Thursday, March 10, 2011

"The Miserable Generation" - Cancel That

In today's interview, Moshen bemoaned the pidgeon-holing of Egyptian youth, variously as Youth of the 25th, the Facebook Generation, etc. While such appellations seemed relatively incidental to this 26 year-old deputy director of the Andalus Institute for Human Rights and Tolerance, he was delighted to describe the formal nullification of a label that had clearly hurt.

Prior to the Revolution, youths born between 1980 and 1986 - he was born smack in the middle in 1984 - had been deried as the Miserable Generation, disparaged with classic stereotypes of useless adolescents via lampooning cartons, etc. We're "No Longer Miserable," he chided with relish. Indeed, in response to my question of what youth had learned via the revolution, he flipped the question and with genuine pride told stories of what others had learned about youth.

Just one illustration, was the older woman who approached him and his just younger brother on the street recently. "Are you the youths of Tahrir?", she asked. "Yes, mam," they answered. "God bless you," she praised.

More telling still of the competence of this generation of youth are the continuing illustrations, evident, for example, in the control room next to his office that houses the on-line radio program he and his colleagues are running ("all of us are under 30"). One of their next critical tasks: preparing to field questions from Gazan youths who have appealed to them for live guidance on March 15th, next week's "day of rage" in Palestine to demonstrate for unification between Fatah and Hamas.

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