We got back to Cairo early yesterday morning. The past two days have been pretty uneventful personally, but busy for Cairo. If you have been watching the news, you know that there have been protests downtown because of the elections. If you haven’t been following, it basically goes like this: there were elections last week, and the top two candidates (who will go on to the next round) consist of one ex-Muslim Brotherhood member and one ex-Mubarak minister. The votes coming from Revolution supporters were split among a few different candidates, meaning that they will not be progressing forward in the race. There have been claims of fraud and all sorts of election problems. This has created much anger among the people.
How does this affect me?
Egypt is probably going to get worse within the next few weeks, but I’m being very careful. I have not been around anything/place dangerous, because we know where to avoid going. Unfortunately, the elections are not going very smoothly, and they probably won't end smoothly. However, it is a great learning opportunity for me to be here and understand how democracy works and how the political process plays out in a country other than our own. I feel safe where we are living now, but we plan to move to Maadi within the next week (which is much more residential and out of the city center). Once we move there, I will feel totally secure.
Most of the news I get here is hearsay from the Egyptians that I know (that is until I have time to get online and look at the news). The guys here try and keep us pretty sheltered from what is going on politically, so I have to ask direct questions if I want to know more. Thankfully, the people that I am with are very politically aware, and we have had some very interesting conversations about it.
I drove through Tahrir Square last night on my way home, and things looked intense. I've been staying away from the area as much as possible and trying to keep up with what is going on while keeping a respectful foreigner's distance from the politics. I will not be attending any protests, out of a combination of interest in personal safety and so that I can take a neutral political stance when need be.
I promise that I will be safe. Sherin and I have discussed what we would do in different scenarios, and we are sure to have a map of Cairo on us, just in case we would need to find our way around. I have the number for the U.S. embassy in Cario, and I have an emergency stash of money. I am well taken care of here, and I promise there is no reason for concern!
*This post was prompted by several concerned Facebook messages and e-mails that I have received from various people.