Egypt is still very much on my mind. Yesterday I had an email from Nadia, the one Cairo person in the group of academics I worked with on Women Writing Africa: The Northern Region. She is a professor of English at the university there. This is what she wrote:
Thank you for your concern and sorry for not responding earlier. I go to Tahrir Sq every day. . . . Today I joined 20,000 faculty members from Cairo Univ on a demonstration that marched from Qasr al Aini St till Tahir Sq. I was there from around 12 till 5 p.m. and I came home at around 7 and went straight to bed. Just woke up now and I’m still very tired. . . you have no idea how stressed out and tense we all are.
The stamina of the youth is amazing and is increasing every day. The momentum is incredible. However, we are all extremely apprehensive and also scared about what’s going to happen.
Think of us and pray for us.
Heba, an academic at the university in Alexandria, where there have also been demonstrations, wrote to question whether “President Obama has a commitment to freedom. . . . I believe that the ones who truly care for freedom are people like you and many of my American and European friends, intellectual and humane people. . . . Please pray for our country.”
I am a regular news junkie, and I am totally absorbed by the events in Egypt, and totally frustrated by not being able to get Al Jazeera and sometimes nothing decent about what is happening at every hour. Charlie Rose has been the best, and occasionally the PBS 7 p.m. news and more occasionally CNN. And I’m willing to confess that I did something I have never done before—registered at the White House site and written a brief note (probably too brief to be coherent) to the President about Egypt.