Tuesday, February 1, 2011

All eyes on Egypt

For the record, I am working on another novel, but I didn't get as much writing done today as I usually aim to. I've been watching the news via internet as the Egyptians gathered in Tahrir Square to demonstrate against President Mubarak, who's been in power for 30 years. He keeps getting "re-elected" in a series of uncontested, or might as well be uncontested elections. Today he announced that he won't run for re-election in September, and has claimed he never intended to anyway (sure, whatever). That's not satisfactory for the demonstrators, so it looks like they'll stage more demonstrations.

As of now, these demonstrations have been going on for a week. Recent demonstrations in nearby Tunisia went on for a month before they secured the resignation of their political leader. What happens over the next week or three should be very, very interesting to watch.

My former high school roommate, Sally El-Hosaini, is Egyptian (I attended the United World College of the Atlantic, Class of 1995). She's now a freelance screenwriter and director here in London. For the past few days, she's been posting items on her Facebook page, including video clips, information to help people within Egypt get internet access, and details about demonstrations happening here in London at the Egyptian embassy, which I gather she's helping to organize. She was on the Channel 4 news tonight, which I missed because I don't have television.

As much as I want to keep working hard on my writing, it's important to stop and watch when history is unfolding. I, like many others on the planet, wish Egypt all the best. Here's hoping that the people get the stable, peaceful transition to the democracy they clearly want so much.

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