Saturday, February 12, 2011

A New Egypt

When we got home and sorted through our mail, I was a little surprised to see that the cover of The Economist was about the Egyptian Uprising.

"Whoa. I guess they heard about that over here," I thought.

I suppose it's a case of not being able to see the forest through the trees. Now that I'm out of Cairo it's beginning to dawn on me how insane it is that we happened to be in Egypt for the start of the revolution. I'm not sure what to blame for my warped perspective? Maybe the media blackout during those days. Maybe my dad's incredibly frustrating tendency to downplay everything, including the most major of crises. Maybe my own naive desire to believe that I hadn't brought my family into such an unpredictable situation. We could and would still go swimming despite the jets overhead and we could and would still go buy Kinder Eggs at the grocery store despite the empty shelves. The pyramids are closed, you say? I didn't want to see those lousy old rocks anyways. I'd much rather watch Norbit on AFN with my brother. Turn up the volume so I can't hear the gunfire.

Making happy memories with Baba, Mama De and Chris, just ignore the revolution around the corner.

Maybe in time, I'll regret not going farther into Tahrir Square to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Egyptian people. Under normal circumstances the hustle and bustle of a typical Cairo crowd is enough to give me a panic attack. I think the atmosphere in Tahrir would have made my heart stop. For now, I'm just glad that we're safe and that my dad is safe as he remains in Cairo (though extremely overworked). Even better, we're safe and I still get to tell Booker and Ike when they're older* that they were in Egypt to witness history in the making. Win, win. Plus Mubarak finally stepped down... major WIN.

*At the time we tried to explain to Booker what was going on...
We have to get a plane tomorrow and go to another country.
But why?
Because the Egyptian people are angry and things are just a little bit unsafe.
But why?
Because they don't like their president and they want a change now.
On the drive home from the Tucson airport at 10 o'clock at night after 26 hours of travel...
Hey mom, in Tucson things are safe. We like our president.
That's right, bud.
I guess he's a little more perceptive than I give him credit for.

When all this started, I was a few kilometers from Tahrir Square. If it weren't for all the high rise apartment buildings in the way, I could have watched the crowd from the roof instead of on Al Jazeera. Yesterday when they announced Mubarak was resigning, I was mopping the floors of my quiet little house on Jute Way. Amazing. I feel very blessed.

I'll leave you with a couple of videos I liked and the promise that sometime soon I'll be dumping my images and videos from those days in Cairo onto the blog, although they're pretty tame compared to what you've seen on the news.

Is it just me or does Ayman sound like he's tearing up a little bit?

1 comment:

Diane said...

Lucky for you your Dad is in Egypt, too far away to get at you for being out there taking those pictures. Lucky for the rest of us that you were there.