I got caught up in the Egyptian struggle, first because of Ethan. But then it dawned on me — hundreds of thousands of people who want a say in their government are showing up in the streets. And they’re not going to leave until they get what they want.
I’m feeling the wave of change in the Arab/Muslim world. I’ve learned from Ethan that people are people wherever you go. Just like Newfoundlanders in the 1970s always asked if I was afraid to walk down the street in an American city, and if all Americans were zonked out on drugs most of the time, I understand that no culture perfectly fits any stereotype.
Wonderful Maine neighbors have said that Pakistan is the most lawless, violent country in the world, while a dear friend who traveled deep into the Pakistani mountains to head a school, said she met the friendliest, kindest people there.
It doesn’t do any good to assume we know what any country is like. I imagined that two older women from Tucson, who were caught in Egypt’s upheaval, would just talk about how frightened they were. They were both spunky and engaged in the politics of the Egyptian mass movement.
Maybe I’m the one who’s frightened. I’ve been to very few other countries. And if hundreds of thousands of people were willing to give up everything in their thirst for a voice, even when Mubarak dispersed his “thugs” into a reportedly non-violent crowd, that’s inspiring.