Sunday, January 29, 2012

January 28, 2012: Cairo

Just finished a good end to my holiday in Cairo. It was nice to meet up with old friends, although my stay was too short. I wasn't able to see everyone I wanted. It was also a good transition back to DC—I was feeling pretty desolate about the possibility of living in DC after graduation. Being back in Cairo gave me hope I’ll get out.

I was so happy to see my friend Marwa and her mother, who is like my mother. Marwa is a really smart and friendly girl; I can’t remember what her job is exactly but it’s really good and she goes on business trips all the time for work. Every Friday they would cook me plates and plates of food and if I ever needed anything, they would take care of it. We regularly went out to dinner over the summer; they loved going to this yacht club on the Nile (they don’t have a boat, though). They rented me the apartment in which I stayed over the summer. I hope if I come back here after graduation to live with them again. It’s nice to have a family away from home.

We went out to lunch and caught up on what we’ve been up to since the summer. I asked them if anything had changed since the summer, and they said no, which was my interpretation of the ‘revolution.’ People keep on coming to Tahrir, but there will be no real change. The activists don’t have any organization or real political platform. Additionally, they don’t really have a lot of popular support. I’ve heard a lot of people say The way to change the system is from within, not protesting without. Without really getting involved, they make it easy for SCAF to maintain the status quo while carrying the banner of the revolution.

After lunch, we walked around a mall for a bit and the girls went shoe shopping and then bought me medicine for my lip, which got busted (the story: tear gas in Tahrir). I thanked them profusely, and told them I was a little embarrassed because I didn’t have money so I initially didn’t want to go to the pharmacy and have to ask them for anything. Mom said I was silly and she would not have let me pay even if I had money.

We then met up with my friend Waleed for gelato, which I thought was good but I know my Italian friends sometimes have a pickier palate. He was a good sport—Marwa and her mom were teasing him a lot (bottom line: men everywhere don’t ask for directions).

I’m not entirely optimistic about the situation in Egypt. I can’t see it changing much. isA I am wrong.

I’m now flying back to DC. Feeling happy, thinking back on my trip: new friends, old friends, good friends, good experiences (everything in Vietnam, Chinese New Year in Asia), bad experiences (old white men in Bangkok). But a bit sad, too.

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