Ahmed, can you give us a feel for who you are?
My name is Ahmed Nader Al-Gretly, I’m twenty years old and I’m a Civil Engineering Student in the British University in Egypt, however, my real passion is to be a writer. I was born in Alexandria –the second largest city in Egypt, and then moved with my family to Cairo when I was four or five years old. I’m currently unemployed but planning to train in few construction companies next summer.
How did living under the previous government affect you personally?
The previous government lasted for thirty years; I was unlucky enough to have been among the living for twenty years of this period. It’s been said that those years witnessed the worst of this government. The lack of freedom—of democracy was the main aspect that affected me. The feeling that I did not have the freedom to say what’s on my mind, that I could be arrested if I questioned the methods of the previous government and the fact that the government controlled everything, even the media. Another thing is that they robbed us, and we knew about it.
They stole huge sums of money that could’ve been used to make this country a better place. The increasing levels of bribery and sexual harassments, murder and rape, and the hypocrisy of false-democracy. I hated it, I seriously wanted to just get out and leave this ghastly place behind. It was dirty, over populated, heavily polluted, but at the same time, to me it was beautiful. It’s my home. The simple fact that I felt like I could not do anything about it hurt me the most.
What do you think made January 25th different than any other day in the minds of the Egyptian people?
This country was a time-bomb bound to explode at any moment, the series of events in the last year paved the way leading to this revolution. From the torture at police stations, the forging of the parliament elections and the bombing of the Saint’s Church in Alexandria—every little detail built up the resentment, which led to the uproar. It’s a symphony you see, a symphony that took thirty years to be composed, and on the 25th of January, the world witnessed its grand opening.
A new section of Ahmed's interview will post everyday this week. Tomorrow's question: Why didn't people back down this time?
You can follow Ahmed on Twitter @ANaderGretly