I hate to follow a serious post with another serious post, but such is life sometimes.
September 9: after a day of more protests in downtown Cairo (over an hour from us) there were several dead and several hundred wounded. General chaos ensued, involving rock throwing, destruction of public property, and the burning of six police trucks and a few civilian vehicles. That evening, the Israeli embassy in Cairo was stormed by Egyptians who managed to replace the Israeli flag atop the building with an Egyptian one.
September 11: the American University in Cairo Student Union organized a strike to protest a recent tuition increase, and coordinated with the Security Staff who were demanding contractual employ and a salary increase. As of today September 12, students have opted to stay overnight and sleep in front of the Administration Building. Gates have been blocked off entering campus, and a few arguments have broken out, though there has been no violence; in discipline, several students have had their ID cards deactivated, keeping them off campus.
The consensus is: Egypt is in need of a new government, and at this point, it looks like just about any government would do the trick. The Egyptian Police have long ago lost their authority in the city, and it takes hundreds of Egyptian soldiers, carrying riot shields and bamboo sticks, to stop a “demonstration.” You can google either of these stories to learn more.
Keep the Middle East in your prayers; the Arab Spring is going to change a great many things about this part of the world.
(these photos were taken in downtown Cairo Sept. 10 – click on them to enlarge)