Ron and I discussed how, and if, to discuss the recent bombings in the Gaza Strip and Israel, since Egypt is definitely involved. And while I would like to pretend that life in Cairo is always roses and kittens, well kittens at least, I did want to at least address the situation and hopefully assuage any concerns (or inflate them, depending on the reader’s news-exposure).
When the latest bombings into and out of Gaza began three days ago we were avidly watching the news, from CNN International, to Arab news channels (you’d be surprised at the difference in coverage… leading one to realize that it’s always best to get your news from multiple, non-affiliated sources, so as to maybe get to the truth somewhere in between). However, of course, the truth in this matter is that bombs are flying back and forth and people are hurting. When something like this happens I always find myself thinking, “Who started it?” But in this case, with a war-torn history dating back thousands of years, that’s part of the problem, and at this point, it’s irrelevant to a solution, as no one will ever agree who started it.
Egypt is involved due to it’s border-sharing of the Gaza Strip with Israel. Plus we are living in an Islamic country, so when Islamic leaders call for protests and demonstrations, Egyptians participate as much as any other country (but luckily it’s almost always peaceful, or intended as such). So, to be careful and cautious and extra-vigilant expats, we watch the news, know where the demonstrations will be (this university or that one), and make sure to avoid the area on that day. There is a definite increase in the military’s presence in Cairo, but there tend to be 300 military for every 100 protestors.
Suffice it to say, we are staying smart and not doing anything foolish. And we are very safe. Let’s send our collective heart-wishes to those who need it most right now, and sadly that’s a lot of the world’s inhabitants. Suffering knows no borders.