Friday, February 11, 2011

25th of January.. and What Happened After That

Ah.. where do I start..

Most of you lovely readers already know that I live in Egypt, and, unless you are living in a cave somewhere, or in a tree house deep inside a rain forest with no internet connection, you must have heard about what is happening here in Egypt (which is highly unlikely, since you're reading this and therefore are connected to the www)

But, in case you haven't heard, I'll leave it to Nina to update you on this matter.

Little Nina did a great job explaining the situation, but she failed to mention the things that happened as a result of "the normal angry persons asking the president to leave".

The riots. People dying. The curfews. The absence of the police that resulted in the looting of the Egyptian museum.. the looting of shops, malls and people's houses. The sleepless nights. The sounds of gunfire piercing the night sky. The demonstrators in Tahrir Square. The thugs. The anger. The fear of what is yet to come..

I am not going to talk about the political side of this story, because I am sure most of you have heard enough.

The past two weeks were an experience I never thought I'd go through, at least not here in this country.

The first few days were a terrible nightmare. I couldn't sleep for almost two days in a row, staying up for at least 50 hours, consuming one "pot" of coffee after another.

What happened was, on the 28th of January, the police suddenly disappeared from the streets, making way for looters and "bad guys" to take over the streets of Cairo, doing what they do best, looting and vandalizing.
Criminals broke out of prisons, and some of those prisons were only a couple of hours away from where we live. The best part was, we live in the suburbs of Cairo, a compound that is surrounded by large patches of dessert. The sort of place where, if you scream, no one would hear you. Good news is, most of the houses in our compound are inhabited, which made us feel a bit safe.

People took to the streets in an attempt to try and protect their homes and families from the thugs and looters, and so did we.
Occasionally, some thugs and prison escapees would try to break in the compound. Luckily, some of the neighbors here had guns and rifles. A few gunshots were sure enough to scare them away.
We made molotov bombs (yes! I made one as well!! although it was useless, since the bottle of "paint thinner" was half empty, and the bomb requires that it be full.. but I made one!!!)
We tapped kitchen knives to broomsticks with duct tape to use as weapons. My brothers (since they're pro archers) assembled their bows and got their arrows out. There was something whimsical about the bows and arrows though, they looked like Robin Hood come to life!

This went on for a couple of days. Thankfully, this episode is over.(at least I hope it is!!)

Despite the looting and the vandalism, shops and banks have reopened, people went back to work. The police are back (kind of) and life was somehow slowly going back to normal, until last night, that is.

Demonstrators in Tahrir Square want the president to leave, but the president made it quite clear in his speech last night that he is not going anywhere, and so did the protesters. So apparently, it is not over. The fat lady has not sung yet, and it does not look like she is going to sing any time soon.

People are regathering in larger numbers. Some still in Tahrir Square, and some are marching towards the presidential palace.

I just hope that this night would pass by without more people having to die..

I am still trying to wrap my head around this, but I thought an "update" post is long due.

Pray for the future of this country, your prayer could make a difference.