A Personal Revolution

Sami Creta, Egypt

 

A sculptor and scholar of fine arts, Sami Creta, from Egypt, is in his first year of the MA program on Foundations and Perspectives for a Culture of Unity. At 25 years of age, Sami took part in one of the most important events of these recent years: the “Arab Spring.” Just a short while before coming to Italy in order to continue his studies, this artist went down to the square together with thousands of youth who protested in Alexandria against the regime of Hosni Mubarak. In an interview, Sami explained his experience and the reason why he decided to come and study at Sophia, just a few months after the crucial political turn of events in his nation.

 

 

What propelled you to come to Sophia?
It was the desire to open up my field of studies so as to understand some things from a broader perspective, especially after the recent political events in my country. I see that many interpretations can be given to that revolution; there is the sociological, political and even philosophical perspective. Given that Sophia is an inter-disciplinary institute, I perceived the possibility of finding a different and enriching vision here. 

 

You personally lived the “Arab Spring”...
Yes, I took part in the protests for various months, from January 2011 up to shortly before coming to Italy. At the beginning these events were more heated. I remember the young people who swarmed to the square on January 25, 2011. It was meant to be a peaceful protest against food scarcity, unemployment… there were social motives behind it. Three days later, we realized that the police were using violence against the protesters, the means of communication were being shut down, also the Internet, and perhaps this set off a real revolution against the regime. It was difficult to follow everything that was happening, but it was evident that a great awakening was taking place in all the population. From then on I also participated, up to the overturning of Mubarak’s government.

 

In what way are your studies at Sophia a help to your understanding the political events in Egypt?
Obviously, there is no discipline that directly studies what happened and what is currently going on…. It is rather the categories of thinking that we acquire that give me a path for research, an interpretive key to look at reality in all its complexity. This has been so since my initial coursework: like the course on sociology and the one on “The Person and Society,” which describes the strong connection between peoples and their religious experience; or the course on “Foundations of Politics,” in which we discerned the cardinal points of a just political system, a more humane one. For me, Sophia is a space for reflection.

 

Is it something abstract or is there a relationship with your current civic and professional work? 
It is an experience that invests all the different dimensions of my life. Also as a citizen, I am becoming aware of what gives meaning to our co-existence, I am experiencing this every day.  What is opening up in front of me is the fundamental choice of love, a love that is social, that has to be courageous and solid in the public square, to resist even when others do not listen or reject it... In Egypt, the different sides fight for power; we should listen to what they are asking for. It pays to choose peace right now, even though a stable peace is still not present. Then, as an artist, the IUS gave me an important message, which is that of imbuing also my art with this spirit of love. And this holds for all professions and all the nations of the world.

 

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