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.