Tuesday, January 25, 2011
CNN, BBC and more - a quick word from Egypt
Can't tell you how much it means to the students to know that you are following them and their incredible Egyptian experiences. I'm still beaming from watching "sheer joy" in the faces of them last night as they donned their Egyptian clothing and danced the night away.
We have heard from a few of you tonight regarding the bits of news from Egypt on CNN and other news stations. Yes, there were some demonstrations (not riots) in Cairo, Alexandria and even Aswan (where we currently are) today. Interestingly enough, none of the stations report that this was a "National Police Holiday" in Egypt (an interesting day to plan a demonstration, don't you think?) Most of the "thousands" the news claim as involved were bystanders. They haven't seen things like this for a long time. Then, when you consider that the banks were closed, most people were on holiday....well..... In Aswan, we spent a magnificent day touring temples and traversing the Nile on feluccas. If there was trouble here, we never saw it. Or heard it.
My comments are not to dismiss the energy that appears to be bubbling in Africa. Surely Tunisia has led the way in government change, and it may happen elsewhere. Today's actions in Egypt may deepen, but realize they are NOT directed toward us or any other foreigners. They are directed toward their government - some wishing for Egypt to "dream" again, and others push for the government to improve the lives of the most needy. If we have learned one thing while we are here, Egyptians are good and kind people; they have expressed their admiration of us as Americans, their excitement about "Obama" (which they say over and over) and share an honest and warm welcome with us wherever we go. It saddens me to think that you back home might be worried about us because of the "bits" you see on the news. It worries me more that we can take a one minute news story and have it cloud our view of the world.......I get it......but if you were here with us, you'd see another, better story.
Please understand that we will do nothing to endanger ourselves ~ we are being well taken care of, and will monitor any situation that warrants our attention. For now, however, we have five more days - and we want to make the most of them.
Please note that I rec'd a "guest blog" from Bekah Walker today and added it to the appropriate day. That day now appears out of sequence. SO, to get to TODAY's news, you'll have to go back a bit.
AGAIN, thanks for keeping up with us! Good night!