Thoughts from The Square: July 10, 2013

July 10th: Caught In a Protest

On the night of July 10th my Egyptian project manager tried to rush us into his car following an interview session in Zamelak. He said we weren’t able to go out tonight because the Muslim Brotherhood was protesting on the streets. Eight foreign girls packed in to his car, we sat on each others laps; six in the back and me in the front with a fellow intern. On the way to Sheraton we were laughing and joking with each other and the driver.

We missed an exit in the midst of fun so we reversed about 40 yards on the highway and got off the exit. In Egypt there is absolute chaos on the road. There is no social order on the road and no rules. Within a few minutes of driving on the exit ramp, our project manager suddenly realized he took the wrong exit and we were heading somewhere we shouldn’t be. He said that he heard the muslium brotherhood was pulling people out of their cars and shooting them. At the end of the road were military tanks about five meters high and there cannons were pointed in our direction, they were trying to contain the protests from bleeding out into the rest of the city. We had no where to turn but reverse and take the second exit off the ramp. There were hoards of people walking next to us and around us in the street. The roads were packed with people trying to get out of the area and other trying to join the protests. The girls and I were a mix between afraid and awed. I heard our driver breathing heavily and I could see beads of sweat collecting next to his temples. We were in a traffic jam that was heading towards a protest, in Egypt, led by the Muslim brotherhood. He tried to keep us calm, calling the loud snaps outside, “Chinese fire crackers”. I felt nauseas as I looked out the window but every time I closed my eyes what I imagined pried them open again. About five feet to our right I saw a large arm with a handgun waiving out the window. It would have taken nothing to shoot through the car windows or doors. We found our way out of the bumper to bumper traffic and then wandered into another jam of people walking in the streets. We thought that we were out of the worst but then I saw black graffiti on the wall that read “IT WAS A COUP”, my heart dropped and my blood went cold. After much anxiety, praying and crying we made it out of the crowds and headed towards home.

It’s Too Dark

Egypt Streets
Egypt Streets

Was it a coup?
Was it a coup?
It’s Too Dark

Call me back fast I am in the danger zone

Men in tight tshirts and big arms

I like the way you hold that gun Mr. Army man

Point that weapon over there and hope he wont shoot over here

Fear in our breaths getting deeper and harder

Too many bodies too little time

I cant run or hide in this jam we can only hold each other and pray

Air is not an option only tear

Gas in the atmosphere I cant see with these specks

Change your face and your perspective

Only certain people allowed on the streets

But not me not me

Cover my hair I cant show any of this blonde

They will come for you and me but only because we strike first

This is a coup written on their arms with blood

The innocence purged in dark allys

Fire flares push the beasts away but only for a moment

The leaders are still no where to be found

And trust me, I’ve looked

It is too dark in here I cant see past these city lights and denile

Media scores telling the facts straight from the puppeteers

Mouth swollen and bruised I can’t shout any louder

Only we can make a difference but God only knows for how long.

There is no one answer only a mentality

She is not pure and he is too dirty

too hungry to speak too hungry

For love for bread for sex for blood,

They fight for freedom

We watch from our living rooms

death tolls climb just numbers on a page

Safer here then on the streets our law and order at its peak

In a dream woken from a nightmare but dangerously close

to the cliff we see the edge but don’t worry we are immune

Smoke in the sky buildings burned and faces scared

Quick get her out of this mess, she is precious as jewels

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