Friday, February 11, 2011

Hosny Zeft is gone ..this is for you mother!

“Hosny Zeft” is how my mother always referred to the deposed president of Egypt. While linguistically inaccurate I would equate “zeft” to garbage or rubbish as used in Egyptian Arabic. So to my mother the President of Egypt was Hosny Rubbish, she never referred to him as just Hosny or “el riess” the president, or Mubarak, it was always Hosny Zeft, Hosny Garbage, so consistent she was in her use of this name that one would be forgiven to believe the man’s last name was indeed Garbage.

My mother was always an ardent Egyptian nationalist with tremendous interest in politics and world events; she was the first in the family to boycott the state controlled Al Ahram, the big daily of Egypt and to seek out weekly and eventually daily opposition papers. In the early days of her Alzheimer family members were treated to lengthy rants about Hosny Zeft and his various ministers repetitively. We would often plead with her to tone it down in public places but this would aggravate her more, so Hosny Zeft it was all the time.

My sheer happiness for the success of the Egyptian Revolution and the way this success was achieved are simply beyond words. After three weeks of terrible distraction and an emotional roller coaster of fear, worry, anxiety, anger and hope, the thug and his regime are gone, the Mubarak’s era is no more! Still, I remain overcome by emotions ranging from sadness for those who paid the ultimate price and those who have been tortured and maimed to deliver this salvation to joy and elation at a united progressive organized peaceful movement that defeated the torture and propaganda machines of Mubarak.

I wanted to much to be able to discuss the events of the last three weeks with my mother, I so longed to hear her cheer for the protestors, I imagined trying to dissuade this feisty 82 year old lady from going to Tahrir Square. I wanted to hear what she thought of Egypt finally finding its voice, revolting for dignity and ultimately the getting rid of Hosny Zeft. I speak to my mother on the phone daily and try to get the discussion to Hosny Zeft …over the 18 days of the revolution the name registered once with mammi, …. yes there is still Hosny Zeft deep inside below the thick fog of Alzheimer. In that one call, on the 17th day, she still remembered a Hosny Zeft that should be indeed be damned….but for now my mother wants ice cream and football on TV. Perhaps after this stressful ordeal she is right; we all need ice cream and soccer on TV!

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