Monday, 7 March 2011

POV: Egypt's Iconic Revolutionaries

Photos © Kim Badawi-Courtesy The Independent
The Independent newspaper has featured the photographs of some of the young Egyptian revolutionaries who, against all odds, overturned a despised regime in a matter of days. It is these young people who made history, not only their own country's, but of the world's.

These are the young men and women who led a populist uprising against Mubarak and his repulsive henchmen and sycophants...these are the young men and women who took the West's proclaimed democratic values as their own, and fought for them...not only paying lip service, not mouthing bromides...but with real action, risking their lives and futures. These are the young men and women who are the future of Egypt, and who'll take it to where it deserves to be...these are the young men and women who will accept no foreign influences...these are the young men and women who scoffed at the naysayers who described them as nothing more than errant juveniles, and who give the finger to the sclerotic and biased Western pundits who see Islamist bogeymen everywhere...these are the young men and women who have shown us that the people of the Middle East want democracy...their own democracy, not one imposed by others...these are the young people who must be immensely proud to be Egyptians.

I was also amazed by reading this, from The New York Times (March 6, 2011):
Egypt’s popular revolution was the work of men and women, bringing together housewives and fruit sellers, businesswomen and students. At its height, roughly one quarter of the million protesters who poured into the square each day were women. Veiled and unveiled women shouted, fought and slept in the streets alongside men, upending traditional expectations of their behavior.
Jonathan Owen's in his accompanying article calls these photographs "Portraits of Courage", and indeed they are.

Finally, about the photographer. Kim Badawi, a 30-year-old documentary photographer of French-Egyptian descent, endured beatings, bullets and tear gas to find out what these young revolutionaries went through, and these portraits are his work.