Keeping Vigil

by Zoe Pollock

Sameen Gauhar considers the journey:

It’s been eighteen days of waking up and going to bed with Al Jazeera in my earskeeping vigil with those brave men, women, and children in Tahrir Square, in Alexandria, in Suez, in Tanta, feeling so proud of them, feeling such frustration on their behalf, too, bellowing out long-distance revolutionary advice to them (actually, to the computer screen with Al Jazeera streaming live): march to the palace, now; storm the Mogamma, now; go on strike, now; shut down the Suez Canal, now! Yallahnow! ...

And now, with sounds of explosive celebration from Cairo via Al Jazeera in my ears, interspersed with the voice of a single man singing the Egyptian national anthem all by himself (as if this were a private moment), a stunned joy of sorts is slowly awakening. The last line of Brecht’s “Praise of the Dialectic,” too, rings in my ears: “Und aus Niemals wird: Heute noch!”: “And ‘never’ became: ‘this very day’”that is to say, “now.”