Egypt should be looked at from all angles
Naturally, as an Egyptian-born whose family of origin lives in Cairo (most of them within minutes from Tahreer Square, the belly button of revolt in Cairo), I am deeply concerned. More honestly, I feel terrified, especially when the techno battle between a government so well-versed in self-preservation, irrespective of the brutality required for that, had successfully disrupted most avenues of regular communications.
But I am not writing to lament my family’s woes, I am actually writing to address one of the myriad of feelings occupying my being. It is a strange cocktail of feeling proud of Egyptians, ashamed of its current ruling thugs, afraid for Egypt, worried about family, anxious with inability to connect well with them, and clueless as to what might happen next. The sad fact that brutality often works if applied brutally enough is my reason to feel the anxiety of uncertainty.
I am also proud of and comforted by our students who show connectedness to world events, and the sincere kindness I feel from those who gift me with their actions, words and prayers of support. I am reminded of an Egyptian proverb that says, “If you want to know who your real friends are, get sick,” and I am viscerally grateful to all who kindly expressed their friendship.
That said, I would like to comment on the opinions of Ben Scheelk and Aaron Loudenslager (Thursday Feb. 3). To Scheelk, I have a heartfelt BRAVO for your insightfulness and your research effort to address facts juxtaposed to rumors. Of course, as I am sure you know there is much, much more to the story but I can and do understand the limitations of word numbers when you write a column. I also would like to say bravo to Loudenslager, despite the fact that I disagree with his argument because, at least in my perspective, he seems to be far more focused on attacking President Obama than what is going on in Egypt now. In my own view, and with my finger on the Egyptian pulse, President Obama should be hailed for acting remarkably wisely in a situation where any misstep is guaranteed to lead to disastrous consequences. Yes, more disastrous than we are now watching. Perhaps I am biased, but my focus now is on how to minimize the harm that can easily destroy more than just President Obama’s ratings.
Not all can be all transparent in global politics, and most especially when dealing with that pesky region we call the Middle East. More importantly, any simple (more like simplistic) answers based on an all-or-none mindset are guaranteed to be wrong and potentially dangerous.
Professor, Department of HPER