#SidiBouzid & #Jan25
[#SidiBouzid was the Twitter hashtag for the Tunisian uprising that began in the town of the same name; #Jan25 was the hashtag for the day in 2011 the uprising in Egypt began, and also happened to be my 50th birthday.]
These are nine people I've never met; if human connection is deepest by blood, then by physical proximity & intimacy, then by city, then by nation, since I share none of these with these nine people, I'm not connected to them at all. But I know which one was detained when his first son was born, and which ran the Arab Techies Collective & brought the baby to him in prison, and which worked with the Egyptian labor movement long before #Jan25 & listens to Ghosts Wear Clothes, & which was born in Long Beach & fights close to the barricades & spends the nights beside him—& which spent a New Year's Eve in Tahrir with #Jan25 painted on the back of her hand, & which spoke up for her activist father on the streets of Bahrain & now speaks up for her neighbors in prison, & which is a yogi in Damascus with a hidden face, who smells the jasmine in the night air & notes that the danger isn't only at protests anymore, it's everywhere—& which was called Che sometimes by his friends, for whom they shouted while they carried his body for the last time, O Marshal here comes another bridegroom from Tahrir—& which is spending her life defending the network of lies & murder that holds all these people, all of us, in its web.
#Jan25 & #SidiBouzid are not only about Egypt & Tunisia, and the work they were a sign for is far from finished. They're about Bahrain & Yemen & Libya & Syria, & of course somewhere about Palestine, & about some new world trying to get born. They're the signatures of the people trying to see this through.
[ ...which means Congratulations...]