12 February 2012

Maintaining Empathy in a Persistent Conflict

Because of the daily talk of clashes between security forces and the Egyptian people in the news, it can be incredibly difficult to maintain the notion that this is not a "normal" thing.

When a place turns into a war zone, it is almost impossible to contextualize that, on a normal day, people live, work and play on those streets. 

I do not think this is any fault of our own, really. 

Mapping Last Week's Cairo Clashes

One of the biggest struggles in comprehending conflicts in unfamiliar areas is that there is usually no attempt to contrast the current images with what the area looked like before, in relative normalcy.

I've managed to scour through my photos of my time living in downtown Cairo and come up with a good "before" picture to provide some context for last week's clashes and give an idea of just how unrecognizable the area is now.

11 February 2012

Early Returns: Strikes Not Happening

Reports from around Cairo seem to indicate that the nationwide call for a general strike has mostly fallen on deaf ears.

Bikya Masr is reporting that most shops in Cairo are open and operating as usual, and transportation at Cairo International Airport and through the Suez Canal seems to be normal.

General Strike Set for Anniversary of Mubarak Departure

After yesterday's large protests at the Ministry of Defense thankfully completed without major incident, a general strike is set to take place in Egypt today to mark the one-year anniversary of Hosni Mubarak relinquishing power.

The goal of the strike is to demand the military's immediate handover of the government to civilian authority. (Lots of unfortunate irony there.) The military has continued to reinforce its stance that it will not concede power until after the presidential elections in late June.

10 February 2012

Day of Gathering (Links)

Every Friday (known as Yom el-Goma--'the day of gathering' in Arabic) I will post links here under this heading that I have accumulated over the week that do the best job of summing up the week's events in Egypt.

Not sure whether I will separate them by day or event at this point, we'll just see how it evolves over time. Unless in quotes, all the commentary underneath links is my own.

Since I just decided to rejig this blog yesterday, this post is very light on linkage.

As the Anniversary Approaches

Street protests in Cairo are expected to grow significantly today in anticipation of tomorrow's one-year anniversary of Hosni Mubarak's abdication.

Ahram Online reports that at least ten separate marches are slated to converge on the defense ministry building in the Nasr City neighborhood throughout the day from different parts of the capital.