Revolution Is My Name: An Egyptian Woman's Diary from Eighteen Days in Tahrir by Mona Prince
A writer, a university professor, a woman: this is the insightful and humorous description of one hesitant revolutionary's experiences through the eighteen days of the Egyptian uprising that led to the fall of President Hosni Mubarak in January/February 2011.
Juggling humor and horror, hope and fear, certitude and anxiety, Prince immerses us in each day's unexpected and inconclusive details, as she meets other writers and intellectuals involved in the demonstrations. Mixing the political and the personal, the public and the private, she exposes both her family's conservative politics and her own classist prejudices against other sectors of Egyptian society, all of whom teach her lasting transformative lessons.
There are moving descriptions of the brutal violence of the security forces against demonstrators, the daily battles of resistance, and the author's own abduction and beating at the hands of the police, but she also paints scenes of exceptional solidarity, perseverance, and humanity, while weaving in conversations with fellow demonstrators, new-found friends, and street children, as well as police conscripts and officers. She describes her fears for her sister, who disappears on the day of the infamous Battle of the Camel, their decision to join the sit-in, cooking for the protesters, singing and dancing in the cold to sustain energy during the long nights, and sleeping by the army tanks to stop them from moving in.
Revolution Is My Name is a testimony not only of women's participation in the Egyptian uprising and their courage in confronting constrictive gender divides at home and on the street but equally of the important contribution of women writers as chroniclers of the momentous events of January and February 2011.