We went to Coptic Cairo today to walk around. It was really quite interesting to see how their churches look. The outsides look pretty similar to western ones, but, inside, things are much more Islamic in style.
The Coptic museum was cool, because it showed the transition between “pagan” gods to Christianity. There was no clear-cut change; there were a lot of times where Dionysus or Aphrodite would be featured, even though the people were Christian.
The way that they show Jesus in their paintings is really interesting too. He looks much more Arab than what you see depicted in European or American churches (for obvious reasons).
After Coptic Cairo, we came back to Maadi for some shawarma (I will really miss shawarma!).
On our way home, driving through Maadi, we saw people in line to vote at the schools and lots of army men out for safety. There was a long line of tan tanks and a couple big trucks full of soldiers. I wonder how the rest of Cairo looks today, because if Maadi has so many soldiers, the rest of Cairo must be crawling with them. Maadi is an extremely calm place in comparison to other locales.
Things were quite busy on the road, considering the time of day and the place. There were obviously a lot of people out. However, I’ve read that the turnout for the elections have not been that high in comparison to the previous voting period. It will be really, really interesting to see who wins this. I wish I could stay for inauguration at the end of the month.
Either way, I completely expect there to be a backlash. I don’t know how severe it will be, but there will be people completely beside themselves if either man wins.
I plan to spend the rest of the afternoon reading up on Egyptian politics and following the election from my computer. I really wish we had a television here so I could watch the news! It’s weird being here and feeling like such a concerned citizen. However, this election will decide the future of Egypt for years to come. Whoever is elected will oversee the formation of a totally new governing body for one of the most influential countries in the Middle East. It’s an exciting time to be in Egypt!
Want to know more about the presidential candidates?