Saturday, February 5, 2011

The View from Cairo

I am not sure where to begin the story, since the Egyptian government shut down the internet and prevented me from blogging in real time. But hopefully I can spend the next week sharing stories from the past week, which I mostly spent indoors, where I felt the excitement of a great revolution (coupled with some occasional, frightening moments). Our decision to leave on Thursday was one of the more difficult I have made, but things remain volatile. And while my fear for our family’s personal safety is minimal, there are enough concerns about what will happen during the next few weeks--if the banks remain closed, if food becomes scarce, if medicine is scarce, if water or electricity are turned off, if telecommunications are interrupted, if the police revolt—that convinced me our family’s decision, such as it was and based on the resources available to us, was the best one at the time. The university is closed until at least February 13, and I plan to return to teach at the start of the semester, whenever that is.

On Wednesday, I did attend the demonstrations in Tahrir Square. To express solidarity. To witness. To experience a liberated zone under an authoritarian regime. To take pictures. It does not amount to much, and I have many friends who spent (and continue to spend) far more time there than I did, but it was a profoundly affecting few hours. These are some images...more words and photos to follow.

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