Thursday, February 3, 2011

Someone hit the 'pause' button on my life.

Another sleepless night in light of the events post Jan 25. I heard so many analysts and officials talk about the 'catastrophic' economic losses that Egypt's witnessing as a result of these ongoing protests. $20bn losses in the stock exchange market, the billions that are lost because of all the tourists fleeing out of Egypt - the list is endless, we could go on and on and on.

Its surprising how these events can have an effect on someone that's continents away. I'm sure what I'm going through is only like a drop in the ocean; probably so many other stories can be told about how families in and out of Egypt have been affected by the events from last week. My family and I are currently in the UAE and ever since the protests started, our lives have been literally put 'on hold'.

I left my job in Dubai, moved and packed all of my belongings and shipped them off to Egypt, excited about my big move back home to start off a new career and a new life. My flight to Egypt was on the 29th of Jan - which would give me about a month to prepare for my wedding, unpack and get things sorted in my new house. The excitement was overwhelming - I couldn't wait to start planning for my 'new beginning'. until Jan 27 happened.

My travel plans were postponed. I don't know when or how I will be there, let alone see my fiancée. It's sad enough that we've been apart long as I can remember and this 'long distance relationship' situation just sucks the life out of anything.

My days are a constant routine: I wake up, sit in front of my laptop, load up Tweet Deck and switch on the TV, hoping to hear that people are willing to give Ahmed Shafiq a chance, or hear that everyone at Tahrir Sq miraculously decided to head home. As I look around the living room everyday, I see my father and mother glued onto the couch watching TV. A constant fiddle for the remote control, my dad frantically switches between BBC, Al Arabiya, Mehwer and Al Hayat. Their eyes filled with sadness, their faces so tense - we barely even have a conversation that lasts more than five minutes. Come to think of it, I could never remember the last time my family and I felt so crushed to see our country go through so much.

In 24 years, this is the first time I've experienced the terror and fear of a political outburst. I can't even begin to imagine what people are going through back home. Hearing my aunt sob on the phone, my cousins pouring their hearts out, my fiancée trying to hide his worries over the phone. It all just breaks my heart, especially when the phone call is interrupted by frantic cries, sudden gunshots, or when the line just randomly drops. My heart sinks thinking that something terrible may have happened to them. My fears only go away when I get through to them again, after countless attempts to dial their numbers and hear a dial tone.

The day turns into night and off we go to bed. Nothing new happens, no changes, just the hopes of waking up from this never ending nightmare. It does feel like my entire life is put on hold. Someone hit the pause button on a chick flick movie. Everyday is like a record on replay and I just want my life back on track. I want Egypt back on track.

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