Archive | January, 2011

Updates from Egypt

30 Jan

Reports coming out of Egypt are pretty spotty but we’re getting tons of traffic from people looking for info on LDS branch members and AUC faculty in Cairo and Maadi. From what I’ve gathered from e-mails, tweets and second hand reports, people in Maadi are safe. The scene last night was much like the rest of Cairo. Looters were roaming the streets. Neighbors barricaded themselves in their apartments and in our old building, AUC #22, Road 213, the men took shifts protecting the building from armed thugs. Alpha Market and Carrefour were badly looted, the Maadi Grand Mall was in flames. There was machine gun fire heard around the neighborhood for a while last night but everything quieted down and seems to be calmer now. Branch members are in contact with the Embassy and are taking care of each other, as the Cairo branch is amazing at doing.¬† For people wondering if there are LDS missionaries in Egypt, there are not. There is a humanitarian missionary couple. I haven’t heard any updates on them but I assume they’re safe.

The BYU Jerusalem group was on their trip to Egypt when the revolution started. I don’t have any updates on them but if you’ve heard anything, feel free to comment.

That’s all the information I have but as I get more, I’ll be sure to update. If you have any info, please share.

1/30/11 10:33 EST

UPDATE:

Recent updates indicate that Maadi is now protected. Neighbors and army are patrolling streets. Gunfire heard but some is from security guards firing into the air to scare off looters. Road 9 is still in good shape. Grocery stores are running low on supplies. Maadi Grand Mall is still standing. Tora Prison is under control. There are tanks and army presence in Degla.

In our AUC apartment building, security guards and residents are patrolling and residents have been meeting in the garden to share information. AUC is working with the Embassy to evacuate faculty voluntarily. Branch members are safe and in contact with each other and the Embassy.

BYU Jerusalem group is back in Israel and was out of harm’s way the whole time.

The Revolution Will Be Tweeted

28 Jan

(cross-posted at By Common Consent)

It was a familiar sight to me. Dozens of men standing silently in a straight line, then bending to their knees, rising again, kneeling, their foreheads touching the ground. I had witnessed it a hundred times before in Cairo. Patrons in the markets, shopkeepers outside their storefronts, security guards and bawaabs behind their huts, all stopping whatever they happened to be doing when the muezzin began the call from the local minaret and performing the salaat, the ritual Islamic prayer.  Watching it on Al-Jazeera English earlier today, it almost looked normal. But the kneeling men were not only facing Mecca, they were also facing crowds of uniformed riot police who watched as the men rose at the end of their prayers. And then with loud cracks, chaos one again erupted as tear gas canisters were fired into the crowd. Continue reading