Funny how the picture changes in a span of 6 months. I left Cairo back in December of last year. It was still a city reeling with anger against the army, speculation about presidential elections, burgeoning grass-root activities and hope for a better future.
June 23rd - yesterday I woke up at 3 pm, totally jet lagged and totally lazy and relishing the fact that someone else is taking care of my kids' needs.. Ohhh I love being here!
My BB was flashing red.. I smiled inwardly, my friends must be checking on me! grabbing it from my bedside< i look at the dozens of identical broadcasts I've received.. this wasn't about my return home... This was a mass call, initiated by a friend, gone viral, to go rally for a modern secular Egypt at a specific time in Heliopolis..
I'm going to see my in laws anyway today... I'll make sure to drop by to see what people think..
In the two days, I've been here, i've noticed a huge scene shift..
All the hopeful faces I left back in December, are now grim with anger, despair and frustration.
Everyone who voted Islamist back in November parliamentary elections, has now categorically voted Shafik (i.e. military).. Revolutionaries refused to vote and are now biting at their knuckels. Ironically some actually went to yesterday's rally for Shafik. There are also those who voted Morsi (i.e. crazy) to spite the military but are now biting a bit further down their peripharies in remorse.
A huge number of voters went for a military rule: "We are being shot at," my brother told me when I was debating my vote. "think of it as a penalty. you have to defend your goal, you don't really have a choice. you abstain, you lose your right to defend yourself."
It's a lose-lose situation and I feel sorry for everyone involved. We all voted or abstained for all the wrong reasons. One year ago, 88 million Egyptians were unified for one common cause: the end of corruption and regaining control over our own future. Today, 25 minutes before the announcement of the presidential elections, a sense of fear, betrayal, and guilt permeates the air. That, for now is our common denominator!