For those of you that have been following along with our storytellers here and on Roamancing, you may have noticed from our social feeds this past week that we have been somewhat preoccupied by events in Egypt. You see Erica Hargreave and I travelled to Egypt twice in the past year and a half. Once in December 2011 and once in April 2012.
At these two times the Egyptian people were rebuilding from the Arab Spring and going through a somewhat confusing (from my perspective) version of their first democratic election. We were quite fortunate to be in Egypt, at this time, in which history was being made. We were also fortunate in that many people wanted to speak politics with us, from shopkeepers to historic interpreters who were a part of the student protests to young Bedouin gentlemen leading trips into the desert to Egyptian reporters. As a result we got many different perspective with a common thread – that of anticipation, excitement and hope for the future. All of these were contagious, and got me realizing how important the ability to vote is and how fortunate I was to be in Egypt at the time, and to have so many Egyptians sharing with me, their hopes and their dreams. As a result Egypt is a country and Egyptians a group of people that I have grown to love and feel passionate about. It has also put me in the fortunate seat, as the world watches all that is currently unfolding in Egypt, of having a first hand glimpse into Egyptian politics and the history of having had on-going chats on the political climate of Egypt with Egyptians and expats in Cairo over the entire course of the past year and a half. I even have the private ear to two well respected Egyptian reporters and one foreign correspondent in Cairo, so I’ve been hearing what has been going on there before it hits the Western news, if it hits the Western news.
Erica wrote a bit about our insider’s look into the current situation in Egypt in this post she wrote on Thursday morning, after Morsi’s government was ousted ~ Singing for Egypt.
Here’s the inside look we had
- we knew things were bad going into the May Presidential elections when the Egyptian’s had to choose between two presidents they didn’t want – Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood and a supporter of Mubarack (the past dictator)
- by our North American Autumn of 2012, it was clear that Morsi was treating his Presidential appointment like a Dictatorship
- in November 2012, when we were invited back to Egypt, we learned that while things were good in Egypt for expats, they were at an all time low for the Egyptian people
- by our North American Spring of 2013, we were more worried than ever for the Egyptian people as one of our Egyptian reporter friends started to post publicly to my facebook wall prior to media blackouts in Egypt – much of his concern was for heightened violence and sexism towards women in Egypt
So when the events of this past Wednesday unfolded, we all breathed a sigh of relief for the Egyptian people and felt like bursting into tears of happiness for them. For those of you that seem to think this was an anti-democracy military coup. It was not. The Egyptian military were acting in the best interests of the Egyptian people, at the wishes of the Egyptian people. I understand that it is hard for some in the West to understand this, but perhaps this video by the VlogBrothers will help to explain the situation and politics of Egypt to you:
And this is why, as Erica aptly put, we are singing with relief for the Egyptian people.
Although, we will not be completely relieved until the violence of this past week’s events have stopped and all of our friends are accounted for. We look forward to an Egypt with a government that supports all of it’s people, no matter their spiritual believes or gender, in which there is hope and promise for a bright future for the Egyptian people. This revolution is a step in that direction.
And with that, I wish you all love, light, and safe travels,