When I first met Mr. Revolution back in late January 2011, it was love at first sight. It was a dream come true to see my fellow Yemenis finally breaking the barrier of fear and speaking out. The square represents a new Yemen; a Yemen where everyone, despite our differences, is working together for a greater cause. Daily seminars on equality, future expectations, human rights, etc, fill the square. Music, art and poetry illuminate the area. When I am there I am filled with hope and excitement. It is truly a dream come true.
For these reasons and many more, I felt a deep love towards Mr. Revolution. For a long time, I was in a euphoric state. When you meet someone new, you have many high expectations. When these expectations are not met, we become very disappointed. With time, as in most relationships, I began to see some troubling signs. I took them seriously, because I am afraid of having my heart broken in the future.
It first started when General Ali Mohsen, a man known for his corruption and bloody history, befriended Mr. Revolution. Hand in hand they marched. The General was hailed as a hero and as a protector. I was shocked, disappointed but decided to overlook this for the general good of the relationship. Then other troubling events occurred, including the time when women were “barred” from marching (see this blog post). More worrisome, is the common accusations directed at people who criticize Mr. Revolution. If you criticize anything you are quickly labeled one of two things: a spy for the government or someone who wants to divide the revolution.
• It is important to document reality and to have an honest assessment of the situation in order to better predict future possibilities, potentials, and scenarios.
• I believe that honesty promotes credibility.
Regardless of all the negatives, I am still very proud of Mr. Revolution. All I need to do is remember the amazing and unimaginable things that have happened in the past two months. The unity amongst people divided for 33 years, the peaceful resistance of an armed population, and the aspirations for justice, freedom, and equality.
If you love someone, you have to work hard to maintain that relationship, and not leave as soon as you see alarm bells. I will try my best, work on this relationship to preserve its essence. Some may call me an idealist (you know who you are); others might be upset that I invoked these negative aspects of the revolution in public. Reality is, I am neither. I do not want to be too naïve, but I also do not want to give up too easily. That way, at least, I will not have any regrets. I encourage everyone to be honest and keep an open eye, but not give up at the same time.
No matter the ups and downs. I will always love you Mr. Revolution. You have given me so much, in such a short time. While my husband is still jealous about my relationship, he is happy that I will not give up just yet (yes he’s a very understanding man).
Note: this post has NOTHING to do with Saleh’s fatwa/speech on women and mixing. I am not giving his speech any importance and it will not divide us.