I have followed the news lately and I was quite happy with the results. I usually do not follow the news broadcast hour as it passes on appalling information and I am not interested in twisted reality. However I have to admit that what has happened in Egypt recently it was and still is good news.
I was taken back a few years when I was back home in Romania and going through a similar scenario. On December 18, 1989 the people’s revolution took place in Romania. I remember the day when it was announced on the radio and as I was hearing the news cast giving us the news about what it was happening at that time I was having mixed feelings as I wasn’t entirely sure if I was allowed to express myself freely. Here is how I grew up, just an insight so that you will know why I was feeling the way I was on that day:
- We were not allowed to vote and if we were voting there was no other choice but the Communist Party;
- · We were not allowed to express how we felt or say out loud what we thought of our rights;
- · Artists, writers, poets, newscasts and any other outspoken people were tortured and killed for speaking their minds and demanding their rights ;
- · School curriculum was washed out to the point that we did not know what our real history was;
- · Religion was practiced at our own risk and if we wanted to be a part of certain careers such as army or medicine for example we were forced to take an oath that that person and all members of the family will not be entering a church or practice religion of any form;
- · Women did not have rights over their own bodies. Any form of contraception was nonexistent and women were forced to have children; it did not matter whether the woman had a planned or unplanned pregnancy. As soon as the doctor would confirm a pregnancy the communist security would come to the residence and check on the woman every month until she will deliver the baby to make sure she would not have an abortion. After the baby was born however, no one cared whether the baby would have the basic necessities to survive not to mention to give them the support to strive.
- · Many women were forced to have underground abortions as they could not afford the baby or they might’ve been raped. Because the procedure was not done in a hospital setting many women have died as some of the men that were performing these abortions were not even close to being qualified to being doctors. Some were mechanics. When a woman would have an underground abortion and the things turned for the worst if the doctors realized the reason why she needed assistance she was left to die in the hospital as those were the orders from the communist security. Those incidents were supposed to teach other women a lesson.
- · Food was not existent in the stores. Although we had the advantage of appreciating fruits and vegetables that were in season, we couldn’t even buy simple things on a daily basis such as bread, eggs , milk and cheese to name a few. When we were lucky enough to have some of these foods in the stores there were huge line-ups and in some cases a few people died while in the line-ups because they were just too hungry. People became wild and they were walking on everyone to that would stand in their way from feeding their families.
- · Clothes and shoes were somewhat of a rarity as well. We would have to know someone that knows someone that knows someone in order to be able to buy regular clothing, nevermind brand names. Most of the times we would wear hand-me-downs from older cousins and/or neighbours. Fortunately we didn’t have the media to make us jealous of what others would have and we couldn’t even get to see up close and personal.
- · I remember growing up my mother telling me how I will get in trouble for asking so many questions. I would always want to understand everything and not just accepting what others would tell me. Yes, I was a rebel from long time but that was a bad thing growing up!
These here are just a few examples of what went on during the Communist Regime from my memory as a child. My heart sure goes out to the people in Middle East right now and I sure hope they will take the democracy seriously and not become victims of the system again.
Not having the right to speak up/express ourselves in itself is a violation of human rights.
Not having to basic essentials is a violation of human rights.
Peace be with you!