All / Originally Posted on Skirt

Images of Cairo

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Seven days of protesting in Egypt. Cynical as this may seem, instead of thinking, “Wow, I’m grateful to be away while all the trouble is happening,” all I can think is how much I wish I were there to write about it.

I think about all my friends who are still there, quietly going about their lives, and the friends who are joining in the anti-Mubarak protests all around the country. My funny little blog posts from two years ago, describing the mild disaster that followed in my wake everywhere I went in Cairo, must seem to them so frivolous, so unnecessarily focused on foreign-ness. Many of my friends from the States, Britain and other points west moved to Cairo and took to it like a duck to water, living there for three or five or ten years. They formed lives there in the way that I couldn’t, but have in Britain. Their writing about Cairo in emails and blogs is rich with the experience of the everyday; of the sense of home and normality. And these are the expats, not even my friends who grew up there. It feels callous now to want to be part of the action, but only when something interesting is going on.

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