When I was a kid I used to have pictures of my hero’s stuck on my bedroom ceiling. I wasn’t aloud to put them on the walls, but the ceiling was mine. It was covered in mainly motor bikes, the Kawasaki 900 taking up most of the space. Right down in the far corner I had a small picture of Che Guevara. I didn’t know who he was, or where he was from, I certainly didn’t know he was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary who was all about controlling people – for me, he stood for “Why should we do homework, when we are forced to be in that institution all day” in my little confused world he stood for “I’m not taking your shit and more.”
For the last 18 days I have called Penny two or three times a day to update her on the situation in Egypt. I normally call her after checking the news online but last night I just called and started to talk. Penny and the gang had decided to sleep out in the desert with a load of locals as there where no tourist in town and so no one had been out to the Great Sand Sea for some time. Penny had forgotten to bring the food, so dropped every one off and came back into town. I caught her just as she walked into a shop in the centre of Siwa.
‘Hey Penny, how are you?’
‘Hi Bill, I forgot the food, what’s the news?’
I clicked on the BBC and had a huge scene of happiness come over me. “MUBARAK HAS RESIGNED” was the head line, the live video feed from Tahrir sq kicking in.
‘Penny, listen to this’ I said and put my head set to the speaker – the sound of thousands of people in Cairo like they had just won the word cup. ‘He’s gone’ I said ‘ It’s all over’
‘Mubark has resigned!!??’ Penny yelled
She screamed and within seconds I could hear half of Siwa yelling in victory in the back ground. I hung up and called Claudia in the desert.
‘Hi dad… what’s up?’
‘Claudia get every one with you to come over to your phone, I have something to say’
‘Ok dad, we’re all here, your on speaker phone’
‘Listen to this’ I said in arabic and again held my microphone to the speaker. ‘Mubarak has resigned!’ I yelled. I could hear their cheers and astonishment that finally…
I called Sasha in the UK and told her the news, she couldn’t believe it; what a moment, how lucky I was too to share it with my family even though I was not there. I am very proud to be apart of Egypt today and proud of my family and our staff who in their own small way did there bit for the revolution by staying on and not abandoning ship.
If I am lucky enough to live long enough to meet my grandchildren, I look forward to walking into their bedroom and seeing pictures of what ever replaces a play station 7. I know I am a dreamer, but I might also see a picture of Mohamed Bouazizi standing at his fruit stall in the corner, and get the chance to tell my version of events. I mean how cool would it have been if my Granddad had came into my room and said “ Ah Che Guevara, he wasn’t really a good guy you know, you see we were living there at the time and…
I used to say “Stalin, Roosevelt and Chruchhill didn’t change the word, so how the hell can I?” I won’t say that again now.