I always thought I was well rounded with what was going on in the world. I thought I was updated on a good range of topics.
“Trump is running for president. He’s a joke.Clinton is running as well, and I should vote for Bernie because it seems like all college students are. ”
“Leonardo DiCaprio hasn’t won an Oscar.”
“We are currently in a war with ISIS.”
“There are Syrian refugees migrating to Europe.”
I converse with my colleagues, giving my opinion on what I think about these issues, assuming I am “well-informed” about what I am talking about. I read it all over the net: Google, New York Times, Huffington Post. Shouldn’t that be enough? But I always felt there was more to being “well-informed”. When I attended the “After Tahrir” events, I finally realized why I had a notion to believe that the Internet is not all there is to feel well aware of what occurs on this planet.
I have learned about the crisis going on in Egypt in class but never did the information feel so real when hearing enlightening individuals share their perspectives about it. During the panel on Monday, it amazed me how many people went through the same thing under different circumstances. Mohammad Yahia shared his experience on being “coloured and queer” in Egypt and in Sweden. Ranwa Yehia talked about building communities after the Egyptian events of 2011. She explained the emotions she went through and her lose, that she still has trouble talking about till this day. They each seemed to play their own part after the Egyptian revolutionary events. It amazed me to even have them their in the flesh, in front of me, as if what they were saying was just an article I read on Huffington Post or New York Times. Them being their made it real to me, made the events concrete with no controversy about it. Hearing it from real people who lived to say what they experienced made it valid for me. It wasn’t something I was reading but experiencing. That is where I felt “well-informed” not necessarily on all that has happened in Egypt but on what impacts it caused on individuals.
“The Egyptian Insurgency Short Film Festival” hosted a great number of individuals to express their perspective of the whole revolution in Egypt in a visual manner. It helped me understand some of the feelings that Egyptians felt during the demonstrations in Tahrir Square. Within that visual experience, I could explain to others some of what went on in Tahrir Square. I can’t say that about the elections, I can’t say that about the war with ISIS, I can’t say that about the refugees in Syria, but I can say that for the Egyptian Revolution outcomes and say I am “well –informed” in a little piece of what type of individuals were cultivated in Egypt after 2011.