Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Testing my Theme...

The last week, as Tunisia has overthrown its government, Bobby and I have been joking about how Egypt will probably start a revolution when we get there. In the last few days, NPR and BBC have been reporting on how interviews with Egyptians have revealed support for Tunisia's revolution. Quotes have been made along the lines of "it needs to happen here in Egypt next".

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Some of you following international news may already know where this is going....

Protesters in Cairo on Jan 25th source

Today was an official "Day of Revolt"in Egypt. Cairo, to be specific. Protests all day long and into the night, chanting, marching, demanding term limits, fair minimum wage, freedom of speech, etc. From the police, an unusual amount of respect has been given to the protesters, although there has been tear gas. Water cannons have been used. There have been some clashes. But for the most part, the protesters have been peaceful. While 3 people- one police officer and two protesters- have sadly died (with no additional details other than the number at this time) that is, quite frankly remarkable considering that TENS OF THOUSANDS of Egyptians are marching in the streets.

I find it... well, a bit scary, seeing as how we're going to be landing in Cairo, Egypt, the epicenter of the protests, on February 6th. I know that's almost two weeks away, but the protesters have pledged that this is "just the beginning". At this time, I don't see this fading quietly away anytime soon. I'm working on "mastering my fear", but between my terror of plane crashes and the country in the middle of what might be a revolution, I'm a bit antsy about this upcoming trip. I'm sure that National Geographic cares enough about its brand, if not my life, to cancel our trip if it was dangerous. But I really hope it doesn't get canceled, and a part of me- the one that has misplaced and irrational fears- is still more scared of a plane crash than I am of being in a country in the middle of trying to overthrow its government. It's how I roll. But I definitely find it ironic that my theme of 2011 is "Mastering my Fear", and I'm about to take lots of flights (scary) to get to a country in political turmoil whose people are revolting against the government (also kind of scary). I called my mom, and she said "oh, you need to worry more about all those tour buses crashing...it's been all over the news how Egyptian tour buses crash all.the.time. and kill people". Thanks, Mom. That's a third thing to be afraid of! :)

If you want to keep up with what's going on via live updates, you can check this link. BBC, NPR, and CNN are all following the story as well. I would be following this story even if I wasn't set to be in Egypt very soon, but I have to admit it does make the story more compelling to me and I will be keeping up with interest to see where this leads.

11 comments:

  1. Aren't moms the greatest when it comes to brightening your day with terrible stuff?

    Just promise me that, regardless of where this situation goes, you know where the U.S. Embassy is in Egypt and elsewhere. :) That stuff is important to know, even if you are going somewhere not on the verge of a revolution.

    Side note: I merely mentioned the idea of going to Africa on a study abroad this summer (one of my professors lives and studies in Ghana and Togo) and my mom said, "Oh hell no, Amanda. You are not going there. You're dog's too young to be an orphan."

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  2. *you're = your
    My God, I'm turning into an undergrad with my grammar.

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  3. LOL! Moms say the craziest things, haha. At least they're honest I guess :)

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  4. OH, and yes, I will definitely check out where the U.S. embassy is. You're right, regardless of where you travel in the world that's always a good thing to know!

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  5. I wouldn't worry too much Cortney, whilst the government in Tunisia was overthrown, and upwards of 100 protesters were shot and killed, tourists were still exploring the tourist spots and soaking sun on the beach, almost as if nothing was happening.

    When the protests in Egypt start to severely disrupt tourism, they'll react to it far more hard handedly, which in turn might very well hurt tourism more, short term. That said, Egypt can't afford a big uprising right now, and the government are taking proactive steps to stem the demonstrators. :)

    If it makes you feel better, I recently saw Afghanistan being recommended as a traveling spot, and I'm not 100% sure, but I think it's taken off the Norwegian "dangerous to travel to" locations. Egypt will most certainly be less volatile than Kabul.

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  6. fattyfile/phruphruJanuary 28, 2011 at 9:10 AM

    I visited Egypt five years ago when a friend was living and working in Cairo and I absolutely loved it. It is a really amazing place and I was so excited to see that you were planning to visit. I've been obsessively watching the news and reading about the latest protests and I really hope you still get to go. Like a previous commenter said, tourism is Egypt's bread and butter and the government goes to great lengths to ensure tourists are safe, etc. So I'm sure you'll be fine once you get there. But right this moment, there really is a revolution going on. Today's events, which I've been following via the web on English-language Al Jazeera, are pretty intense!

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  7. I just recently found your blog and have gone back to read most of it (love your writing style and photos!) I lived in CO from 2000-2002 and your stories and photos are making me miss it so much!! I need to get back for a visit this year sometime.

    I'm not sure if your plans will change due to the events of the last few days but I wish you and your family safe travels!!


    ~Alissa (Gladstone, MO)

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  8. Phruphru- first of all, hello! I've been meaning to e-mail you because I miss reading your blog and didn't know if you were moving somewhere else?? Second, it looks like the trip is about 90% likely to be canceled :( Things just continue to escalate and with no cell/internet service it's scary how no info can get in/out. We were *so* looking forward to going and hope that if it gets canceled that it gets rescheduled soon!

    Lafngirl- I'm so glad you found my blog and are enjoying it! I absolutely adore Colorado and I feel so lucky that we got to move here. I can definitely see myself missing it fiercely when we leave. I really appreciate your well wishes and I do hope that you get to make it back to CO soon- I'm especially loving all the snow :)

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  9. So sad to hear it's canceled. But like you said, the lockdown on communications is really scary right now. I just heard on NPR that the government blocked Al Jazeera's signal, which is nuts. The protests really have escalated and Egypt is in the middle of a legit revolution right now. Probably not the best time to hit up the pyramids or sail down the Nile. But you WILL get to do that one day and it will be amazing. I can't wait to go back to Egypt one day.

    As for me, I stopped my little blog in September or thereabouts when I decided that blogging about my weight made me sound like someone I really didn't like. I don't update my real-life friends about every ounce I gain/lose and the Internet is already clogged with women obsessed with those fluctuations. Plus, I lost the weight and felt good. Plus=plus (this is probably the biggest reason) I changed jobs, was worried about privacy and preferred to read books at night instead of stare at the computer screen :) = phru/fatty

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  10. Phru- I can understand that. And I definitely prefer reading books to staring at computer screens too- they're a lot more interesting, haha :)

    And yes, we will definitely be going to Egypt some day, especially after all of the learning and researching we did into their incredibly history. We can't get it off of our minds now.

    Steven- thanks :)

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