Thursday, August 15, 2013

The most astonishing things about today

If you were here, american friends, these are the things that would most surprise you:

- most Egyptians think all of this, the rise of the brotherhood, the coup,the bloodshed today, has been engineered by America and Obama.  

- no matter what happens today, tomorrow, next month, next year, they will continue to think this.  

- all of the Egyptians I know personally, except the journalists and human rights people, are pleased that Sisi cleared the brotherhood protests, and think the brotherhood brought the deaths on themselves.  It is a like a red state/ blue state divide from hell.  To a certain segment of Egyptian society, quite well-represented in Cairo, the Brothers are enemies, not real Egyptians and their deaths don't count.

- the official English-language voices of the Brotherhood, who have no need to embellish the injustices visited on this group lately, can't help themselves.  Death tolls, reports of mass uprisings, are all manifestly false and cannot be trusted.  

- everyone, everyone, to the last person, saw today coming.  It was like a big bright blinking roadside sign, This Way to Massacre and the Gates of Hell.  Nobody who could have turned, did.  The question of why not will bother me for a long time.  

- That said, as I walked alone with the boys through the neighborhood, after all the warnings and closings had gotten too numerous to ignore, i saw only one person.  A few moments before, leaving the US embassy swim and tennis club, everyone had said, "be safe," "Be careful.". The shady wide streets were deserted, except for a few motorcycles.  Workmen were scraping off the tiles at the top of the wall surrounding the swim club, ostensibly to add a few layers of barbed wire.  I worried we might see burning cars or smashed windows.  Instead one of the boabs, who are like doormen but more rural, came running out to the street to give me and the boys handfuls of fresh sweet basil.  He often does this.  For no reason.  We carried it home and locked the door.

And here is what Emmett and I did this morning while the police cleared the square (not knowing yet what was happening):

- Posted by Laura