On one day early on in Tahrir I was frustrated with my inability to DO anything to help… I am not Egyptian so I resist yelling the chants because it’s not my place. I saw some young people had organized to begin collecting trash and so I got a trash bag from them and joined. My friends and I moved through the crowd looking for trash on the ground. The response was overwhelming, people were looking for something to throw away, they were moved to see this white blond girl collecting their trash. Their smiles could have broken their faces. There was one man who wanted to take over for me, “This is our job they said, it is our country we should clean it up.” But I insisted and they relented seeing my true desire to DO something.
A man came up to me, falling over himself to give me an apple, he dropped it and embarrassed he picked it up rubbing the dirt off of it with his shirt sleeves… it looked like the most perfect Red Delicious, the most beautiful apple I have ever seen, an apple of love between human beings, an apple representing the mutual respect that can exist if we can only stop our fear. I accepted it, reassuring him, “mish mushkela”, no problem, “Shukran”, and putting my hand over my heart in profound gratitude for this precious moment.