Home > Uncategorized > Morning of the 4th

Morning of the 4th

Spent the early morning trying to meet up with a guy from the office I’ve been working at over the past week, but to no avail.  The 26th of July bridge, which leads from my apartment on the island of Zamalek to the rest of the city, is guarded on the ground by a number of soldiers, as well as a number of increasingly difficult citizens.  For the first time in all of this, the soldiers refused to let us through, despite our insistence and attempts at persuasion.  Also for the first time, citizen patrols composed of people I don’t recognize from my own neighborhood have started coming up onto the bridge.

After being turned down by the soldiers we tried to go around their barricade, following 26th of July street a few blocks into the city and cutting across back in the direction of the office, but to no avail.  Before we had made it two blocks we were met and stopped by a number of Egyptians armed with clubs, knives, and an electric tazer.  After some explanations and arguments in Arabic, and a brief attempt to force us to go to the police despite the close proximity to the army, we were forced to turn around.  With the Army right there and in control, the only people who wanted to lead me down side streets so I could talk to “the police” aren’t the type of people I was planning on going anywhere with.

This is completely frustrating.  After having left for home yesterday, we can’t get anywhere near what’s going on.  I’m listening to Ivan Watson live from Tahrir right now on CNN.  He’s somehow managed to get into the square – which might be one of the safest places to be as a foreigner – and is giving some good coverage from within.  I’m hoping he and another guy I’ve run into a few times, Ian Lee, keep at it. I don’t know how easily foreigners and reporters will be able to get in there once they’ve left.

Back at my apartment we’ve just decided to head to the airport.  I cancelled my flight  for early this morning hoping that the Army would step up today or that things would take a turn for the better, but that doesn’t seem to be the case right now.  If I were able to get anywhere near Tahrir, or even back with the group we’ve been with the past few days, I would.  For now though, there’s absolutely nothing I can do but stay in my apartment and watch the news, and that’s  no reason to stay with all that is going on.  The group working on medical supplies, etc, I mentioned yesterday has become similarly constrained and I simply don’t see any good that can come of my staying anymore.  If you couldn’t tell, this is frustrating the hell out of me and I’m not an Egyptian.  I can’t even begin to imagine how the Egyptian people I live with and around are feeling right now.

At the moment I’m trying to make sure I’m making the right choices by writing my thoughts down and reviewing them.  Welcome to my mind then, I suppose.  I was waiting for this morning to see where I could get to within the city, and if I could be of any help, but we’re completely unable to get anywhere of use.  Being 6 ‘4, white, and unmistakably foreign doesn’t make me great at being inconspicuous here.

A number of our friends have flights out today and I’d rather not have any of us travel alone, so we’re going to do this as a group in a few minutes.  We’ll be camped out hardcore in the airport for awhile as my flight isn’t until Sunday, but we’ll stay in touch as best as possible.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Elizabeth Hofstedt
    February 4, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Big hug, Xuchi

  2. Richard Wolf
    February 4, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Hang in there! God’s speed, Tom.

  3. Elizabeth Hofstedt
    February 4, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    Yes, it is difficult being a 6 “4” stunningly handsome American man period. Standing out will always be your curse my darling cousin. Big hug, Xuchi

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