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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Current Events

Last night, I got a phone call from my mother-in-law.  They had been watching the news, and were we okay?  Earlier my father emailed me along the same lines.

When we were posted to Cairo, I didn't quite anticipate Egypt being in the news as often as it has been recently; my feeling was that it was a safe, stable country.  I guess I didn't look up how old Mubarak has become.  Or think about Tunisia's stability.  But living anywhere in the world is always a risky proposition because it takes very little to excite people.  And I suppose that Egyptians are just as welcome as anyone to try and do something about their situation.

Yesterday I asked Rere about the riots, and she shrugged her shoulders.  I don't care that much about what happens, she told me, I just want to make sure my family is safe and my life stays normal.  She told me that she didn't care much about politics - she doesn't vote, she doesn't talk about them; she wants to take care of her own corner of the world.  I asked her what she thought of the protesters and their desire to change the government.  She shook her head.  "You have to change here," she said while holding her fist to her heart, "nothing will make a difference until this is changed.  That will make the difference."

We are all doing fine here in Maadi.  While going out for a felucca ride Tuesday afternoon, we saw a fire truck (who knew?) and police vans with security forces in riot gear outside the local police station.  Other than that afternoon, I haven't gone out anyway and Maadi is a quiet part of town.

We just got a security message from the RSO about staying away from crowds, places where security forces are gathering, and mosques tomorrow.  Evidently there are some more protests planned.  Brandon is at work today, quite close to Tahrir Square where the largest demonstration took place.  He walks right through the area to get to the metro, which has also been disrupted because of the protesting.

I'm not overly worried about the coming days; we have plenty of food (even if it means we'll be eating a lot of dried beans), a large supply of water, and I doubt that protesters will be seeking out my apartment.

However, tensions have certainly been mounting over the last few months, and so I think that nobody quite knows where this will lead.  We'll keep you updated.


UnkaDave said...

Thanks for the update. Probably good advice in general; here in Raleigh, I plan to stay away from crowds, places where security forces are gathering, and mosques also. In addition I'm planning to stay away from your mother, as she has that "what else can I make him do around here?" look in her eye.

kelley said...

I'm glad to hear everything is okay. I heard about the riots on the news last night and the news lady said you could smell the tear gas in the air in Cairo. Hopefully tear gas doesn't start to permeate like the dust.

Becky said...

Glad you are all okay. Thinking of you. Stay safe.

PaulaJean said...

Selfishly, we hope Mubarak hold tight until March 8, so current events won't disrupt our trip to Cairo. Shallow, yes. Oh well.