Tag Archives: cairo

Letter to the Editor

I realize I’ve yet to give much detailed explanation or thought on recent events in Egypt. I hardly knew what to think or expect. Recently, I was given the opportunity to write a letter to the editor for the University newspaper, The Skyliner. To that article I do forward you:




Cairo in Pictures

Egypt is often remembered for her ancient tombs. But recent events have brought Egypt into a new new light for many Westerners as the Egyptian people clamor for progress.


A few months ago, I was at a soccer game between the famous Egyptian Ahly soccer team and the country of Tunisia. As the Tunisians began to lose, they began to fling chairs at the field and set things on fire, despite riot guards surrounding them. Who knew that the passionate Tunisians would challenge their corrupt government in a few short months, and that the Egyptians would follow?


A Cairene cityscape, from 2007.

The entrance to the Cairo Museum in Medan Tahrir. The Museum holds many important ancient Egyptian artifacts and mummies; reports indicate that during recent protests, several artifacts and two mummies were significantly damaged by looters (inspiring more outrage from many Egyptians).


Cairo streets as usual outside Al-Azhar Mosque, not far from the popular Khan el-Khalili, a souk (or market) popular with tourists. The Egyptian economy relies heavily on tourism.

Egyptian Tamer El-Sahhar writes, "Along the past few days Egypt has been going through some of the toughest and the most glorious times in it's entire modern history . . . moments that will not only define path of a nation, but also moments that re-define an entire generation. My generation. Today I am proud to say that I am between them."

Now that Mubarak has resigned from the Egyptian Presidency, the future remains uncertain.

Arab League: Students at the Arab League in Cairo, near Medan Tahrir. The League is an organization to promote unity among many Arab countries, promote independence, and address concerns and interests of its members.

Me in Luxor.


Memories of Matter

I noticed an Egyptian pound in my pocket today. I am not sure how it got there. I did not move it. Egypt has methods of reminding me of herself.

My caf serves pita. I dream of aish.

Striding along cold concrete University sidewalks, I cannot but think, these are the shoes that walked Tahrir.

I watch videos from the warm chrysalis of my room, and I wonder, where is the woman to whom I gave alms? Where are the mischievous youth with their games in the streets? Who hangs out on the bridges with brightly colored scarves?

The henna from the khan al-khalili faded away in the weeks after my arrival home, the one visible mark that cried “I was there, but now I am not!”

The nail polish is gone from one foot, but holds resiliently to the nails of the other. My Egyptian polish is red, bright red, the color of spirit, the color of vivacity, the color of crimson blood. It is the clash of worlds.

My Arabic numeral timepiece hangs around my neck, close. And I wait.


I decide to take the elevator down from the flat. Inside the elevator, alone and abandoned in the corner, rests a large white trashbag, which I equate to an abandoned waif in an unfamiliar world.

I exit the building and take to the streets, only to witness a woman hurling a folded newspaper to a second story balcony. At first I think she is trying to get someone’s attention, but then I realize she is carrying several other newspapers, explaining her extraordinary precision.

I take a right.

Nestled dangerously close between two cars is a truck plastered with the phrase “We Can’t Spell it Right WithoutU.”

I continue to walk down the streets, taking care to watch my step with due caution to oncoming traffic, taxis and mule carts included.

Two minutes of nonstop action.