Today is Friday. A day when I would describe it feels like the world is on fire. It is a sadly familiar fire.
Last night, I went to Cairo Jazz Club with an Egyptian friend, his new flatmate and a charismatic French mother. We all boogied to 90s Night. Beck, Dave Mathews Band covers. Discussed the protests. Felt a bit of the burn of tear gas wafting in the air. But were happy, even knowing the MB was calling for a large demonstration after Friday morning prayers. The dancing in the club was certain, in a very uncertain region.
Today is Friday. And I knew things would/could get pretty bad. So as the Fulbright Commission suggested I do, I had a “safe and happy weekend away from the Tahrir square and the U.S. embassy area.” Well, the second part was more difficult to do because my apartment is in the embassy area. Today, I took the long taxi journey to Maadi to attend a yoga open house at The Breathing Room, a clean and studio surrounded by green and smelling of peaceful essences. The classes were difficult and demanded a Zen-like focus. It felt great to sweat, to breathe cleaner air, to get back into my body.
Tonight, I barely get off the couch.
I post the following on Facebook: I was just about to de-friend all of you posting images or using rhetoric calling for a bullied attack on Libya. But I will refrain and try to stomach the hate I am hearing. Instead, I will combat it with personal truth. I will just tell you that I have good friends in Libya, which is just over the border from here. They are awesome. Businessmen, poets, and people fighting for civil rights including for women and the LGBT community. Yesterday, Libyans took to the streets to apologize. I don’t remember Americans ever taking to the streets to apologize for a war in Iraq or drone casualties. And for all the protesters here in Cairo with anti-Obama signs and chants, I must say thanks (with a whole lot of sarcasm): http://youtu.be/O7VdrtFAuyA
Back on AlJazeera tonight, Secretary Clinton says that as a civilians representing America abroad are “a force of peace, progress and dignity.” I keep saying those words to myself for a half hour after her speech. A force for peace, progress, and dignity. Those concepts will help us all in the days to come. I have a feeling. Then President Obama speaks of the four amazing men we lost. Amazing. This is followed by the National Anthem.
And out of respect for this whole worldy situation, alone in my apartment and yoga gear, I stand.
P.S. I have no idea what I will be for Halloween this year in Cairo. Maybe I’ll just be myself.
***The views and information presented in my blog are my own and do not represent the U.S. Department of State or the Fulbright Scholar Program.