Monday, February 7, 2011

Cairo Protests - Monday 7th

Witnessing a revolution from the front stalls has a prize, I've realized that now. I've been so swallowed up by all these dramatic events that I basically forgot that I'm more than a witness. I've seen people been beaten, mobs attacking, blood, tanks, injustice and mourning. I've felt the tear gas burn in my eyes and throat. I've been laying awake at night listening to guns being fired, explosions, helicopters and fighter jets. I've spoken to people that lost a loved one, a mother who's 22 year old daughter's head exploded by a bullet. I've ran away from violent clashes and shootings, been questioned and frightened. There are so many impressions in my head and I haven't had the slightest chance to even start to process them. They're piling up on me, lays heavy on my shoulders and it's time to be selfish and take a break from all of it, if only to gather my strengths to come back with renewed energy.

I wanted to go to Tahrir Square one last time. The atmosphere was calm, almost tranquil, but sadness and mourning was hovering above the people. The faces of the people that lost their lives there in these past two weeks were printed on banners and placards. The mother of the young woman who died last Friday was trying to get her message through on stage, but it was difficult through her tears. I wanted to hug her; tell her that her daughter didn't die for nothing. But the outcome of the violent protests are still in the hands of a force majeur. Although the protesters show no sign of retreating from their own little city state called Tahrir, this can end in a multiple different ways. 

Outside of the square, people are doing their best to get back to the every day life in Cairo. Shops and business re-open and smashed windows are being replaced while looted shops are still gaping empty. My heart is heavy with the thought of leaving the courageous souls in Tahrir behind, but I've realized that there isn't much more that I can do for the time being. I can continue to report, but I too need to get my life back. I'm way behind in my studies and I really hope it won't be too late to catch up. Maybe with a little peace in my mind I can get back on track, get my strenghts back and return to Cairo if I'm needed. I still haven't heard from the Egyptian Red Crescent. It doesn't seem like they will have a first aid group with access to Tahrir, but if there will be one, I'll be back on the first bus available.

We're going to the ghost town of Hurghada; once a thriving tourist city, now eerily empty as all tourists have been flown out. All except me that is.


wholegrain said...

Did you realize that the President of Egyptian Red Crescent is Mubarak's wife? Or that the International Red Cross was turned away?
I think more people should be outraged by this.
I'm following your blog through RSS. Stay safe and strong!


Meme said...

I knew her name was Mubarak, but it wasn't until yesterday that I realized that she's the wife. Suddenly things became a bit more clear. And I agree, this should be in the medias. Thanks for following!