First and foremost, because the people of Egypt have been through enough already. I cannot remember a time when Egypt was not experiencing unrest. It seems the country’s modern history has been a constant stream of riots and protests, punctuated by brief times of calm. The most recent coup of Morsi has only fueled what will most likely be another “war” between the people and the government with no real solution. Electing another powerful, corrupt president will surely end in the same governmental toppling that we’ve seen with Mubrark and Morsi. There really is no clear outcome and I sympathize for the Egyptian people who have to live in a state of constant limbo and unrest.
Another topic weighing heavily on my mind is the young American student recently killed during a riotous clash in Alexandria. During my study abroad, we often laughed about CIEE’s ridiculous email notifications about Amman’s peaceful protests and proposed going downtown sometime to check them out, but in the wake of Andrew’s death, it all feels so soberingly real. Just two months ago I was standing in the center of Tahrir Square in Cairo. It was surprisingly calm with children and couples milling about. Now, it is filled with anti-government protestors, enraged and passionate for their freedom. It truly proves the fleeting nature of “now,” both in terms of stability and mortality. If you want to read about Andrew, you can find a link to the story by CNN here.
Finally, I miss the beautiful Arabic language. I only realized this after waking up this morning and realizing that the majority of my dream took place in the back of a taxi, chatting with the driver IN ARABIC about how I was from America but visited Amman to study and loved the country. It scares me that my Arabic skills are undoubtably deteriorating as I rarely use them, other than to impress friends at bars and chat with study abroad friends on Facebook.
In total, the topic of the Middle East is a bit sore for me right now. I frequently wonder if I’ll ever make it back to the region. I’d love to visit and have delicious mansef and knafeh again, but there’s also so much of the world I’ve yet to see.