It is done. And I chose the revolution.
When the results of the first round of presidential elections came out, I blogged that I had decided to vote for the Muslim Brother (MB) candidate, Mohammed Morsi. It was a straightforward choice for me at the time. If I only had one of the two to choose from, I would not choose the man who belonged to the former regime. I left my home and my children and risked my life along with millions of others for 18 days to remove that regime. I would not bring it back again with my own two hands. I do not want the MB ruling my country. But I was going to bring them in and then watch them like a hawk. In an Arabic language video blog a few days later I said, “If the MB make one single mistake when they come into government, just wait and see how the Egyptian people will make the ‘day of their father black’ (an Egyptian saying meaning it will be a dark day for them).”
Between then and now, only a matter of days, many things have happened in Egypt. A second attempt was made to put together a committee that would draft Egypt’s constitution. The committee stunk of sectarianism. Then parliament was dissolved. We are in a country with no constitution and no parliament after we spent months going through a prolonged process to have both, which included people going to the polls. And we end up with neither.
I decided I will no longer take part in this farce of an election. I will not grant legitimacy to these elections.
Putting legitimacy aside, if that is even fathomable, neither candidate represents me.
I am the revolution. A man who represents Mubarak’s regime, Ahmed Shafik, does not represent me. I do not care for his promises of security. I know the kind of security Mubarak’s regime provides. That security threw thousands in jail for political reasons, tortured many, and killed thousands during Egypt’s uprising. That security kept millions in poverty. That security allowed corruption to prosper.
I am the revolution. A man who represents the Muslim Brotherhood does not represent me. I do not care for their political stupidity and inadequacy. I do not care for their religious self-righteousness.
I will not, with my own two hands, give legitimacy to these elections. I will not, with my own two hands, give legitimacy to Shafik. I will not, with my own two hands, give legitimacy to Morsi.
This morning, I woke up feeling nauseous. I wished this day had not come. This is not a “democratic wedding” as many will have you believe. This is not the democracy people died for. This is not the democracy we risked our lives for.
I sat in bed reading tweets and tweeting. I processed through my decision one last time. And suddenly I decided, let’s get up and get this sick thing done with. I threw on my clothes and looked up my poll station number one last time. I went into my bedroom and prayed to God, asking Him: If my decision to nullify my vote is in my best interests, then make it easy for me. And if my decision to nullify my vote is not in my best interests, then make it difficult for me. This is a prayer Muslims often make to God when faced with difficult choices.
I left my house. I stomped into the street feeling angry. Very angry. These are not the elections I revolted for. The many people who stood up after the revolution claiming to represent me did not ask me before saying so. Those same people were splintered into many groups. They talked the talk. But they did not walk the walk. They did nothing to pull the country together. They did nothing to pull themselves together for a final stand against the remnants of the supposedly fallen regime. SCAF makes me feel sick. The remnants of the former regime make me feel sick. That’s what I expect of them. But those so-called revolutionary representatives, they make me feel sicker.
I angrily stomped into my polling station. There were no lines. I took my voting card. I placed an x in front of Shafik’s name. I placed an x in front of Morsi’s name. On the top of the paper I wrote in Arabic, “I will vote for neither. Down with military rule.”
I nullified my vote.
I have a choice. I chose the revolution.
I AM the revolution.
My revolution continues. The revolution continues.