Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Letters from Egypt: Déjà Vu

I will update as often as I see necessary with factual accounts. Please do not just take someone’s gossip as fact as it serves to spread unwarranted fear. I will write about things that I see myself or can confirm without a doubt. Also be wary of particular off-beat news sources, so-called message boards and obviously social media. Unless you see it with your own eyes, don’t say it.

I can confirm that in Maadi, there are protests and tire fires in Al Arab (around 11 a.m). All major roads are blocked at the moment - even the driver I set up can't get back to Maadi. This includes the autostrad, corniche, ring road (diety) and in Heliopolis, Merghany St is closed. It isn't just in the direction of downtown or Nasr City - even the corniche is blocked heading toward Helwan. Train lines have been shut down. Businesses are also closed, although I hear cafes are still operating. Your local kiosks should still be running and stock up on any necessities before night just in case.

Al Jazeera has had the same headline when referring to anything Egypt: “Egypt in Turmoil”. It just cycles over and over…and over and over…and over and over again.

With the army currently dispersing Muslim Brotherhood (MB or Ikhwan – do I really need to keep writing this or haven’t you gotten it by now), Morsi supporters are in uproar. You are undoubtedly going to see some gruesome images. And some of you will immediately jump to the conclusion that it is being handled in such a savage way. However, could you imagine a protest in the US blocking off I-10? How about if you had a protest in NYC blocking the FDR or Van Wyck? That’s exactly what the MB has been doing for SIX WEEKS.

In my last blog, I wrote about my own hellacious journey from City Stars in Nasr City to Maadi. Any other major city would have immediately disbanded such obstructions, yet the MB continue to say they are being treated unfairly (with numerous Amnesty International press releases circulating touting the same – makes me question the validity of the organization). If you ask me, they’ve had plenty of time to stage a protest, but people need to get back to work. You want to continue to hang out at the mosque (Rabaa el Adwaya), then by all means, do so. However, don’t block a major intersection/roadway. It’s simple.

So when the army gave them instructions to clear out, they decided to ignore the orders. Thus, military began at 6 am to help them along the way. What did they do? While they were told to clear out the women and children, they kept them in the line of fire trying to get international sympathy. I don’t know about you, but this doesn’t tug on my heart strings. You were warned, you failed to adhere and now you must suffer the consequences. If they really cared for these women and children like they are hoping the international community does, they would have told them to return home.

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