Wednesday, August 10, 2011

London's burning.....


My parents have always been worried about my life in Cairo. They worry I will get killed crossing the streets after visiting Cairo a few years ago and being horrified during their numerous taxi rides, or that I’ll be abducted or even worse... that I might fall in love with an Egyptian man, marry him and end up living far away from them forever!

When the Egyptian young people took to the streets in Cairo and around Egypt to protest against police violence and prejudice, nobody thought it would end in a revolution which succeeded in bringing down a president of 30 years.... nobody thought these people would stand and be run over by vans and cars, brought down by tear gas and bullets... all because they truly, rightly believed they deserved better from their country and those who ruled it. Life was so bad that they were actually willing to give up their lives, and sadly many did. Some still are suffering for what they stand for, with many protesters still locked up and being charged by martial law even though they are from a self-appointed civilian ‘army’ rather than the one their government has always forced them into.



When I first heard the news of the current London Riots (which have now unfortunately, spread all across England) I found it really hard to find something in me to criticise them. For so many months now my heart and mind has been behind those who had to protest and were continually pushed back. Who were attacked then given the full blame, called lawless and troublemakers, for the youth on the streets- making their voices heard.

It has taken me all day of reading news and looking into how it all happened... into the ‘reasons’. There are none.......... absolutely none.... These are not protests...

.... these youths are nothing like the men (and women) of Egypt and Syria and Tunisia and Libya to name but a few countries where ‘riots’ have made headline news over the last 7 months. No these young people already have free education, free healthcare, freedom of speech and benefits to save them from the worst of poverty. These rioters of London, and other now ruined cities, know nothing of the extremes of life that are thrown at people who are imprisoned and killed just for attempting to create a political party. Who were tortured for their beliefs and for voicing them. Who have lived their lives in unwarranted fear of the police just going about their daily lives. In fact- I have to quote from twitter to make my point fully,

“ the youths of the Middle East rise up for basic freedoms... the youths of London (Birmingham , Manchester etc ) rise up for a HD ready 42” Plasma TV.”

Political soapbox aside.... my personal feelings have surprised me. I have had flashbacks to the levels of panic I felt throughout the early days in Cairo in the revolution when none of us had any idea how things would work out. I forgot how it felt to have that sort of tightness in the chest and stomach, that degree of uncertainty what will come next for your country and for the future for everyone in it .... At least in Cairo I had sympathy for the youths.... now I just have a fury that I cannot type fast enough about here at Edinburgh airport ...

Have to end this now........

..........” Boarding now at gate 12” .......... London calling.........

2 comments:

Victoria said...

Totally agree!

Annette McCann said...

I'm right with you there Lorna, and how beautifully put.
According to the endless chat on the local media, most would agree with you too. These events have brought nothing but shame on Britain. Something in the culture has got to change. I bet Cameron isn't "Hugging a Hoodie" now ay??
Lots of love xxx