You’ve got My Attention, Egypt

Modern-day Egypt–that is, the Egypt that’s not associated with the pyramids or sphynx or Luxor or other motifs of antiquity–rocked onto the international scene this year with their “successful” coup d’etat back during the January 25 revolution. The world was riveted by the fact that Egypt had largely managed to overthrow ol’ Hosni Mubarak without bloodshed. But, there was bloodshed. Now, Egypt is constantly in the news again, but this time, the violence is all one hears about.

The shocking interviews, images and, most importantly, videos–have you seen the video of the infamous Blue-bra girl?–show a country that has, I hate to use such a blanket general term but I feel that in the sense of a society, gone to the dogs. Where is humanity’s compassion? How do we end up throwing cement blocks off the roofs of buildings onto civilians? How do soldiers end up shooting live bullets into crowds, or stomping and morally defiling a pious women by lifting up her clothes and stomping on her?

Whatever happens next, the world is watching. If the protesters wanted the world to watch them, they got their wish. But really, at what price? Certainly, one has a lot to protest about now, given the extreme and disgusting violence that has occured in the past few weeks, but simply protesting is not going to help. People need to calm down and think with their minds, not think as animals charging in packs and burning buildings or mowing down innocent people. Yes, protesting was the reason that Mubarak was ousted; but the protesting card can not be played every time one wants something done.

In exactly a week, I shall be back in Egypt. Although I am excited to see my husband, I am not excited at the prospect of staying indoors all the time again because people can’t ‘behave’ themselves. THe revolution has, if anything, set Egypt back. The country that I first saw in October 2010 is no more. And although it would be historically interesting to view the protests live-even more so to interview people-I will be staying away. Unlike those beastly college students who got arrested for allegedly participating in the protests in Tahrir Square (I believe that they were protesting; they can spin some sob story about the government falsely arresting them and mistreating them but they obviously exercised poor judgement. Getting caught up in a dangerous protest in one’s own country is bad enough; getting caught in a protest in a foreign country is tantamount to expulsion, threats, rumours of spying and plotting and yes, perhaps even violence).

Egypt, you have my attention. Can you try to calme-toi by next Thursday? Shokrun!

S-L-M

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