Whenever anyone asks me : "Are you Egyptian, Dima?" I usually say it is the most beautiful question of my entire life ! Just the mere thought or doubt that people may have about me being Egyptian makes me so happy and so proud. I am not sure why or how I fell in love in Egypt, but I did, from head to toe. I guess my passion for Egypt shows in my writings and in my joy whenever I am in Egypt. I enjoy every moment of every day and every night. I don't want to sleep not to miss any detail of life.
So all around the world people seem to think I am originally Egyptian. They mention me in their press articles or introduce me as Egyptian. Some may be confused as to whether I am Tunisian or Egyptian, or both at the same time :)
I call it the Arab Revolution effect. Revolution has made us all one.
I remember someone on Twitter asking me just before the legilative elections whether there was an Egyptian Embassy in Caracas for me to register so I can vote. That was so touching.
On New Year's Eve in Tahrir Square I felt I belonged. It is not a feeling I have experienced much in my life. This is what Egypt does to you, it engulfs you, it holds you like a mother.
I am spoiled though now.. I got used to people in Egypt coming up to me to say hello or show me something or tell me their story, only to realise suddenly that my accent is not like theirs.
"Aren't you Egyptian?"
"Oh you are not Egyptian!"
I always answer with a huge smile by saying : "I am Egyptian-hearted" :-)
I know some of my tweets have been quoted before in Egyptian media and other non-Egyptian media and I was naturally presented as Egyptian. But I was surprised to find my name on a list of 30 most influential Egyptian tweeps too. I am number 15 !!
And here is the full original list of the most influential Arab tweeps, based on each tweep's Klout (which is supposedly a way to measure a tweep's influence, but I personally don't know much about it). I am number 56 worldwide. I actually don't care about my classification (I have been placed much higher and much lower, depending on the criterion) but I am flying with bliss because it says I am Egyptian.
And in yet another article in The Atlantic that has nothing to do with the above Klout lists, I am presented as "Cairene".. I love it! It actually sounds romantic to be described as Cairene. It even rhymes with what I really am : Damascene :)
In a report published last month by New York-based social media tracker Socialflow, Weddady, 36, was ranked one of the top four most-influential Twitter users of the Arab Spring uprisings, on par with Ben Wedeman, CNN's venerable war correspondent, who has five times as many followers. ..... Included in the same club as Weddady -- only a handful have the requisite amount of power -- are Mona Eltahawy, an Egyptian-American writer based in New York ("she does an amazing job getting information out on Twitter," Lotan says) and Dima Khatib, a prominent Cairene activist.Now if the "media" are saying I am Egyptian, and from Cairo too, then it must be true! Right? :-)
One thing for sure : I will continue to tweet like an Egyptian !