Monday, May 9, 2011

Egypt Burning - AJE Documentary




Recent Events in Egypt

I am actually quite surprised at myself that I have not blogged a single thing about the Egyptian Revolution or recent events in Egypt.  During the revolution I was not getting much sleep but was staying glued to Twitter and Al Jazeera English.  I was very disappointed NOT to have been in Egypt during that time.  If I had been there, I would not have evacuated because I would not have left my dogs behind.  My Rottie left Egypt in October of 2010 and it was quite an ordeal to have her shipped cargo.  (I will post something about the process of taking the dogs out of Egypt in the future.)

On February 11, 2011 it was so wonderful to see the entire country united.  A feeling of brotherhood prevailed. As I listened to my husband's first hand accounts of smiling, friendly people greeting each other on the streets, I couldn't help but wonder how long that would all last.  I seems it did not last more than a few days.  Looking at the events of the last few days in Imbaba, it is hard to believe it was less than 12 weeks ago that Egyptians felt such a camaraderie with each other.  I'm not talking about religion here.  I'm not talking about sectarianism - I don't even believe this is about religion.  I don't believe Salafis are behind the recent events.  I'm talking about that feeling of belonging and kinship that so briefly existed in Egypt in early February?   Where did that feeling go?

But what has really got me thinking is this:  History repeats itself and if we don't learn from history we are destined to repeat it.  Right now I am reading The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit a fantastic memoir of a Jewish family in Old Cairo.   There are striking similarities between the events of the late 1950's post King Farouk's abdication.  For example, immediately after Farouk left Egypt Cairo went about renaming (once again) all the streets that had any mention of royalty or any connection to the Royal Family.  Malaka Nazli became Ramses Street.  Present day, Cairo is busying itself removing any traces of the name Mubarak from streets and public buildings.  The author's family (along with all other Jewish families) are eventually forced to flee Egypt which had become a very unwelcoming place for them.  Present day, the Coptic Christians are feeling very unwelcome in Egypt.  Where is this sectarian violence and turmoil headed? 

Really makes you think - doesn't it?