Monday, November 21, 2011

Deja Vue All Over Again

"If you got it today you don't want it tomorrow, man, 'cause you don't need it, 'cause as a matter of fact, as we discovered in the train, tomorrow never happens, man. It's all the same f---ing day, man."

                                                               Janis Joplin

Yes, it's alll the same day...especially in Egypt.

We could sing:

"Yes, it's beginning to look a lot like Revolution everywhere we go."

Or we could sing this round I was trying to teach Mr. Boo:

"Cairo's burning!  Cairo's burning!
Fetch the engines!  Fetch the engines!
Fire, Fire!  Fire, Fire!
Pour on water!  Pour on water!  Pour on waaaater!"

Sing it, say it, blog it out...hey!  Even Twitter it! 

In fact, please Twitter it, because then I get some idea of what's going on in Egypt----at least from one point of view.  Some of what I read is really twisted dreams of what SHOULD happen in a reforming country instead of what history tells us DOES happen in a reforming country. 

This picture at the top is actually from the Twitter feed.  It shows you how Egypt is right now.  Egypt is a mix.  Egypt has an angry mob burning down the city and army soldiers and police fighting them to the death.  It also has a cotton candy man.  It makes me laugh.  Even knowing the huge toll this latest uprising is taking, that picture makes me laugh and it makes me hopeful.

There's a human spirit which drives us to keep going here in Egypt.  It's the dad I see every morning bringing his daughter to school on the handlebars of his bike.  He's not young and she's no longer so small.  It's not a joy ride for him yet it's a ride of joy.  He keeps going because he has hope for the future.  God bless him. 

I didn't want to go to school this Sunday.  I wondered if it would be cancelled.  It wasn't.  Some schools closer to Tahrir were.  Remember that I'm very safe in Giza.  So I went.  When I saw the people, like the dad on the bike, I felt like I was not alone in my fears or my hopes. We are together in a unified mission to keep the country running; to keep our families getting their needs met. 

Why?  Because someone has to. 

Someone has to teach school during a revolution.  Ironically, I am teaching about the Pilgrims and the Native American Indians befriending each other.  These two groups came together to share a place and time.  They gave thanks.  We remember them each year on Thanksgiving.

There is no school for us this Thursday.  I'm thinking of fasting during the day and then eating pizza that night.  It will mark five very full years since my son's father left us and flew to Egypt.  It is hitting me as sad and momentus.  Fasting seems a good way of marking the day.

Friday?  I don't know.

Saturday?  Not sure.

Sunday, once again I'm supposed to return to school.

Monday, inshahallah, is the election.  It was just announced that all the schools will be closed. 

Today, another American teacher asked me, "Do you see yourself here forever?"

I answered, "I have seen myself being forever with marriages, homes, jobs, friends and been wrong.  So, I've stopped thinking of forever.  I don't know what will happen."

I like what Fadel Soliman said.  He said that being a Muslim isn't being happy or sad.  Being Muslim is just accepting.  I'm doing a pretty good job accepting this latest melee.

I thought about my hometown.  It really isn't much safer than here.  There are gang warfares from drug deals gone wrong.  I am no where near those danger zones.  I only hear about the killings on the news.  It doesn't really affect me.

This is how it is here.  Bad things are happening.  Not here.  I'm safe here.  It's happening somewhere and I know about it.  Yet, I need to keep my life in perspective and stay focused on building our life not getting distracted by those who want to tear the world apart.

It's going to happen.  Again and again.

Playwright Bertolt Brecht in "Mother Courage" said a most revolutionary thought.  It struck me so when I was still a teenager.  Most people view the world as peaceful until a war breaks out.  The reality is that the world is warlike and every now and then peace breaks out.

After a hardship there is ease.


MarieHarmony said...

Very moving but happy to know you are in a safe place. When I watch TV I see people with hope in their eyes thinking it can be better.
I hope for all Egyptian people it can be better, for me maybe as well, as chance are one day we will make the Journey back home and I have dreams for our children.
After hardship comes ease. Always.
Take care

Zeba said...

Stay safe. I needed to read up on this issue. Thanks for initiating the much needed interest. You write in a wonderfully gripping manner..