Words of Witness
As the call for social justice in Cairo snowballs into an all out demand for regime change, 22-year-old Heba, greenhorn journalist and democratic activist, is at the heart of the events shaping Egypt's future. However, her idealism is put to the test as her country faces the challenges of putting democracy into practice.
On January 25th, Egyptians from all walks of life gathered in Tahrir Square to call for such universal human dignities as equality and freedom. What started as a simple gathering organized on Facebook quickly grew into an 18-day revolution, culminating in the removal of Egypt's 30-year president.
Heba, a journalist for Egypt's leading independent newspaper, is at the heart of the revolution. She, like most of Egypt's youth, hopes to lead the Middle East in creating a truly democratic nation, even though she has never lived in one, forcing Heba to raise the question: What does a true democracy look like?
The hardships her country faces often seem overwhelming, yet they are less complicated than Heba's tussles with her more traditional, conservative mother, who reprimands Heba for challenging social norms for young women by working in her risky profession.
After 30 years of forced silence, the people of Egypt are clamoring to speak out, and despite the challenges she faces both on the beat and at home, Heba remains committed to the responsibility Egypt's budding democracy has bestowed on its youth.