EDITOR'S NOTE: YourLifeIsATrip.com executive editor, Judith Fein, received this letter from her friend Manal S. Kelig who lives in Cairo, Egypt. Manal is a devoted mother, wife, tour operator and peace promoter. We publish this with Manal's permission and with gratitude.
Greetings, my apologies for the late reply. Every day I mean to reply but the escalating events are faster than me.
I have been overwhelmed by the chaotic condition that we are living in, and I am not talking about the deaths or the fires, I am taking about the polarizing status that we have been living for the past two years.
For the last 6 weeks all my efforts were directed towards initiatives that aimed to close the gap between the Egyptians. In every single event that ended in violence I knew someone who was harmed there. I had friends who participated in the sit ins and supported it with all their hearts and I had friends who lived in the neighbourhoods of these sit ins and their life became so difficult they had to move out. And yesterday other friends in Luxor had their hotel burned down and their church attacked.
It is very hard days for me as I know friends who are revolutionaries, normal civilians, journalists, MBs, cops, army officers who got shot, are dead or missing and each one of them believe they were standing for justice.
Burned houses, churches, burned police stations and police men, burned cars are all across Egypt. Families mourn the loss of loved ones, the sacredness of their holy places, their personal properties.
Each one of us is making his own sense out of this and --- it is complicated!
I have written an article to members of the expats community in Egypt, to answer back on some of the inappropriate comments that were shot here and there on Egyptians and democracy. I thought instead of starting a war of words, I can try to help them understand better the current issues in the Egyptian community which has reflected on new attitudes and behaviour and avoiding putting my personal opinion in it as much as possible.
I have just returned to Cairo from our house by the Red Sea. By pure coincidence we left Cairo on the same day violence erupted there. We were planning to stay for two days, but we decided to extend as the district where our apartment is had sever demonstrations and also my parents house was in a street under heavy fire. We did not have enough food and shops could not get supply so we had to improvise.
It was a good change for the kids, as their summer camps got canceled, there is 70% chance that schools will not start on 3 Sept. and we are planning a trip to Italy and France in few days and we are keeping the fingers crossed that airports will not be closed.
Watching history in the making is a double edge weapon, it is a huge responsibility to testify as honestly as possible on what is happening, without being scared or loosing faith in each other.
Keep us in your prayers.
Manal S. Kelig is a co- founder of Gateway To Egypt, a sustainable travel provider operating responsible travel to Egypt and other destinations across the globe. YourLifeisATrip.com previously published an Egypt dispatch by Manal's daughter, Omnia, a grade-eight student at Hayah International Academy in Cairo, Egypt. The family invites everybody to come and visit Egypt as soon as possible when the dust settles!
Photo courtesy Manal Saad.