What Made You the Person You Are Today: Personal Narrative Essay

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Have you ever encountered an event that was so profoundly extreme, intense, scary, or moving that it transformed you completely and shaped you as a human being? Seven years prior, on January 25, 2011, to be exact, it was as if a lamp had been lit. I witnessed a certain reality, and from that point onward my whole life transformed.

At that time I was 8, I knew nothing about politics, but I was quite sure that something wrong was happening. There seemed to be an unlimited number of homeless people. Everything seemed to be plummeting, except prices that had been rising horribly. Egyptians were upset and waiting for the right time to move on. That was the moment the Egyptian revolution began.

On January 28, 2011, I was in my playroom with my brother when we suddenly heard our family shouting. They were reacting to what had happened, reacting to the constant hitting and beating of protesters gathered in Tahrir Square. Families were taken into custody and were treated horribly. I stood still, loaded with anger, simply saying: “These people demand nothing but their freedom”. I spent the day thinking about the darkness and terror that we were living in. At that time, so many rumors were spread to scare those who wanted to go out and protest. Later that day, I saw men with weapons running below our balcony, however, they turned out to be protecting our building, thank goodness. People were looting everywhere, taking advantage of the change in infrastructure. The men from each building grabbed weapons to keep unwanted visitors out of the building.

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On Friday, I went to pray the weekly and most important prayer in a somewhat far away mosque with my father. My father had told my mom that I would have people around me if anything happened. After the prayer, we saw an enormous demonstration heading toward the street where we prayed. Thousands of protesters chanted these three words, together, one after the other: bread, freedom, and human dignity. It was an amazingly indescribable scene. It was the first time in my whole life to see something like this. And we decided to join them. We continued strolling, heading towards Tahrir Square. We experienced three police ambushes and managed to get through the first one without any conflicts. The second and third we entered into strong fights. They kept throwing tear gas grenades toward us, and the people replied with rocks and stones. We then walked for hours. My father and I ate nothing until then. We were really tired, especially after inhaling horrible tear gas the whole time. However, while walking, a really nice guy offered us water and snacks, and we decided to go home.

On Sunday, my mum informed me that our school canceled class once protests started in our neighborhoods. On the first day without school, my mum and I went to the grocery store. The store was full of people pushing, a line out the door, and empty shelves. We bought enough food to stock our kitchen and hurried home. It did not feel safe to leave the apartment, especially after watching our doorman beat a man off of his motorcycle because he did not belong on our street.

The situation escalated every day; Cairo was the scene of violent clashes in the streets. As the marches of protesters grew, the government moved to isolate them. Access to the Internet, phone, and social media networks was shut down, temporarily sealing our country off from the rest of the world. The police moved in arresting people, chasing others into side streets. The sounds of automatic weapons could be heard from our home. It was at this point were we realized that the situation was out of control, and my dad decided that we should accept his job offer in Abu Dhabi and that we should all move with him. We were all shocked by the decision my dad took because it was a large step to take in such a short period because it will result in us leaving our house, friends, and family. However, leaving the country during such times seemed like the safest and the right decision. We booked our tickets to Abu Dhabi, and we started packing our stuff.

February 4, 2011, was the day that we made our way to a terminal to attempt to leave Egypt, at Cairo Airport. On our way to the airport, we saw some protesters knock down an empty white police booth and dragged it for several yards before setting it on fire and blocking traffic on the main bridge over the Nile. Plumes of black smoke from a burning police truck wafted through the white clouds of tear gas that floated along the Nile. That was the last sight that I saw before leaving my home country. My tears fell as the plane took off. For the first time in my life, I was tempted to leave Egypt, despite not knowing when I would be returning. This event definitely had a significant impact on me and transformed me into who I am today.

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What Made You the Person You Are Today: Personal Narrative Essay. (2023, December 08). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 17, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/what-made-you-the-person-you-are-today-personal-narrative-essay/
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