A different view
As we walked around Maadi today, everything seemed relatively normal, albeit with a significant army presence and hardly any police. (We did notice that the police with moustaches generally looked a lot more thuggish and confrontational than those without. I wonder why that is.)
On the way home, we saw a small group of protesters marching down the street. Further down, a woman (who, unconnectedly, looks exactly like Larissa) sat in the sunshine reading her paper in absolute peace. It's a far cry from the images broadcast by BBC World News and Al-Jazeera from the centre of the city.
When we got back, the internet had at last been switched back on. The suspension of the internet and (for a short while) mobile networks were inexcusable. It's one thing to want to suppress Facebook as a way to gather protestors together, quite another to stop people being able to communicate at all. Worse still are the companies that allowed it. There are some things you just don't do, and purposely blocking communication at a time like this is one of them.
As news of fresh violence was starting to emerge from the protesters in Tahrir Square, it's still unclear how things will unfold here. In my opinion, Hosni Mubarak played it perfectly. Why the remaining protesters can't see that his speech offered the only workable compromise is, I think, a product of the inability to think about the future. Something I was very aware of in Oman, and now Egypt, is that visualisation of the future isn't a concept that people get in this part of the world. They give themselves so fully to the concept of Allah dictating their every move, that the future is not something they feel they could ever possibly be in control of. They have what they want, they'll just have to wait for it.
Yes, my fellow Egyptians. Wait.
No honking your horn. No shouting when you're frustrated. No barging in front of anyone.
In amidst the uncertainty and anxiousness, I thought I'd amuse myself with my own protests about things I don't like about this place:
"No beepy in the streety!"
"No spitty in the city!"
"No poo without the loo!"
"No looky at the booby!"
"No shouty from the mouthy!"
I think they might catch on.
Thanks for all your concern for our welfare, by the way. As you can see, we're fine, for the moment at any rate. I've filled in some missing blips from the last few days. They start here, if you fancy a look.
- Canon EOS 1000D