Tonight i was at a friends house, playing trivial pursuits. It was a lovely evening, until his mum called to warn us that there were troubles downtown and that a curfew had been put into place from 2-7am.
We left immediately and I got home to read all the news and see the heart breaking video footage of army trucks driving straight at protestors.
Seemingly there was a demonstration, by copts and supporting muslims against the burning of a church in Aswan last week. Armed thugs came and attacked them, and then in the fighting that ensued the army became involved and were shooting live ammo into the crowds and then driving at the people in tanks. The worst 'crowd management' you could imagine. Many are dead, even more are injured. It's horrific and sad and pointless.
Chaos in Cairo ( although at the moment its only in downtown area of Cairo.... We didn't see any problems at all on our way home to mohandiseen) .
This is not a fight about religion. Its a fight for human rights.
WHATEVER the argument- driving over civilians in armoured tanks cannot ever be acceptable?!!!
God/Allah- whatever you want to call him, be with the families of those injured and killed tonight............. I feel sick to my stomach thinking about it all and hope to God that there is peace by morning. The people of cairo have already had such a difficult year, and although i have always said I suspected it will get worse before it gets better, i really did not imagine the army would go to these extreme lengths to bring the people down. Either some peace treaty of sorts will have to be worked out tomorrow between the army and the christian protestors, or i suspect there will be more violence to come. I really hope its the former...
An Egyptian Journlist friend is just writing to me now and asking me to write that he believes the army want to please the Islamists. But wants you to know that only 5million out of 85 million Egyptians are Islamists. They gather support from the masses partly because they have always had it played that is is 'us or them'... ie if you are not with us you are against us. But now, due to recent behaviour, for example the burning of the church last week, less people are sympathing with the Islamists and more are wanting equality for all. Although it's not been polled, he believes the majority of Egyptians are against this sectarianism. Certainly everyone i know in Cairo is.
For friends and family reading this- Cairo is a big city- and i live very far from the troubles tonight which are very localised in the downtown area. I am home and safe and will stay that way- don't worry. Egypt is my home and i love it here. It's just going through a painful growing spurt right now, I hope she grows up soon.....