AH! In the words of Egyptians “Eh DAH!?” Usually a taxi ride from downtown Cairo to where I live is a difficult thing, but today was ridiculous. All for a soccer game? So it’s the African finals, so we are defending champions. But even the BASKIN ROBBINS was overflowing with people. Don’t get me wrong; I’m happy to see nationalism in my own country, kind of.
I empathize with my people. They really don’t have much to look forward to, so it’s a boost. Yet I’d like to see this kind of reaction to real issues that hold importance for them, and for their children. This is a soccer game, a game. Although it’s nice to beat out Cameroon for the African Cup of Nations, shouldn’t we start trying to get the masses together, in this same way, to stand up for important issues?
What about the border that is at the moment being pressured to change? What about unemployment in Egypt? What about the misrepresentation of Islam in Egypt? The treatment of minority people, and those that aren’t even classified as minorities? The dishonesty? The anger? The resentment you can see in a lot of people’s faces? Why can’t the Egyptian people get together and cheer a CHANGE on?
I’m not disillusioned as most of my friends would think I am. I’m actually pretty realistic when it comes to most aspects of life. So I don’t think that the people can just get up and scream change, and not worry about what is going to happen. Journalists get arrested and political demonstrators tortured by the government regularly in Egypt. It’s a fact, and we all know it.
I do know this though. If everyone who simply owned a car went out into the streets of Egypt, traffic would stop, for hours and hours. Now imagine they go out and stop traffic for the purpose of demonstrating just ONE of the grievances they have with this country. Will the government be able to stop them? What would be the outcome? I don’t know, I don’t work for the government, and I’ve never been a part of a demonstration in Egypt.
I do know that a ten-minute ride took me an hour and half today, and I was lucky.