Travel Map

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Tahrir Means Liberation

Things in downtown have turned bloody.  The government supporters/thugs have attacked the protesters all night and we're getting a lot of our information from international news agencies, just like everyone else.  From a few people in Tahrir we've heard that medical volunteers are needed to help the wounded and that people are trying to get supplies in to help the remaining hundreds in the square.  The BBC twitter feed from people in Tahrir is not encouraging.  The original protesters are standing their ground- this attack is exactly why they needed to protest the tyrannical regime in the first place and giving this man 7 more months seems suicidal.  Tahrir means liberation, and as Thomas Jefferson once said, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

Today we decided not to go downtown (obviously) and instead attempt some normalcy by heading to a nice cafe here in Maadi.  We then walked along the streets and people are still being very respectful and kind to us obvious foreigners.  One man told us not to leave Maadi because it's dangerous- Egyptians look after their guests.  Stores were open and people seemed determined to get things back to normal.  It was really nice.  It makes leaving seem silly.

That being said, I am attempting to make the decision to leave or not based on what I think about the productivity of the semester.  If classes begin will the semester be fruitful?  I can't help but think that people will be distracted (duh) and that things will not suddenly jump back to normal.  I have the opportunity to go to Ecuador, which I wanted to do earlier, and actually be of assistance (I hope).  Do I go?  Do I stay?  If I go I will of course be returning for summer semester at AUC and finishing my MA here.  Ecuador would provide plenty of research for a richer thesis.  It's really hard to decide.  Going to Ecuador feels like a betrayal to Egypt...    

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