2011 – A Year Full Of Surprises
It’s the holiday season, 2011 is almost over, a couple of more days left in it. Speaking from a personal point of view, this was by far the weirdest year and certainly the fullest!
Here’s a summary of how my 2011 went, from the very beginning.
15 minutes into 2011:
The Church I was supposed to be in for the New Year’s mass got bombed, I clearly state that I was saved by the bar I was going to instead of church. Such a sad beginning for a new year, many people died and more were wounded.
And then my first semester of my last year in school ended.
First day of my winter break (Tuesday, January 25th):
The revolution started as just some demonstrations that were “under control”, so despite them I was still planning on a good winter break with some travels, that started just 2 days after, on Thursday the 27th when I went with lots of friends to a holiday house somewhere in the outskirts of the city.
Friday, January 28th:
we turn on the TV and what we see was unbelievable! Images we have never witnessed before or thought would happen in Egypt!
Later that day, the police forces withdrew, prisons were opened, and thugs were let out. A highway back to Alexandria that day was definitely not a good idea, so we were stuck in that holiday house, for one more day. Moreover, curfew hours were put to allow us to use the streets only between 8am till 3pm.
We were back home one day later. And up till February 11th life was a little crazy, scary, and full of early morning wake u
ps to work and night “legan sha’beya” which was basically the civilians living on each street would spend the night in the street with whatever weapons they have to protect their homes, since there was no police at all.
Mubarak steps down, the revolution wins. And suddenly all streets are one big festival!! Fire works!! People dancing and singing together everywhere!! Even those I personally know who were against the revolution were dancing on the streets!
Ps. At those times schools got postponed, and kept on getting postponed from week to week. Which was worrying since it was my last year, and I didn’t want to stay for longer (I regret those feelings now)
Months pass. School is back. School is over. I GRADUATE!!…weird! What a strange new feeling to me, what do I do now? Parents start talking to me about working in our family business, a pharmacy in Sharm el sheikh; I start thinking of what I want my future to be like. It was driving me crazy, with all the pressure and all the advice from friends, family, family friends, just people that come and talk to you … this was insane!
DECISION: I will walk el Camino de Santiago! I needed that time alone and that long break.
August 21st: I’m still not sure about my decision; it’s my first time to travel all alone.
August 22nd: I book a flight for august 23rd.
August 23rd: Lots of stuff happens, through august 24th as well, those would take as long as another post.
I walk, for 36 days, I meet lots of people, I kind of make some decisions, and I fly to Barcelona and meet my family there for an extra 5 days.
October 7th: Back to Egypt.
Since then I’ve been working with my father, just to be making money, while at the same time applying to loads of stuff to try and start my dreams working.
November: Parliament Elections start; Weird. Time consuming. A little bit scary results.
At the beginning of the month I decide to go to Indonesia for an internship starting February and ending it after 4 months (beginning of June). I apply and do the interview and all.
One day after the interview I get a phone call from the WHO – Cairo office! The internship I’ve been applying to for a year now! I got the interview and its in a couple of days!
That is just too much for me! It is at those times that I believe that when a person works so hard for something the whole universe conspires to grant his wishes 🙂
*Side Note about some bitter spices of 2011: From the beginning of the year, Christians and Muslims in Egypt were on fire, several fights, several churches were demolished. On the other hand Christians made demonstrations. People were dying in demonstrations throughout the year (and till now they are still being killed)
To conclude, 2011 certainly started off as a scary year, and it is ending as a weird one. It was the beginning of many new things, and was the end of others that people thought would ever end.
For me it was the end of school, the end of my confusion about my future, the beginning of my true addiction to travel, the beginning of many new friendships, it was also the year when I discovered many things I never knew about myself, about the world and about others!
I’m just hoping it ends safely, and that 2012 would be better, including many more of the happy surprises and life twists that 2011 had, and less of those bloody and sad ones.
Happy holidays 🙂
How was 2011 for you? Did it resemble the beginning or the end of something important in your life? Did it change anything about you?
Photo of “Walking el Camino de Santiago” taken by Bernardo Ruiz