Allow me to draw an image in your mind. I’m walking down my school hallways surrounded by walking zombies. My eyes are red, my hair is a mess and I’m already thinking about the nap that I’m going to have when I go home.

I hear the snickers of the people walking past, mumbling something along the lines of “Is that a boy or a girl?” I clench my fists and ignore. A thing I don’t do too often, but recently a thing that I’ve been working on.

One thought echoes through my mind and it’s the only one that keeps me going: Two more years and I’m out of here.

Putting aside the fact that I’ve been planning my departure from ‘om el donia’ since I was in the seventh grade, I know for a fact that I’m not the only one.

The question is why? Why is it that every time a plane flies over our heads, we wish that we were the ones on it? Why are we so eager to leave the home that claims freedom?

I’ll tell you why, it’s because here in Egypt, we love to pretend. Pretend that we have that freedom, pretend that we don’t stay out too late, pretend that Egypt is perfect.

We pretend instead of fixing, because pretending makes everything easier.

 It’s the ignorance that we’re subjected to every day that leaves us searching for a more accepting place that isn’t our home-Egypt.

Constantly being in the loop of being forced to fall onto a black and white spectrum is what’s wrong with our society, because we isolate those in the grey area-even though most of Egyptian society fall into that area.

I’m not saying Egypt doesn’t have its advantages…I mean damn, where else can you get sushi delivered straight to your door?! Or have random strangers help you out when you’ve got a flat tire…the list goes on and on!

And I’m definitely not saying that there are other countries that are perfect, because those countries do not exist.

But sometimes we have those days when it just gets too much; when we throw our hands up into the air and tell ourselves that we can’t take it anymore. Can you blame us though?

It’s our education dragging us down; it’s our lack of acceptance for new ideas, it’s that girl walking down the street and being sexually harassed, it’s our need to change but not wanting to begin with ourselves. Are you listening Egypt? That’s why your youth are running.

They’re running for a better life.

I’m not blaming the country, I’m blaming the people who sit there and claim its perfection. It’s not perfect and that’s not a bad thing, because there’s always room for change…if we’re open to it.

However, until that happens, do not dare call those who wish to leave ‘traitors.’ They’re humans with needs that are not being fulfilled. They’re just starting out their lives and when they take a look around; they see corruption. It’s only fair that a huge portion would want to run!

You are actively asking your youth to pretend, you are asking them to ‘fake it until they make it,’ even though it doesn’t work that way unless there is actual change occurring.  

So don’t blame them, strive for a better country.

Let’s stop throwing around the blame and for once, let’s actually make a change.