I’m sure most people have heard about the Egyptian Revolution of Jan. 25. If not, a simple google search is a great place to get started; a world of interesting political and social commentary awaits discovery. The Revolution is a huge part of current political discourse and enters into many everyday conversations. It was a watershed, portent, harbinger, tidal wave, landslide, rockmelt, volcano, etc. of the current and past political situation here in Egypt. There is no way I will understand the phenomenon of the revolution fully in the short amount of time that I am here, and I certainly don’t currently understand it or its consequences fully.
That being said, and I feel like I speak for most of the students in CASA, I do not desire to sit in a lecture from 3:35-5:00 (30 minutes overtime) on any topic on a Thursday, the beginning of our weekend. First of all, most of us have classes that end at 1:00, so we’re forced to wait around for hours before the lecture begins. Some of us use this time to do homework, others use the time to complain about having to be sitting around waiting for a lecture.
Our lecture today was to be given by a political activist highly involved in the opposition movement Kefaya, which also played a role in the revolution itself. Normally this kind of stuff is riveting, but the circumstantial factors inhibited the students’ level of interest. The lecture took place in a room that could also refrigerate meat on account of the temperature. I opened a window to try to let in some of the hot Cairo air, but the main effect was allowing flies into the room. Their erratic movements and buzzing proceeded to occupy my attention for much of the lecture. The activist did not breathe for a moment in the space of an hour and a half, rattling off fascinating detail after fascinating detail about the revolution and its causes. Her voice began to blend in with the flies after a while. Many students fell asleep, a natural reaction to refrigeration and exhaustion. Some of us asked questions at the end of the lecture, to our own disadvantage; we had to stay to listen to the answers.
Some enjoyed the lecture; some learned much. I doodled a little bit and then thought about what kind of Egyptian outfit I want to buy on Saturday. One day I’ll blog about something relevant to a world outside my personal experience. But that day is not today.