Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ongoing unrest in Egypt

I have intentionally stayed quiet on this topic for a few days now for a few reasons. One being that I'm not in Cairo this time around, so I only have what I'm seeing on the media to go by and the last Revolution at least taught us that the media is only showing about 10 percent of what's really going on.

One thing I would like to highlight is that although through the media it looks as though the entire fabric of Egypt is collapsing again, this is not the case. In Hurghada we are very much isolated from what is going on, and were anyone to ask me "is it safe to come to the Red Sea at the moment," my answer would immediately be yes. We are already starting to see the repercussions of the unrest in Cairo, with the Egyptian pound weakening and the markets already closing early on Wednesday. Of course the primary objective at the moment is to restore peace and stability to the country, and my heart goes out to those in Tahrir fighting for their freedom. But I cannot let myself get caught up in the fervor and make it out that the entire country is on the verge of breaking down. As K said to me yesterday, were it not for the news and the internet we really wouldn't have any idea of what was going on in the rest of the country from here in Hurghada.

I said this yesterday, and I will repeat it again here. As we are all watching the scenes in Cairo and throughout the rest of Egypt unfold, I would like to take this time to remind everyone that aggression and hostility will not help anyone. The continuing tensions are undoubtedly causing cracks in the surface. We must remember to be patient when listening to others, when dealing with others in the streets. We must remember the fundamental cores of democracy that the people in Tahrir are fighting for. The right to freedom of expression, the right to live securely. If we can all remember these little facets of what the original revolution was meant to be about, together we can hope to keep the fabric of Egyptian society strong.

My thoughts are with my friends in Tahrir, and with those I hold dear in Cairo. Please let us at least remember some of the lessons we were taught in the last revolution: spreading discord and rumours will only come to bite us in the long run. Check before you're posting anything, and be patient with those around you. Remember that as expats, no matter how much we feel that Egypt is our home, this is an Egyptian fight. The best role that we can play at the moment is to stand back, show our support, help with supplies when necessary, and avoid falling into the trap of believing everything that we read. 

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