Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A moment for Egypt

My friend and I spent the afternoon discussing myriad challenges faced by Egypt and the Middle East. As sunlight streamed in through the coffee shop window, I was mindful that these same rays of sun were touching down on another scene entirely just a short cab ride away. Today thousands of Egyptians protested poverty, police brutality, and Mubarak himself among other grievances. For the past week I debated attending the protests. Ultimately however I decided not to go. Twinges of regret later raced up my spine as my friends who did attend regaled tales of the day. Yet while I appreciate and admire their experience, every time I found myself doubting my decision I came to the same conclusion. My presence would not have helped, and may have even hindered, the Egyptians who were voicing very personal and very real concerns. These protests are a result of daily hardships faced by many here in the country. I believe this is an important moment for these citizens who so rarely get to speak their minds. I believe in their cause and today all I could offer them was my absence. I hope it helped.

1 comment:

  1. I can see your reasons for not taking part, and really there's no moralizing of Should or Shouldn't, but what you are doing here is also the reason I went out to the protests: this is the time for the Egyptians to voice their frustrations, but it's also necessary for us to help them get it out there to the English-speaking world (as evidenced by yesterdays internet shut downs, detainments, etc).

    So in that sense, whether any of us are at the protests or not, you are definitely helping Egypt by making it public.