Interview

Ramy Essam, The voice of the new generation
"We were all united with a single goal: freedom."
By Joyce Najm
May 09, 2016

Propelled to fame in 2011 with his hit song '' Irhal '' during the Egyptian revolution, Ramy Essam is still fighting the military authorities five years after the Arab Spring. He currently lives in Sweden without ever abandoning his cause. Since he left Egypt, he has been singing and composing engaged songs.

 

What is it like to be in Lebanon?

Beirut is a destination that I was thinking about for a long time. I felt at home when I first put my feet on the Lebanese grounds. Beirut reminds me a lot of Cairo. They both are busy and noisy cities with very warm and welcoming people. The sounds and atmosphere of both cities are incredibly identical.

 

What are your most memorable experiences in Tahrir Square?

I can still remember the faces and eyes of the people when I sang on stage. We were all united with a single goal: freedom. I will never forget the energy of the public. I keep thinking about those who have sacrificed themselves for others and for the cause, and those who used to share their tents and meals. I also never forget the good and bad moments on the field, arrested people, injured ones and the dead. It is impossible to forget this kind of experience, especially when the person you lose is someone so close.

 

What made you to continue and never lose hope?

Losing hope means betraying the essence of the revolution, betraying the spirit of Tahrir Square and those who have sacrificed their own lives. It's not even an option. The memories of Tahrir Square are my greatest motivation. It is important to show that people who have sacrificed themselves have not died in vain, and to continue to fight for a better world.

 

Do you think that a revolution requires political or human change?

Human. Thousands of Egyptians have evolved positively after the revolution. But others have to join us. When mentalities change, we can change everything.

 

How do you imagine Egypt?

I don’t ask for much. Decent housing, education and health. To abolish economic disparities and gender-based discrimination. And finally, a state that supports freedom of belief.

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