Daisy's Semester in Cairo

Now, less "in" Cairo, and more "about" Cairo

Academic Blog

For my Media and Politics in the Middle East and North Africa Class this semester at Dickinson we are required to keep a blog to discuss topics in class and current events. Obviously most of my interest has been in Egypt but we will start to look at some other issues in the ME and North Africa too so if anyone is interested in those dialogues from my classmates (hopefully) and more of my rambling the link is: 

http://daisypolysci.blogspot.com/

Thanks so much for your attention!

—-Daisy

Mubarak’s Done

As I’m sure most of you have heard, read or seen, the regime of Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak came to an end yesterday as his official resignation was broadcasted throughout Egypt and the world. This American could not be more overjoyed.

What I have learned from Egypt (as short as my stay was) is that the power of people still exists. The people of Egypt sacrificed greatly to achieve this end, and their suffering must never be forgotten. As one of the young men I met in Egypt conveyed to me upon my departure, “This is our time, and everyday I go out in the street I know I could come back hurt, maimed or dead.” But he, not a hothead or radical revolutionary, chose to go. Far over 200,000 people gathered in Tahrir square for the last 17 days, putting their collective foot down and saying that they would not let their great country be dictated by corruption, torture and suspended rights. Egypt is a proud land, and has much to be proud of. The people were not going to let it continue to fall into a chasm of amorality and suffering. The swiftness in which they made this stand and won is truly astounding. I will forever be grateful to have been witness to it and to have gained this perspective on the vast capacity of human beings. Thank you to Egypt, this is a great victory not just for them, but for the human race and the endurance of the human spirit.

On a less sentimental note, I would like to address some of the concerns I’ve heard back home in the U.S surrounding this change. Not everyone applauds this, and although I understand why, I cannot agree. I will reiterate what I said above. This is a human victory. Those who fear this shift have good reason, Mubarak kept stability in the greater Middle East starting from Egypt and kept peace with the US and Israel, but I ask, at what cost?

From a realist standpoint, (which is a strong viewpoint I hold politically), yes, these fears are founded. The state of Egypt is very unpredictable. It will (actually has, since yesterday) become a military state, governed by the armed forces. Now that may sound scary, but I find comfort in looking back on how honorably the military operated themselves throughout this whole event. They were called into Cairo and other major cities by Mubarak. He had asked them to put down the protests however they could, including firing on the people. The military refused. Being a conscript army, they are made up of ordinary citizens, who felt a strong connection to the people because they are their families. The restraint they showed was smart and compassionate.

People fear a rise of the Muslim Brotherhood. As I said in my editorial included in the last post, this, although a possibility is not a probability. The MB is merely a shadow of what they once were and their militant wing has been less active than they have been in the past. They, as a political organization, have said they do not plan on putting a candidate up for September’s elections.

There is also a worry about another dictator springing up in the space Mubarak left behind. This fear rings true with me too. We have seen it happen over and over again. There is a coup (as some believe is the case here with the military forcing Mubarak to resign) and we don’t get anyone much better. Now I cannot combat this fear with any logic or evidence. It is too soon, too much is unknown. Instead I will go another way.

The way I choose to look at this fear is from a standpoint of faith. I know, shocking coming from a political science student. But what else can we do. As Americans, we don’t have (nor should we have) any influence on the outcome of this revolution. As I’ve stressed before, this is a completely internal affair. While it lightens my heart to hear President Obama declare that Egypt will always be a friend, we can never really know. Should it descend down into an even worse dictatorship than Mubarak, we will watch and monitor the change, but something inside me, perhaps the faith I’ve learned to cultivate throughout this, tells me Egypt is in store for good things.

So now where does that leave us, or at least me. I am balancing my realist side and my faithful side in watching this unfold. There is nothing I can do and so I must let all the scary predictions and sensationalized outcomes go and simply, watch, wait and listen. In a year, I could be proved completely wrong, the Middle East by the domino effect could fall to chaos, revolutions and even more instability than before, but I choose not to believe this and back that with the little evidence we all have as of now.

There is very little more I can say, but there is one thing I feel compelled to say to all who read this or have showed any concern or interest in me and this unfolding affair. I have received letters, calls, e-mails and texts of support from so many people and I am truly dumbstruck at the amount of kindness I have experienced. Today, I received a package from my mother holding all the e-mails and responses my family has gotten during my journey. Reading through them all (and there were so many) the love from the people around me and my family entered my heart and buried itself deep inside where I know it will live forever. 

To my parents. What they went through in worrying about me and how they managed to stay calm and find value in my experience reminds me even more of how special they are as people, as parents and as friends. My mother found the time to send e-mail updates out to all who were concerned even when I know she was not sleeping at night. My father was able to give me any bit of help he could but also to recognize me as an adult and let go of the fact that he could not change or fix this. They both offered me immeasurable emotional support during my ups and downs, keeping from me the vast turmoil I knew they were both in. And even now that I’m back and we can all breathe for a while, they have been able to look towards my opportunities for returning to Egypt one day. They are truly astounding people and understand me in ways I don’t always even understand myself.

So to them, my sister, all my friends, and even those of you whom I do not know, I give my eternal gratitude and love. You have all re-instilled in me my faith in humans as creatures of love and compassion and it is something I will never forget.

To the people of Egypt, with the eyes of the world on you now, we all wish you the best in the many trials you have to come and will be there with you to celebrate every victory you will surly achieve.

Until next time, if there need be one,

——Daisy Ross

Egyptians Walking Tall

This is an editorial I wrote for the Dickinsonian which will come out in tomorrows issue. I respond to a previous article entitled “Walk Like an Egyptian” which kinda enraged me with its ignorance but I tried to remain respectful and as objective as I can be given the circumstances.

I have added a “submit” button to the blog so people can comment on the posts if they have any questions or comments they want me to address. I will try to keep this updated although I am not in the thick of everything anymore.

Mostly I just want to say how much I appreciate all the support and positive responses I’ve gotten from my friends and family and anyone who reads this. Like I said at the beginning, this is pretty new to me, so the idea that anyone other than my mother reads this is astounding to me. Thank you!

Unfortunately, since its in the “Letter to the Editor” section I was not able to give it the witty title I had in mind, but the editors have been so nice and allowed me well over my allotted word count so I can’t complain.

Here’s the article:

Egyptians Walking Tall

I heard banging at my door. Awakening, I answered it. “He shut down all phones, Internet, and even power and water in all of Tahrir!” My friends were referring to President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt. I had only been in Egypt for about a week when the protests began. They always say your study abroad experience will change your life but in looking forward to my semester abroad at the American University in Cairo, I had no idea that the things I would see in a mere two weeks would so profoundly affect me.

All the American students had just begun to settle in, going out into the city and getting to know our new home, when murmurs of a Facebook event for an Egyptian revolution were spoken of by the locals. One Egyptian girl joked, “will I attend the revolution, ‘yes,’ ‘maybe’ or ‘no.’ Check one!” By the end of January 25th, a day to be known as “The day of anger,” no one was joking anymore.

After that first day, 3 people were left dead, hundreds wounded and countless arrested. The next morning, an AUC history professor gave a lecture during the orientation session briefing us on the reasons for such anger amidst Egypt’s people. He had been at the protests the day before, pulling his nephew out of the arms of a policeman who was attempting to take him away.

Under president Mubarak, who has retained power for the last 30 years, emergency powers have been enacted giving him nearly unlimited power. Police forces may detain an alleged criminal indefinitely and without trial, and all opposition seems to “disappear”. The brutality and torture inflicted by Mubarak’s secret police is no secret to his people. The price of food has spiked and corruption has been entirely institutionalized. Mubarak has won each election by a 90-95% margin with an 80% voter turnout for his entire presidency. My Egyptian academic advisor told me that neither she, nor any of her family has received their voting cards since they had registered years ago.These grievances that the Egyptian people have lived with for the last 3 decades is the driving force behind the demonstrations.

On January 26th, my friends and I traveled 45 minutes from our dorms on campus to downtown Cairo where the tension on the street was immediately apparent. There were riot police on every corner, armored vehicles with backup manpower ready to activate if anything should start. And it certainly would start. Now, just over two weeks after the first protests, more than 100 people have lost their lives in riots, the army has taken presence on the streets and looters are ransacking neighborhoods. Ironically, many looters who were captured by self-formed neighborhood watch groups for community protection, were found with government badges on their persons.

It is clear that the more Mubarak tightens his grip, the more angry and determined his people will be to see him taken down. Protests have broken out in all major cities in the nation. But what makes this kind of revolution different from many in the past is that these people are not simply the enraged poor nor are they just the youth. This movement is composed of all types of Egyptians, rich and poor, educated and not, young and old. The protestors themselves are not overtly violent despite the ferocity that has broken out. They halt for prayer in the streets even whilst being hosed down by police.

The military, now on the ground, has refused to fire on civilians due to a strong allegiance and connection with the people. There is also no prominent group leading the movement.

Many Americans fear the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, but they have remained relatively hands off during these events. That concern does hold some legitimacy but, unlike Mr. Vespa, I think the potential of Egypt turning hostile due to an MB regime is only a possibility, not an absolute as is the stance of his article. Speculations made this early in a movement carry the danger of sensationalizing a potential outcome. For those who believe it is foolish to support the protestors over US interests, I would argue that they are one in the same. Mubarak is done and the people will be our new allies, thus supporting US values abroad and the protestors is,in fact, supporting US interests.

From the experience of this “foolish supporter” of the people who has friends out there and saw events from the ground, Americans are not hated, the MB is more of a whisper than a roar and this is a movement the people of Egypt have wanted, needed and worked towards for a long time. 

By Daisy Ross, Dickinson ‘12 

Also, for anyone interested in checking out the article I was responding to “Walk like an Egyptian”, as well as articles written after interviews with the Dickinsonian, one from February 3rd entitled “Students in Egypt Return” and one from February 10th entitled “Student Tells Her Egypt Story”, both can be found in archives at on the Dickinsonian website at: http://www2.dickinson.edu/dickinsonian/ 

I would also encourage people to read the other op-ed columns responding to Mr. Vespa’s article as well as one from a student, Meg Paqua ‘11, who studied at the AUC last year and still has a very close connection to Egypt. Its very exciting to see the student body take such an interest and express it so eloquently.

Until later,

——Daisy 

These are some of the photos I took in the days following the breaking out of the first protests through my evacuation. More pictures to come, I want to put them up before they become old news!

5:09 am: Adjustment

So its 5 in the morning now and for some reason I cannot sleep. Yesterday was a big day, Barbara, the other Dickinson student in Cairo, and I interviewed with The Sentinel, a local newspaper in Carlisle. Upon waking up I checked to see if the article had been published online. It has and can be found at:

http://www.cumberlink.com/news/local/article_29940b4a-30df-11e0-b8ec-001cc4c002e0.html?mode=story 

Despite it being a terrible picture of me (I remember thats not the important part) I find the article to be pretty accurate. So at least I’m not disappointed in the message. Obviously the angle is one of human interest so there is a lot about our emotions and tearing up and blah blah blah, but I guess that could not have been avoided. The online version has a couple typos which hopefully were worked out in print. Once again, not really the important thing. The journalist was very nice and seemed personally affected by what we had to say, and despite nerves about doing the interview, I don’t regret it.

Perhaps I woke up this morning because in relaying the story, I can’t help but think about my Egyptian friends and roommates and worry that they are okay. As you probably know, the situation has escalated even further and it’s not gonna get better fast.

My mom keeps telling me not to rush the adjustment. One minute I’ll feel back to normalcy, the next completely foreign and out of place with my feelings. Its been making me sick and I guess all I can do is give it time.

Perhaps it’s best not to write all of ones thoughts at 5 am as, really, all it comes down to is my own struggle, nothing productive for anyone else, just my battle to fit in again. I know, it sounds silly, people may say “Daisy, you were only there for 2 weeks, get over it” and they may be right, but the connections I made with people and with a country in those two short weeks now leaves me connected to them and worried.

Hearing people here speak about the conflict with half information and as if they know everything (there was an article in Op Ed section of The Dickinsonian by a student drawing conclusions and speculating on the event) is so frustrating. But I cannot butt into every conversation I overhear with inaccuracies and attempt to correct them. The temptation is there, but it would be inappropriate. The thing that really got me fired up about this one student’s article was him saying “for those who foolishly side with the protestors discount the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood will rise to power and produce the largest geopolitical disaster since the Iranian Revolution”. Now that is not a direct quote but the article can be found at: http://www2.dickinson.edu/dickinsonian/detail.cfm?5432, (along with the other article about Egypt which I provided information for, http://www2.dickinson.edu/dickinsonian/detail.cfm?5417)

I have two responses. A) The MB, although a concern, has not been the leader of this movement and kept out of it for a while. B) While they have a militant wing, there is also a political wing. And C) although I myself worry about the MB taking power after the revolution, the prospect is simply a possibility, not the probability, or really, the absolute prediction that this student makes it out to be.

I know I will struggle with this frustration time and again, and in very few cases will be able to give my up-close perspective. And even in those appropriate cases where I can, the chances of people who cling to their politics and speculation being changed by my view are slim.

I guess I have so much more to say, but need more time to think. I will draw this to a close now and pick it up later. Who knows if I will read this post in the morning and immediately delete it because it is me writing not at my best. I guess this is just for you all who have been asking how I’m doing. I am fine, but am still struggling slightly.

I will leave you all with a picture I took in Tahrir Square on the second day of protests. It is simply peaceful people coming together to show their frustration. But things can never stay simple when big changes are in the works.

Until tomorrow,

——Daisy

sorry its a bit blurry, I didn’t want to seem like an insulting tourist, photographing their turmoil so the picture was taken quickly. Also, people have been known to get into trouble with authorities for taking such pictures. Tell me that’s not a dictatorship.

Saying goodbye to my room, and goodbye to Egypt on January 31st, the day we were taken out.

Promises, Promises

So I keep promising to write more and I really will make good on it but life is a bit hectic now in settling back in at Dickinson. I am currently without permanent housing or classes (I do have my meal plan back thankfully) but we are sorting that all out by the end of this week.

Coming back is weird, as I expected it to be. I do love seeing everyone, and my friends have given me the greatest welcome home, which makes it easier to adjust. Part of me still feels I should be in Egypt, but now that I’m not and really can’t be, I see my role as one of spreading awareness about the condition of the Egyptian people. I have been in some contact with an RA from the AUC these last few days and things are getting far worse. He actually said “He has turned his people against each other and they are killing each other now… Egypt is bleeding because of Mubarak”.

I breaks my heart to read that because it reminds me of how real it is. Back in the states I can watch the news on TV but its still just pictures on a box. Although I was not completely in the thick of it, being there offered quite a different perspective.

The Dickinsonian, our college newspaper is coming out with an article in todays issue about bringing the students from Egypt home. There were only two of us and I tried my best to give an accurate account of the goings on. I plan to write a longer editorial for next week’s issue. To all who have been readers of my blog, I thank you and plan to continue writing even though it is not really “Daisy’s semester abroad” now.

I promise, promise to fill in more of the information gaps I’ve left in terms of Egypt as soon as I’ve worked out things here. Please keep informed and lend your thoughts and prayers to Egypt right now. They need it. Someone sent this picture to me and I found the play on the common joke particularly poignant. 

Until later,

——Daisy

image taken from: http://bowjamesbow.ca/images/walk%20like%20an%20egyptian.jpg 

Evacuated

So this is the first time I’ve had internet in almost a week as Mubarak has shut down almost all forms of communication. I feel very grateful for being able to get that last post published before the internet went out. As order by the US embassy and the State Department, Dickinson has evacuated me and Barbara (the other Dickinson student on the AUC program).

Getting out was far harder than I expected. The airport was a mad house, people were sleeping on the floor, it was packed and our chartered flight was almost cancelled because due to the chaos and disorganization, we did not board till after the 3pm curfew that is implemented nationwide. We sat on the plane for about 4 hours waiting for clearance from the air force just to take off. I now sit in the Athens airport hotel writing this and we leave at 9am tomorrow to head back to the states via London.

I do worry for those who have been unable to get out of Egypt yet as I predict things will get far worse before they get better. Many people are stranded in their homes where they have barricaded themselves against looters and thugs and I know of many who do not have food or water in lasting supply. It is a scary time.

As disappointed as I am that my semester abroad did not turn out as I planned, whenever I get upset I continue to remind myself that this is so much bigger than me and really anyone who is not Egyptian.

I promise to write a longer and more in depth account of everything that has happened in the last few days as soon as I have had more than 3 1/2 hours of sleep. I get home late tomorrow night, but until then, please, please, please, stay informed. The people of Egypt need our attention and support on a human level as well as a basic civil rights level. I have always known revolution is difficult and blood is spilt, but being there and hearing and seeing things makes it so much more real.

More later. Sending my thoughts to the Egyptians, it is astounding how they have all come together simply as citizens, not solely as members of an organization or political party. That should say something about the legitimacy of their woes how it transcends all social classes.

——Daisy

Big Stuff is Happening in Egypt

Hello all,

This will be a short post as I do not have much time right now but I just wanted you all to know a bit of what’s going on politically here.

I’m sure most of you have heard about the protests turned riots that started on the 25th (Tuesday). The basis for these public protests is to show discontent and eventually oust the president Hosni Mubarak who has been in power for over 30 years. He was vice president to Anwar al Sadat and became president after his assassination (he was sitting next to Sadat when the guards fired on him). As he is getting to be older he is grooming his son Gamal to take over power. Although elections have been held throughout the past 30 years, Mubarak has won by over 85% each time. Many of the Egyptians here to whom I have spoken say that they have not even received their voting card and are unable even to vote. Any opposers who have run are discretely arrested and there are abundant accounts of torture while in police custody.

Inspired by the protests that ousted the corrupt regime in Tunisia from this past December. These protests have spread since Tuesday where they took place in Tahrir, Cairo to Alexandria and other cities. Although many of the leaders of these demonstrations now remain in jail, people are beginning to step in. It is thought that there will be a major demonstration tomorrow (Friday, 28th) following the afternoon prayer. The movement is calling for people to stay out after prayer for the protest to draw larger numbers.

Being in Tahrir square yesterday when people were beginning to come together again and there were police barricades everywhere you could feel the excitement in the city, even from the merchants and shopkeepers who were not participating. The anger at the kind of institutionalized corruption that both Mubarak and his Minister of the Interior Habib Ibrahin el Adly have brought to Egypt stems from things like “emergency power” which essentially makes Mubarak’s power unlimited, outlawing the gathering of more than 5 people if they appear suspicious, and suspended rights.

So yes, big stuff is happening in Egypt.

For any of you who may be worried about the safety of myself and the other AUC students I want to reassure you all that precautions are being taken by the campus and by us, the individuals, to keep ourselves safe as the country rides this movement.

Due to the nature of the government and of these protests (which were announced through social networks like facebook and Twitter) Twitter has been suspended and facebook has been slowed and blocked at certain times (like tonight in order to hinder protest plans for tomorrows demonstration). I find it interesting to wonder what college students in America would do if Facebook were to be blocked by the government.

It is a very exciting time that has been long in the making and I encourage you all to do further research on these events to form opinions of your own. Obviously, my account and those from whom I am learning about these political events have a slight prejudice, but I think you all will find what you read to be extremely eye-opening and moving.

Keeping safe and learning lots,

——-Daisy

Safely Arrived in Cairo

Hello world!

So, I must apologize for not keeping this as frequently updated as I should. I had written a perfect post after two days here but I lost it when my internet went out before it published and didn’t have the heart to re-write it yet (note to self, write in word document then paste). For all of you wondering, I have made it here safe and sound, and so much has happened in the mere 5 days I’ve been here.

  Right before boarding the plane from JFK to Cairo, I was hit with a lingering moment of “oh my god, what the heck am I doing”. Leaving home, my school, my friends and loved ones behind for a different continent across the ocean, a culture foreign to my own, and no one I knew there nearly paralyzed me with fear. I am not someone who feels fear often, but I can honestly say I was terrified. You can keep telling yourself you will be fine but you can’t believe it while in this kind of mental tunnel. Someone very close to me told me on the phone as I cried into it that this will be the best experience I’ll have ever had and as real as this feeling may be in the moment, soon enough I will feel silly for ever doubting my decision. So then it came to going on faith that I would be fine. And I am. More than fine in fact.

  After reluctantly hanging up that phone call, I got in line to board the plane behind 3 other students who were also to the American University in Cairo. They were so nice and in that short time before we took our seats, I was already comforted to have found people in the same position as mine. In fact two of those students have already become my close friends here. The girl I sat next to on the plane also was headed to the AUC and talking to each other throughout the 13 hour flight (yeah, I know!) got us both excited for our months ahead.

  We flew through the night and when we landed around 5pm, this was the first sight of Cairo I saw.

Pretty incredible.

That first night we dropped off our stuff at the dorms (I have a single room in a suite of 3 other girls who didn’t arrive till 2 days ago) and ventured out with our residential advisors (RA’s) into the small town of al Rehab where we did some shopping for basic essentials. In the group outing I met students from all over, all of whom have an awesome story and have been so wonderful to get to know. I have not met a single student here that I have not liked. That night I got dinner with two girls I’d met on the bus to al Rehab and then went to bed late.

I slept and slept and slept. Literally, all day. This was partly the jetlag and partly because I didn’t have any roommates yet and there was no one to wake me. I am a bona fide “sack artist” and if there’s no one to wake me, I will not wake. I awakened at 6:30pm, walked around for half an hour looking for people then simply went back to sleep. 

The next few days were filled with orientation events and little outings into the city of Cairo. We went on a Felucca (small boat) ride down the Nile on Saturday where one of the Egyptian student leaders worked with us on our Arabic. I actually got serious compliments on my abilities, which was so refreshing since I have felt like I was stupid in it for so long. I guess it just shows that hard work pays off even if your grades don’t show for it. Talk about delayed gratification!

 Here’s a picture of the Nile that night.

  On Sunday 3 girlfriends and I went to Khan el Khalili, a huge bazar type market in downtown Cairo. This market is famous and notorious for the merchants being aggressively flirtatious with women in order to sell them stuff, or simply for the thrill, who knows. Hearing lines like “ma’am, you’ve dropped something… it was my heart” and “you’re eyes light my soul on fire, I love you” are more than commonplace. Bryce had told me he was offered 2 million camels for a friend of his when he was there and that line resurfaced when my friend Danielle who was holding my friend Hilary’s hand (this puts off advances, but you wouldn’t know it by how many there are) was offered a couple million camels for Hilary.

  What is also commonplace is trying to cheat Americans. I refuse to be scammed or taken advantage of simply because I am the palest girl you may ever meet. I have learned local prices quickly and much to my everlasting pride, I have become a mean bargainer. This girl, will not be ripped off. It is helpful to use my minimal Arabic when dealing with merchants as it gives you slightly more legitimacy than a common tourist, despite the fact that all the merchants speak English. I cannot wait to return to Khan.

  Yesterday, after orientation stuff, my group of 8 friends and I went on a dinner cruise down the Nile facilitated by the school. It was awesome, Belly dancing, classic Arab man in a light-up skirt dancing (I really have no other way to describe it), good food and all the while cruising down the River Nile. Even on a legitimately organized cruise like this, one has to look out for rip offs as our waiter overcharged many students and tried to with us. We actually brought the menu to the manager to show how the prices had been manipulated and everyone got the difference in price back, but with no apology. Sadly foreigners must always be on the lookout for scams, as they are so easy to fall into.

Today, waking up at 7:00am we went to the oldest region of Cairo and saw Mosques, Churches and one of the few synagogues in Cairo. We actually stood over the crypt that marks where Jesus and the holy family lived at one time. Stood in the actual place! Also, the synagogue is thought to be the place where Moses was found as a baby floating along the Nile in his basket. The Nile used to run through that area in ancient times before it was rerouted by modern technology. We ended the day getting a belly dancing and other Arab type dance lesson on the bus on the way back. Imagine the comedy of 7 girls out of a group of 20-something attempting to learn to dance in the aisle of a moving bus by over-excited (but lovely) Egyptian orientation leaders. I can see it now…

Here are some of my close girlfriends in front of St. George’s church (the actual prison in which he was held)

Covered up in the Mosque of Mohammad Ali (no not the boxer). These are my girls (in order from right to left in honor of how the Arabs read) Sairah, Me, Alexa, Danielle and Hilary.

  So that has been my trip thus far in a nutshell. I apologize for the long post, but as there is a lot to catch you all up on, it seemed necessary. I have also had some great quality time with two of my roommates and I can already tell how close we are all going to be. We’ve already had those long 2am conversations about anything and everything sitting on each other’s beds showing pictures of family and friends. I am so lucky to have them and they have also offered to help me with my Arabic, an added bonus. My one roommate Salma came into my room today with a jar of nutella and two spoons for us. A girl after my own heart.

I will draw this to a close, but know that I love and miss you all. Despite my previous doubts and fears, I can already tell this is going to be every bit the life-changing experience everyone has said.

I am truly blessed.

More photos later. Until next time,

——- Daisy

p.s. there are stray cats EVERYWHERE. I suppose Egypt has always had a thing for cats. Check out this cutie at the Khan el Khalili (and don’t worry I purelled thoroughly afterward).

p.p.s For anyone wondering in light of this civil unrest that claimed the lives of 3 protestors today at the riot in downtown Cairo, we here at the AUC are all safe and taken care of. No need to worry about us, but it is a sad and momentous day for Cairo and the citizens of Egypt.

Leaving tomorrow… ahhh…

So of course it’s 1:33 am and I still have a load of laundry in the dryer before I am done packing. Always last minute, that’s me. I hate it when my mother is right. 

Anyway, just updating that chances are, my next post will be from the country of Egypt or مصر (m’seer) as it’s called in Arabic itself! I am so excited, but dreading my 18-23 hour commute…

I will miss you all and hopefully will have a lot of adventures to share with you on this crazy story-teller of the web thingy.

Until then, مع السلام (m’a salama) ‘with peace’

—-Daisy