Tahrir Square: 21st Century Egyptian Art

I’ve been FB posting and Tweeting so much about the situation in Egypt that it really didn’t make sense for this week’s blog post to be about anything else.  But since this isn’t a political blog, I’ve been struggling a bit with what to write.

So let me say this: what we are witnessing now in the streets of Egypt is, simply put, an act of beauty.  When I hear commentators refer to January 25th as “The Day Egyptians Lost Their Fear” I immediately think of Philippe Petit, the World Trade Center tightrope walker, whose death-defying highwire act literally brought people to tears.  Like the protesters in Egypt, he was impelled to live life to its fullest, or not at all.

Anaïs Nin once wrote, “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”  In the case of Egyptian society, we could argue that the tightness is the police state, but no matter.  Repression is repression, whether imposed from within or without.  Achieving freedom, be it political, economic or artistic, always requires courage.

I hope, as do many around the world, that the public art now on display in Tahrir square — the people, their courage and their kindness — will blossom into a true democracy, one that stands as yet another enduring symbol of the Egyptian people and their ancient civilization.  Stay tuned…

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