Verslag vanuit Caïro…

De afgelopen weken heb ik mij zorgen gemaakt over een Egyptische vriend van me, Sherif. Vannacht kreeg ik eindelijk een mail van hem waarin hij zijn situatie (in Caïro) uitlegt. Ik heb hem gevraagd of ik zijn verhaal op mijn blog mag zetten, dat vond hij prima. Even wat context: Sherif heeft ook een Amerikaans paspoort (vandaar dat zijn Engels zo goed is). Ik heb 9 maanden met hem in een huis gewoond in Canada toen ik daar een speciaal beursprogramma deed. Hij is filmmaker die altijd op het randje opereerde met zijn werk: films waarin bijv een relatie is tussen een Christelijke vrouw en een Moslim man, dat soort dingen. Films die hij maakte werden wel in het buitenland vertoond, maar eigenlijk nooit in Egypte zelf! Hier zijn mail:

Hey,

First of all, I just wanna say that I really miss you and that it’s pretty embarrassing that it takes a full-blown revolution to get me to write an email.

I assume that you have been following what has been going on everyday in Egypt for the past 10 days. I do hope that you haven’t been getting your info thru CNN or something.

What is going on here is very complex and hard to explain at this time, things are still up in the air and the truth about whom is doing what to whom is yet to be known. For example, who let all the prisoners out, and why did the police disappear?? did Mobarak send paid thugs in yesterdays demonstration to force the protestors out? How many of the protestors are actually from the brotherhood, is it mainly them?, its almost impossible to tell. What I do know is that the heart of the anti government movement are people like u and me, educated ppl calling for simple social justice and other fundamental universal rights, many of them are my friends and for that I’m proud. But this movement has caused a horrible domino affect that has changed our lives. The mood is unfortunate and horrible; i have been spending my nights with the men of my street (from doormen to grandpas) in the street, we have been on night patrol walking around with weapons and being on-guard due to the 10000 prisoners still on the loose, and with every night comes new incidents and different kinds of fear. Of course im only doing his because my whole family lives in one building and there is no security or police. But honestly, by now i am pretty damn desensitized to street violence, but i am extremely worried for my friends in Tahrir. I was actually there yesterday and was taking photos and managed to get out of there before the protest (battle) got out of hand.

I would really like to speak my mind about what’s going on, but like i said, its all in the air and whenever i think i know what’s going on we all get surprised by a new twist in events and this makes it very difficult for me and others to maintain their cool (and sanity even). At this moment, I am feeling just like most egyptians here; i want the educated protestors to get out of tahrir square and to do it safely. The media is saying all it can to give the protestors the respect and credit they deserve (distinguishing then from the brotherhood), the government has stated that they will not arrest them and that they will be protected, on a political level they promise to make amendments to the constitution. There is too much fear that if these protestors decide to continue, tomorrow could be civil war as both sides of the struggle are strong and of large in numbers. Even the army (our only hope) is being called upon by the media to make a safe path to get the protestors out of the way. The other side of the struggle are not mere Mobarak thugs seeking revenge for the disrespect they gave him; you got the ppl that blame them for the looter violence (and police absence) in the streets, many are upset at them for the economy that has gone down the drain, apparently it will take Egypt 2 years to get back on its feet, others are already broke due to the lack of work and are ready to kick the protestors out of tahrir square by any means possible.

So tomorrow is a big big day and hopefully it wont be the beginning of civil war. I’m not thinking about the politics yet, because i have seen enough from each side to realise that the truth is hidden, i just want my friends to get home safe and for there to be no chaos… if it gets too dangerous, expect me in Boston soon. Actually , my mother managed to get us plane tickets thx to the US embassy but i talked her out of it because there is still hope, once thats gone, I’m gone.

When things calm down, i’ll start reflecting because much of that is needed… but what will happen tomorrow is too important to ponder any possibilities…

I’ll update u soon, cross your fingers and pls say a prayer for us…

Sherif

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