02 February 2013

We did nothing yesterday.  It was Friday, and a holy day, so didn’t even try.  Tahir square went off again, and they marched on the palace, but we stayed away from it all.  Thankfully.

Cleopatra is ready for action!

Cleopatra is ready for action!

Today:  Well, we went back to Immigration as required, but the booth was already closed.  Try again tomorrow at 10am basically!  (Considering we were here in the morning, not sure what is happening)  The square was quiet today, after what we had heard and been told about yesterday, this was quite surprising.  There was a new addition to the burnt out car, tents and flags.  They had hung a headless effigy of the president from one of the street lights.  Sorry, no pictures, as we do not want the possibility of any problems.

Blocking the city from the protesters or blocking the protesters from the city?

Blocking the city from the protesters or blocking the protesters from the city?

After this, it was another walk around this part of Cairo.  Wandering up one street, we passed the University of America.  This is no longer in operation, and as we were walking past, several rocks were thrown in our direction.  This turned out to be a couple of guys trying to get our attention from one of the abandoned buildings.  Looking up, they just wanted to say hello and welcome!  We were invited to their squat, but politely declined.

 

Remembering their friends.

Remembering their friends.

The side streets here are all barricaded off, and we kept going along the street to find out how far we had to go before they ran out of big blocks of stone.  It was quite a few.  During this, we were admiring all the graffiti.  We are not sure what a lot of it means, but there are quite a lot of people with angels wings, and we assume that these are people that have died during the revolution or protests.  Others are fascist symbols relating to the president, and anarchistic symbols everywhere.

No signs of trouble at the Palace.

No signs of trouble at the Palace.

From here we accidentally ended up at the Palace, where severe protests had been held yesterday, with 21 people injured.  Today it was empty.  Even the street sweepers had been through.  The only reminder of the unrest were alert guards and barb wire everywhere.  However a few enterprising men had gone through it and using the peaceful area to practice their soccer skills!  It is amazing how the unrest is restricted to certain areas.  Last night while at dinner, we had seen the protesters go past, gathering at the round about near our hostel, but it was peaceful, and they moved on a few minutes later.  We joked that they were organising the slogans for the next section of the walk.

A nice quite place to play soccer.

A nice quite place to play soccer.

There are a lot of mixed opinions here about the protesters.  Some are in support, thinking that the extreme Muslims are causing problems, others are unhappy as they had worked in tourism, and not been able to find work since the uprising, and others supporting it.  Any which way, it will be interesting to see what happens during the elections (hopefully from a distance).

We have met many friendly people here that just want a chat.  One person from Afghanistan, that has been in exile for 12 years, although he says that Afghanistan is adopting to democracy better than Egypt, others from all over the country.  If you keep your wits about you, the city seems safe enough, although a lot of men are extremely sexually repressed (you can work out yourselves how we know this….)

We met up with Ali again, and had a few more drinks.  I think I have now drunk more alcohol in Egypt than the last year combined!  It is fun, and although we still cannot pay for anything, we appreciate the hospitality shown to us.

AA

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