, change is gonna get you.. because those values hold within themselves the power to prevail. Remember the liberation movements which spread across the Arab world and Africa during the 50s of the previous century? It was like the common cold, highly infective. Think about human rights as a relatively new term to be introduced into our daily lives in the Middle East, and the huge steps taken by people working in this field.

Your dream is becoming near.. and we'll get there as long as we keep holding on to it and working on making it a reality.

Thanks a lot for your insightful comment, and for sharing your dream with us.

Fantasia said...

Thanks, Husain. That was so nice of you. Good luck with your movie gallery.. Wonderful job! Big fan already.

Fantasia said...

Dear Raaasa,

Yeah, exactly.. That's what I was telling Raouf just now.

The news from Canada are still amazing, though! Wow! 30 years?

Women in Egypt are fighting, indeed.. But they need empowerment and they need to see the possibility of winning without having to undergo a process of humiliation.

Thanks for your continuous support, dear. It feels great reading those wonderful words of encouragement coming from you. As long as girls like you exist, there sure is a big reason to be optimistic.

Fantasia said...

Dear Micheal,

LOL.. that's a good line. You should claim copyrights for this one, dude.

As I once said to a friend of mine, I feel that some people in our country hold high positions and are in fact getting paid just to tell those who have big dreams concerning Egypt: "keep dreaming".. lol

I personally believe there's nothing wrong with dreaming, even if we are not able to see them become real in our lifetime. Keeping the dream alive will at least inspire others to move forward.

Those who seek to kill our dreams are the ones who'd better wake up.

Dr. Eyad Harfoush said...

Dear Fanta,
Maybe I understand the qualities of Obama himself, and I really wish to be optimist in this...but, shall the eastern establishment of the US allow real changes on land to be materialized? Shall Obama risk his future and his party's interest getting into a combat against them all? I have big doubts

Cameron Sharpe said...

I just happen to be passing by when I read your post. Nice post and keep up the good work!

"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