Update from Cairo

I don’t really know what to make of Cairo yet. Sometimes it reminds me of a dustier Chicago with a stray cat problem and signs in illegible onts, and sometimes it reminds me of Tataouine from Star Wars. But most of the time, I just don’t know what to make of it. Most of that stems from the fact that we haven’t really had a chance to explore Cairo yet due to the demonstrations.

As I’m sure all of you have heard, there have been protests and demonstrations in Egypt as well as other Middle Eastern countries, and some have turned violent, like in Libya. Our thoughts go out to everyone who has been affected in any way by the violence caused by these protests and the offensive movie that sparked them. We would like all of you to know first and foremost that we are safe and taking many steps to keep it that way. We have taken extra precautions and have stayed around our dorms at the American University in Cairo, which is located in Zamalek, one of the safest areas of Cairo. The only signs of the demonstrations we’ve seen are increased security at our dorms, a cancelled bus trip, and the TV perpetually tuned to a live stream of Tahrir Square.

While we are taking everything seriously, we are not letting this stop us from learning about the city, from lectures on the recent revolution and Islam to other students at the AUC. We may not be able to explore, but we can still pick everyone’s brains! We are making the best of the situation, and being in Cairo during the aftermath of their revolution and during the midst of some more political unrest has really put what we’ve heard about on the news into context. We are hopeful, though, this will all be resolved quickly and peacefully, and we’ll be able to trek further into the city and see, in real life, places that have only existed for us in flashes on the TV and pictures on the internet, but have been part of a turbulent reality for many Egyptians for the past year and a half.

But, of course, we promise to only do that once it is safe!

Katie

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