Monday, March 14, 2011
The frustration of waiting is mounting daily. Each setback requires new planning to cover the anticipated stay in Egypt. Having said that, there are positive sides to the waiting. One positive side is to reflect on the overall Egyptian situation. The end of 30 years of political domination and the beginning of a hopefully more open and democratic period is most noteworthy. I know of no period in Egypt's past where the country was governed as a democracy. What is needed to make the transition? In the most basic terms three things are needed to usher in the new government: 1) food, 2) jobs 3) self-determination. When those three conditions are met the opportunity for an entirely new social order and societal growth are possible. Enough reflection. It looks like the schedule is now back on for the first part of April. Perhaps then we can get back to the business of whatever it is Professors do. Enshallah.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Things are still on hold. There are indications that the University may open next week. In which case, my departure is near. However, we have had false hopes in the past so I am continuing to wait with patience. There were demonstrations in Tahrir Square in Cairo which did not really relate to the political situation there but do indicate an underlying social problem. A group of women went to the square to celebrate World Women's Day and were harassed by a large group of men who eventually drove them from the square. Gender equity comes hard in many places. Lastly, the friction dealing with Coptic Christians also is playing a part in the disorder. Yesterday the Army was used to quell a religious disturbance. Copts and Moslems have lived side by side for centuries, it is sad to see this sort of disruption surface. Will let you know how the opening of the university goes.