Egypt is burning

We will not be silenced, whether your a Christian, whether your a Muslim, whether your an atheist, you will demand your goddamn rights, and we will have our rights, one way or the other! We will never be silenced!

The people are rising up against their government on the streets. The police have abandoned Cairo and other cities, the interior ministry Central Security Force thugs are looting, beating and killing people. The army is both shooting protesters and sympathizing with them asking them to stay off the streets at night so they can root out looting thugs. Civilians are on the street protecting their property. Protesters and police are stopping random cars. And an 82 year old dictator is watching his empire crumble into chaos.

A quick brief of what’s going on in Egypt if you haven’t been watching the news. Over the last week protests have taken over North Africa with Tunisia’s longtime government falling to protesters. This has spread to Egypt and in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez and other cities and hundreds of thousands of people are taking to the streets to overthrow the existing Mubarak government.

Mubarak has been in power for 30 years and the protesters have a variety of economic, political and human rights complaints. The last “elections” were rigged in 2010 and there’s a massive amount of youth in the country with no job prospects. It’s all come to a head and the people are demanding for a new start based on democracy and freedom.

We were so fortunate to visit Cairo while traveling. I feel that in the West when we look towards the East we see the religion rather than the person. That’s really the only news we get these days – Iraq, Afghanastan, taliban, al-Quada – the struggles, never any other message. This is the big benefit of traveling, you get past all the media and get to see what it’s like for yourself. You meet friendly guesthouse owners who go out of their way to make sure your taken care of. Or the archaeologist who gives you a tour of the Pyramids of Giza and Dashur.  Or a White Desert guide who breaks your Shisha cherry. It really puts a face to the troubles that are happening right now in this country.

It also brings to mind how fast things like this can happen in a city that your traveling. All of this instability and political protesting has really erupted in the last week. After Tunisia’s government fell to protesters, I think it showed everyone the power that the people really do have and picked up power.

I just hope that everyone remains safe. It really strikes home how fortunate we are to have basic freedoms and a democratic political party. Even if we’re not perfect, it’s something that people in other countries don’t have and are fighting for right now.

For more up to date information on what’s going on, click below

Yahoo News – A great breakdown of what’s going on

Al Jazeera – watch through Facebook. Provides the best neutral coverage:

Are you following any blogs about this reporting from local sources? If so please share.

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