So, there it is! A Muslim Brotherhood member has been declared President of Egypt, an event unthinkable 18 months ago and indeed at any time during the last 30 years or even longer. I remember Anwar Sadat railing against them every night during his three hour television addresses in September 1981 when I travelled the country. It was not enough 'railing against' for him to avoid the hail of bullets that came his way on 6th October that same year, as I stood 1 kilometre from him, both of us watching the fly past of airforce jets in the skies above Cairo. Many say Mubarak was the author of his assassination and that his failure to sufficiently suppress the Muslim Brotherhood, the chief motivating factor. Mubarak did a pretty good job on all suppression fronts during these last three decades, and it is, for me at least, the supreme irony that his own successor will be of the Brotherhood. Of course, we wait to see what the army gives to the new President in the way of powers, and we may have to rely on our American brothers to put on some pressure via their hold on the military purse strings here in the next few days; 'There must be no back sliding from democracy', they have said behind the scenes, let's all pray that comes true.
It would have been great to be there on this historic day having been there when Mubarak was proclaimed, but I missed it by 48 hours. DD said yesterday I should have stayed on if we had thought if was going to be announced so quickly after the initial Thursday deadline. But chances come and go, and I'm here and not there. However, I still feel close to the events. As we came into this place for a bite to eat, I stopped DD in the entrance way and said, 'Smell that? It's Cairo, right here.'. I guess I'll never lose the scent of that particular trail.
And, good luck to the brave people there in this next phase, so full of jeopardy but potentially so full of hope as well.