One of the classic stories that I was brought upon is Maxim Gorky’s short story about the commemoration of Lenin. It speaks about the decision of the Communist Party to commemorate Lenin’s birthday by erecting his sculpture in every city and village. The heroes of the story are the workers in some remote village that took the money allocated for Lenin’s sculpture and used it to eradicate mosquitoes which were spreading disease in their region.
My story here is much more trivial – it is about the fate of a medium size red “polygal” plastic board.
After many a demonstration, as my car would be parked nearby, I would collect the placards with the slogans and take them with me. They might be needed for some other demo. I have a room full of them at home.
After some demonstration, long before the Arab Spring, I found in my newly acquired stock this red polygal with the writing “The Revolution is Inevitable!” I placed it on some high shelf and forgot about it. Probably it was written by some Trotskyites… We were demonstrating in support of the prisoners, against house demolition, for family unification, against the wall and the war… The revolution didn’t seem relevant.
Then came the Arab Spring, toppling within a few week the formidable tyrants of Tunisia and Egypt and shaking half a dozen other oppressive regimes. While collecting slogans for one demonstration, my eye exposed the red banner at the top of the shelf. Suddenly it seemed to be the most relevant of all, conveying the spirit of the period. It became my favorite banner.
Later Assad’s regime succeeded to stop the inevitable march of the revolution and convert the Syrian conflict into a prolonged and bloody civil war. This summer the betrayal of many liberals and leftists in Egypt enable General A-Sisi to stage the coup and return the reins of government to the old DeepState, stain the streets with the blood of demonstrators and fill the prisons with political prisoners.
This week we witness the coldest, longest Arab Winter in living memory. Cairo was covered with snow. The people that warmed their hears with the hopes of the Arab Spring feel a cold fever now thinking about the millions of Syrian and Palestinian refugees from the civil war, spread all over Syria and the neighboring countries in inhuman conditions, prey to the cold and floods. Gaza is devoid of electricity and flooded with sewage water as A-Sisi tightens the siege around it, preventing the entrance of basic equipments, in collusion with the Israelis.
We also experienced our small winter suffering as we waked up in the first rainy morning to find half the house flooded. We have an attic above the bathroom that we never use. It has an open eastern window. Every year more water enters the attic and leak through the bathroom’s ceiling. Just before the winter came I requested a friend that works in house repairs to close this window – but, like in previous years, nothing was done. So, after I finished cleaning the water from the floor, and as the rain seemed never to stop, I took this red polygal and stuck it in the open attic window.
The revolution, for the time being, is not inevitable, but the house is almost all dry.