Friday, January 28, 2011
Prayers for you my friends in Egypt,
As most of the world knows by now, Egypt is one of the countries going through civil unrest and upheaval right now.
They say a brutal beating and Facebook, led to Egyptian protests
Robert Fisk, a keen observer of Egypt and its affairs has written an insightful, balanced and informed article on Egypt's day of reckoning
There are solidarity protests and demos all over the US, in UK, Rome and Germany that I have heard of.
A large number of Egyptians are standing up, for their voices and grievances to be heard. There have been sporadic protests each year, isolated incidents, but never on this scale and as sustained as this year.
SMS, Internet, Local TV channels, radio channels have all been shut down. Cell phone coverage is minimal. A Statement from Vodafone, Egypt says "All mobile operators in Egypt have been instructed to suspend services in selected areas. Under Egyptian legislation the authorities have the right to issue such an order and we are obliged to comply with it. The Egyptian authorities will be clarifying the situation in due course."
We are all Khaled Said is a group created on facebook, that I would recommend joining. They are giving the most accurate updates in English that I know of, online.
Not being in Egypt at this time is scarier for me, than if I had been there during these protests. I worry. I worry for my friends. My expat friends, my expat friends married to Egyptians, my Egyptian friends, my students in Egypt, Yemen and Lebanon. Most of them have assured me that they are staying home, especially those with little children, so that they may not be in immediate physical danger.
These are friends I can call up once phone services are back or who will email me when the internet is up and running. But what about all the other people? People I met daily while I lived in Egypt. Someone from the office will give me news of all the office drivers who have ferried me across the city at some time or the other, acted as my translator or interlocutor.
But what about those makwagi boys who brought me my laundry, the grocer boys who came home with deliveries, the lady who squatted on the corner - who could always be trusted to have a supply of limoon and nya nya (lemon & mint), the eish sellers whom I never bought baladi bread from, but whom I always saw as I passed by.
There are so many other people like this in Egypt, that I may not have had a conversation with ever, but who were a part of my life there. I worry for them too.
And all I can do other than worry, is pray for their safety. So I pray for them to be safe, I pray for a quick, peaceful and suitable resolution, I pray for Egypt. That is all I can do, for now. . .