I had decided when I started this blog, that I would not discuss politics, and some religion issues. But today I will make an exception. Due to the fact that our brothers and sisters in Egypt are going through a change of monumental magnitude, I will say a few words.
I was born and raised up to the age of twelve under a dictatorship. I know what the people of Egypt have been going through throughout all these years. I believe, 30 years. That’s exactly how long the dictator in the Dominican Republic, Trujillo, lasted. I even had a hard time typing his name. Still I can feel some kind of intimidation saying his name.
When you are living under such a system of government, the freedom and liberties we all take for granted in the United States of America, do not exist. Still to this day, when I am having a phone conversation with my mother, she refuses to discuss some issues because she always says, you don’t know who is listening. The reason my father took all his family out of the country was mainly because he had five daughters. Daughters meant that when one of the relatives or sons of the dictator wanted to have one woman, it didn’t matter if the female was young, single or married, she will have to go with them, and if there was a pregnancy involved, nothing could be said or done, otherwise all your family will just disappear in the middle of the night. No one would dare to ask any questions. One of my uncles, extremely bright young man, law school student, had the courage to speak against the “government” and he disappeared. Complete silence. A few years later he showed up on the streets very mentally disturbed. “They” had given him electric shocks to damage his brain. You just had to accept things or you and your family will die.
Anyone that has not been under this system of government will never, never have an idea what it is to live all the time afraid and scare. But mostly unable to speak your mind even inside your home. I remember vividly when my father used to turn on three radios in our home, so he could listen to one broadcast in spanish (the program was called “The Voice of America”) to keep updated with what was going on outside of the country. One of our neighbors will come on broadcast days, and both of them used to get very close to the radio to listen, while my mother would be peeking out of the door to make sure no one was around.
When finally in March of 1961 this dictator met his creator, even to tell us the news (we already were living in Puerto Rico), my father closed all the windows of our home and got us together in a bathroom, closed the door, and told us the news and to pretend that we were sad. That’s how bad “they” had managed to intimidate everyone. We were out of the country, but still very afraid.
That’s why today I am making an exception. Let’s all be grateful here in our beloved country, The United States of America, where we the people have the power, even if you believe this or not. I strongly believe in our system of government and I am grateful for it.
To all my sisters and brothers in Egypt, I send you my best wishes for a peaceful transition and I think the rest of the world joins me in saying to you, that we are all very proud of you and your accomplishment.
A toast to freedom and its different expressions.
Your Happy Contessa
P.S. See you on Monday!