Some people start their morning facing hard questions such as ‘what breakfast or coffee will I have?’ and ‘what shoe or shirt should I wear?’. Every morning however I wake up and ask myself, ‘who am I?’, ‘what identity am I wearing today?’. A time of anguish and doubt, an identity crisis in the making, my identity keeps on forming, evolving and regressing and is questioned every day.
When I left Egypt more than 30 years ago, I was a disgruntled, confused Egyptian, an Arab Muslim who was shopping around for a better life and better identity. Living 25 years of my life under a despotic dictatorship in Egypt, my personal identity was as a proud Egyptian; Arab or Muslim. That didn’t work well for me though, and defeat after defeat I left for America and escaped to a faraway place, a place that is as glamorous as their movies and seducing as their bottles of Coca-Cola.
Donald Trump and General el-Sisi brought the worst and best out of their people. Trump’s draconian executive order banning Muslims, brought thousands of airport protests around the country demanding we welcome immigrants.
Early last week and a day after his inauguration, I went to cover one of the biggest protests at the Minnesota state capitol. The Women’s March saw almost 100,000 people showd up to protest Trump misogynist rhetoric and attitude toward women. The morning was cold, misty and cloudy, little by little the crowd trickled down into the capital building. Women brought their families children, friends and angry signs.