Sunday, June 24, 2012

Letters from Egypt: 30 Minutes until Election Announcement

The countdown begins with the presidential election results to be announced at 3 pm Cairo time. Everyone left my office at 2 pm. It seems that everyone throughout Egypt left the office at 2 pm. Banks closed at 1 pm. And I have to say, everyone is nervous.

My colleague and friend said: “We are scared what will happen if the Muslim Brotherhood does not win. We are scared of what will happen to Egypt if they do win.” One of my good friends just responded on my Facebook, “I’ve never been so nervous.” I agree.

People began stocking up on food and water. I’m unsure if the same thing will happen like it did over a year and a half ago.

I left work and I’m sitting at one of my favorite cafes which is usually bustling with expats and affluent Egyptians. Right now, there’s one other Egyptian man sitting near me. We’re the only two people. My colleague asked why I couldn’t just go home. I’ve really never felt this nervous before. Well, there was that one time that we thought looters were trying to get into our building, but I digress.

A lot of people ask me why I never go to Tahrir during these days like I did during the revolution. My response is that this time it’s different. Anytime extremists become involved, situations escalate. There are many people who are angry, but have no idea why they’re angry. These sentiments lead to catastrophic results and can be potentially dangerous. And the threats that were printed throughout the Egyptian newspapers from the Muslim Brotherhood announcing how they will set fire to Egypt if Moursy doesn’t win has everyone worried.

Twenty minutes until the big announcement. Keep Egypt in your prayers.

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