Wednesday, 16 February 2011

POV: Missed Opportunity?

Photo © MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images (Via
As readers of this blog know, my In Search of Sufis of Gujarat Photo-Expedition coincided almost perfectly with the revolution in Egypt, and I was torn between my commitment to its participants to continue leading it as if nothing was happening in my homeland...and flying off to Cairo and cover the events as best I could.

I stayed on. It was a difficult decision and certainly a missed opportunity to get involved in Egypt's historic moments, but I had a commitment to the group of photographers who chose to accompany me on this trip.

Had I sensed that I needed to be there because of dangerous turn of events, I would have taken leave of my group, and I know they would have understood and supported my decision to be in Cairo instead. But that did not happen and all was safe. Was it a missed opportunity for me to cover the events at Tahrir Square? Of course. But it was not meant to be. Had I not have a commitment to fulfill, I'd have been amongst the first to be there.

I was asked by a number of well-wishers, friends and acquaintances whether I'd return to Egypt and take part in the restructuring that is bound to happen. As much as I'm flattered by the thought, I've been away from Egypt for too's up to the younger generation to remodel their country in the shape and form they want it to be....and I know they will eventually succeed. Once freedom is tasted, there's no turning back.

Perhaps it won't be an Utopian democracy...there'll be'll be imperfect...but it'll be theirs, and they deserve it after 60 years of deprivation, humiliation, and inequality.