C ONCLUSION As though he were a visionary, Hany practically predicted what happened on January 25, 2011, just 3 months after we left Egypt. Representatives of the 90% of the people rose up and demanded to be heard. They took to the streets in their thousands to protest the conditions of their lives, the corruption of the Mubarak government and his presiding over the decline of Egypt during the 32 years of his presidency. Their demonstration has lasted 12 days as of the day I am writing this journal—they have stayed in Tahrir (Liberation) Square continuously calling for Mubarak to leave his position. Some things have actually been accomplished since Mubarak has appointed a Vice- President for the first time in his tenure, he fired his cabinet, and he pledged not to seek re-election in September. His son and wife are in London to escape the possible violence but he clings to his power. He has already sequestered a fortune away from Egypt so he could live like a king, Pharaoh, or president anywhere that would accept him, but he refuses to give up. No one knows how long the peaceful protests (punctuated by thuggish behavior carried out by plainclothes policemen and pro-Mubarak supporters) can last or how long the demonstrators can hold out. It appears as of today that Mubarak is going to try to wait them out and win through their exhaustion. Several people have died and many hundreds have been injured. There have been calls for his resignation from leaders around the world but Mubarak is still adamant that he is serving out his term. He states that if he leaves early “chaos will come again.”
And still the people wait for his departure and hope for reform!
Our visit to Egypt was wonderful despite the torrid and unusual heat wave, despite Kathy's illness, and despite our growing awareness of the sad condition of the Egyptian people and their country. Now we watch the unfolding of events with eyes much wider open than they would have been without our visit. Now we worry over the fate of the many people we interacted with albeit superficially: Hany in particular, but also all the crew of the Royal Rhapsody, our home on the Nile, all the workers in the hotels and restaurants we used during our stay, our drivers and the many tourist police who tried to make our visit a safe and uneventful one. We worry about the vendors in the many markets and shops we visited, about the boatmen who transported us back and forth across the Nile to our activities, even the balloon crew who gave us such a wonderful
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