Egypt is a country in transition and many people are wary of what the future holds. Cairo especially is an exciting place full of potential changes. Sometimes those changes come violently, unfortunately.
Due to this turmoil many people I knew, and some I didn’t, were apprehensive about my moving to Cairo to teach at a local international school. It often seemed that the less people knew the more opinionated they were about my decision. Certainly the people that were the most vocally opposed to my move were the ones that I knew the least. Old acquaintances have came out of the woodwork through Facebook to let me know just how crazy I am to be here now.
Thankfully, I can tell them that in my two weeks in Cairo, I have seen no violence and I’m having a wonderful time.
That doesn’t mean that everything is coming up roses, though. Curfew has significantly dampened the mood in the area, and I haven’t had the opportunity to see any of the famous landmarks of Cairo: the pyramids, the Egyptian museum, or downtown Cairo.
In fact, there were protesters standing on the sidewalk on Saturday evening, and again today outside my gym. The people hold up yellow signs and flyers that display an image of a right hand displaying the number four. I’m told that the four represents the Mosque where the largest sit-in occurred and where much of the violence has been reported. The four is in support of the Muslim Brotherhood. It’s odd to see women in full burqas shouting, holding signs, and generally being vocal about their opinions.
The protesters stand on the side of the road, they do not block traffic nor do they throw things at passersby. At most they are an annoyance that slows traffic as drivers rubberneck.
Today I saw women with infants, toddlers, and teenagers protesting alongside men and women in burqas. They all have a message and want to be heard. Isn’t that their human right?