Or so Twitter, News and Facebook inform me.....
I came away outside of Cairo to get away from it all, however today, I have been as glued by the news poolside as I would have been if I had stayed home! There are literally millions of Egyptians protesting today, wanting the president, Morsi, to leave.
I was asked by a few people if I was going with them to Tahrir today. No. For 3 main reasons...
1- I believe that Egypt is for Egyptians and although us foreigners showing our support is all well and good, anything that may distract from the main cause is a disservice to the 'revolution'. I don't want to be part of the 'foreign hands' that protesters are continuously being accused of having their strings pulled by.. It's their country- they have to fight for how they want it to be. I am just a guest here (even if I am a tax paying guest!!!) they have my full mental and emotional support- just not my body, which leads me onto...
2- I have heard too many personal reports of sexual harassment in crowded areas to want to put myself into those situations. My heart goes out to these victims and also to the protesters they were joining. Because the thing is- when a woman is raped in Tahrir, especially a foreign woman, the suddenly THAT is the main headline news, and the reason thousands of people are in the streets gets forgotten about or swept to the side. I wouldn't want that for me, my friends, my family, or for the protestors. So I avoid crowded areas. I do want to give a shout out though to Tahrir Bodyguard though and other such voluntary organizations that are there in the streets protecting women to the extent that today the chants from the women in the crowd were as loud as the men at one point! Go ladies go- I am so impressed by your strength and courage. I hope you get what you want!
3- it's my birthday. I have lived through nearly 8 years of life in Egypt and to be honest- the mental stress of life here has become hard to shoulder since the revolution two and a half years ago. Fireworks go off to celebrate a wedding and I jump- listening closely in case they are gunshots. (They seldom are- but I have become paranoid!). So this weekend I just wanted to run away and switch off from it all. I love my job. I love Egypt. I love the passion I am seeing in the streets of Egypt today, but the worry and stress of what will happen as a result exhausts me.
So I ran away- (hanging head in shame) ... But yes- I have spent ALL day following the local news... Concerned over the fate of my friends protesting today and the future of the country. So I managed 1 and 2 and failed on 3!
Ah well- at least my family and friends outside of Egypt especially know they don't have to worry about me for a change.
Tomorrow I am due to be performing on the Pharaoh boat. It will depend what happens through this evening and tonight whether anyone will be going out for Nile cruise dinners tomorrow evening. No one knows what will happen between now and then.
If you want to keep informed of what's going on in Egypt the best news sources in my opinion are Facebook page 'Egyptian Streets' and new news website www.madamasr.com . Or follow me on twitter (bellylorna) and see some of the things I RT there!