I could blather on about my vacation in the Sinai Peninsula where I gazed for hours across the cobalt waters to the rocky mountains of Saudia Arabia, land of the free, but some stuff has been going down in Egypt that it might not hurt to mention. As such, I’ll save the blather for later.
First of all, let me state that I get most of my news from one person in our program who posts things on her facebook to the tune of one article/video/link every minute. Since she’s a self-described revolutionary socialist, much of this media leans slightly towards the left, but it’s more informative than the only website I read daily, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. Other sources of news include hearsay, rumors, eavesdropping, and the occasional article I read online in order to confirm or debunk the current event foam I pick up throughout the day.
That being said, I do know that there were violent protests today in Tahrir square, far away from where I live but right next to where I go to school. Whereas the most interesting thing I did today was drink coffee with only milk instead of milk and sugar, one of my friends described to me a scene of protestors building barricades and being shot at by security forces that he saw from his roof. I said, “Oh that’s really interesting.” and went on to describe a cheese sandwich I had eaten earlier.
But seriously. Tahrir has once again been scented with blood and tear gas only 9 days away from parliamentary elections. Police forces entered the square last night to try to clear out the remnants of protestors from the million man march that was held earlier, but instead of everyone going home and straight to bed, violent clashes broke out and have continued today.
What does this mean? Well I’m not sure, but based on my limited knowledge of politics, elections, and democracy I would say that violence is not a great sign, especially not in addition to the general atmosphere of confusion and depression that has characterized the public sphere as of late.
Personally, I expect more tension and violence as we approach the election date. I don’t expect the situation to improve, and I foresee increasing disillusionment and growing apathy. I don’t mean to sound overly optimistic, but this is just my general feeling.
On the other hand, I probably won’t be going to Tahrir to protest anytime soon so I think I’ll stay pretty safe. My real wish is for a delicious Thanksgiving feast in addition to the flowering of Egyptian democracy and a peaceful brunch tomorrow.
P.S. Same source said that as of 12:51 Cairo time, things are still pretty crazy in Tahrir.