I’ve just come away from the school playground feeling a real sense of optimism about the current situation in Egypt.
It’s so painful to watch from a distance and yet there is a real sense of hope and action. The things that have really struck me is the amount of women and the mix of people I’ve seen in the media coverage of the demonstrations. Today I was moved to tears by the scenes of christian and muslim people praying together for the people who have lost their lives over the last few days.
I’ve been very aware of the feelings of the parents of one of Z’s best friends, Ahmed. His father has two brothers and a father protesting every day on the streets of Cairo while his mother struggles to get across town for her vital dialysis appointments. He cannot Skype them and the phones are intermittent. They sit glued to the news and radio channels for updates.
They are so proud. So afraid for their loved ones but so proud and so sure that there will be change now. Surely there will?
Don’t you think that this is how democracy has to happen? That it has to start at the bottom and work up. That when you bomb the fuck out of a culture and then wade in imposing infrastructure and voting systems they will not flourish. Just as that new liver will always need it’s anti-rejection drugs those streets will need soldiers, sorry, peacekeepers on the corners.
Western democracy, forged through its own violence; Oliver’s army, the war of independence, Chartism, suffrage, is a product and reflection of our culture. Democracy in the middle east must be a reflection of theirs. Surely? Sustainable change happens slowly and organically and must be allowed to grow.
As I’ve written that I’ve wondered if I have the right to comment. People more experienced and educated in the subject are daily broadcasting serious insightful, important opinions.
Why do women think this? because obviously people- in-power ‘s thinking is not more relevent or rational than mine. I would have realised it was time to go by now Mr Mubarak.
I’ve met Osamas’ brother. I liked him a lot. We all sat on a rug at a festival in the sun listening to an amazing Tunisian band sipping coffee and chatting, about the kids, about the book I was reading, about how he was working, putting himself through medical school in Cairo, about how beautiful Egypt was.
I’m watching the news, feeling hopeful and having opinions. Ordinary people build democracies. I really hope the foundations are being laid.