Saturday, March 19, 2011

First Taste of Democracy!

   Today Egyptians took to the polls to vote in  the referendum on the proposed amendments to the constitution (for more details please see my post HERE).

   I'm 26 years old and I voted for the first time today. Even though I've been eligible to vote in Egypt since I was 18 there never seemed to be any point before, the results were a forgone conclusion; Mubarak's National 'Democratic' Party would win. In some cases even dead people would manage to vote!

  My brother and I were at our local polling station by 8:20 and there was already a queue winding its way from the office on the second floor to the street outside. By the time I left at 9, the queue had spread further down the street and I couldn't actually see the end of it when I came out, and that's just one of the polling stations in my area! Egyptians willingly and quietly lining up with no pushing or shoving is in itself is an amazing sight to behold!  

    The atmosphere was great, very positive and everyone was eager to ensure their voice will be heard, anyone who started to try and convince people to vote one way or another were told to keep their opinions to themselves and just vote when it was their turn. I had a woman behind me in the queue, whom I can only describe as a traditional Egyptian Mama, who was welcoming everyone who joined the line and told me she'd spent last night going around her neighbourhood reminding everyone that it was their right to vote and brought some of them with her today. She was talking about all the changes she's hoping to see in Egypt including an all-female police force to deal with sexual harassment. She got a big cheer for that one!

  In the end, I went into the polling room handed in my National I.D, took my ballot paper behind the screen, popped it in the box and dipped my finger in the fluorescent ink to prove I'd voted.


 To think that a mere 2 months ago, all this would have been impossible. In 3 months Egyptians have toppled a corrupt government and taken the first steps to re-build the country democratically. That's amazing.

  If you live in a democratic country, don't ever take your right to free and fair elections for granted. We had to fight and many died for us to get this far today. 


  1. I had no idea about the political situation in Egypt until recently and I am in awe that this the first time your vote will actually make a difference. Way to go, Nora and thanks for your blog and FB posts during the crisis and for broadening my horizons a little.

  2. Glad I can shed some light Phillipa, believe me I've been learning a lot too!

  3. Congratulations! You will never forget the day.

  4. Did you get out your Egyptian papers in Egypt or the BM in London? I haven't yet and wondering which is better/faster.

    Must have been an amazing feeling. Only wish I could have joined in!

  5. @Londoneya, I've grown up here in Egypt so I got my papers here :) You have to get your papers in time to join in in the parliamentary and presidential elections!

  6. Oh definitely will do! :)) Thank you!


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