Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Terror in Egypt

I've been glued to coverage of the protests in Egypt since they started, and it's been largely a roller coaster of emotions, from a swell of support for protesters to disbelief at the US response. Part of my monitoring has been a live stream of the news on Al Jazeera English because it's reporting that isn't presented with an American or a Canadian lens, and for the most part, it's been fascinating to watch the movement grow, despite efforts to cap it.

But today everything changed, as so-called Pro-Mubarak supporters suddenly materialized and emotional agitation gave way to outright violence. It's been sad to watch, but there is no question that the most gut-wrenching moment came just minutes ago, as the Al Jazeera reporter was interviewing by phone an Egyptian protester named Mona against the loud backdrop of sporadic, rapid gunfire in and around Tahrir Square. You could hear her fear and desperation as she sobbed and wondered way the Army was not stepping in to stop the gun violence which, at this time, has killed at least 4 people. The footage shows two men dragging another man over a bridge or overpass to safety, and the dragged man looks either critically wounded or dead.

Egypt is an amateur passion of mine, and I've been enthralled by the history of that dynamic, ancient civilization ever since I was a young child. As I got older, I was dreaming of being an Egyptologist. I've known from Egyptians I've encountered, as well as people I know who have encountered Egyptians, that they are a proud, largely even-minded people, so it seems somehow...wrong, for lack of a better word, to hear of Egyptians firing on Egyptians. I have no doubt that the capacity exists...but it just seemed so unlikely once the Army indicated that it would not take up against the protesters.

Hosni Mubarak needs to step down. Look at what his stupid pride, arrogance and greed has done...


At 5:05 PM, Blogger Zhu said...

I started following the protests when we were in Bangkok and it was fascinating. Looks like Egypt accomplished a lot... and peacefully. What a lesson!


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