For Egyptians, the fall of Hosni Mubarak has been symbolic of a new beginning for Egypt—a “new dawn”—to quote Karim Saad, a native Alexandrian and a student at the American University of Cairo.
“For many of us here,” he wrote in an e-mail on February 15th, “it is the first time in our lives we feel truly proud to be Egyptians. I’ve been busy along with everyone else over here demonstrating and cleaning up Tahrir square.”
Similar sentiments of jubilance and pride have been cropping up across social networking sites like Facebook and YouTube in the past few days. Take, for example, the following video about clean up efforts in Tahrir Square, which was written and directed by the nephews of Dr. Wessam Elmeligi, Chair of the English Department at Alexandria University.
The video, entitled “The Birth of a New Egypt,” is emblematic of the new sense of ownership and responsibility that Egyptians feel toward their country.
As one sign in Tahrir Square put it:
“Today this country is your country. Do not litter. Don’t drive through traffic lights. Don’t bribe. Don't forge paperwork. Don't drive the wrong way. Don't drive quickly to be cool while putting lives at risk. Don't enter through the exit door at the metro. Don't harass women. Don't say, 'It's not my problem.' Consider God in your work. We have no excuse anymore.”
Amanda Labora '12.5 is a history concentrator who was studying at the C.V. Starr Middlebury School Abroad in Alexandria.