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Headlines from Egypt

By Staff | Apr 9, 2011

Editor’s note: Former Estherville Lincoln Central teacher Steve Kabe remains in Egypt with a first hand view of the political changes in the African country. Kabe is teaching at an American International School for Egyptians.

I saw a picture of an ELC tennis player wearing shorts and a sleeveless top so it must be warming up back home!? Everything starting to turn green? We had an unusually heavy thunder storm move through early last week (causing lots of travel problems), and in his morning announcements the MS principal had to go on line to find out why it smells so fresh after a rain. He found out that it is caused by a certain bacteria being released into the air. I’m imagining that fresh Spring smell as I type this. (of course rain makes everything really muddy and dirty here – sure glad I don’t wash the windows in my apt.)

There didn’t seem to be a lot in the papers this week. Things are still a little unsettled as would be expected. My MS students were all talking about former pres. Sadat’s grand-niece (age 12) who was kidnapped while traveling to an international school near ours. She was returned safely the next day though. The newspaper thought it was strange that this could happen in broad daylight on a major roadl Kidnappings unfortunately do happen everywhere and at anytime I guess.

Sun. April 3

“Row over Ethiopia’s Planned Dam” on the Nile

“9 die in Afghan Qua’an demo” (This was a very small article and very little has been said about it here in Egypt)

Mon., April 4

“Cairo, committed to peace with Israel” (US military aid might be part of this committment? I didn’t mention it last week, but there was a picture in the paper showing a top Egyptian military officer greeting a top US officer – both grinning like school boys, while the concerned US ambassador looked on (She’s a woman – is it wise to appoint a woman ambassador to a Middle East country? I know she must be a strong diplomat though to survive here. Hopefully in the new Egypt women will be more respected – women and men stood together in the Square, but problems have surfaced again since then.)

Wed. Apr. 5

“Food prices up after the Revolution” THIS IS REALLY BAD NEWS FOR PEOPLE ALREADY SUFFERING ECONOMICALLY!

It will lead to much more unrest. they’re “hoping” to make Egypt self-sufficient in wheat within 2 years, but it’ll be difficult.

“Army foils Mubarak’s bid to flee” – his family tried to convince officials that he was in a coma and had to have emergency care.

“Protest on railroad in Sohag” – in far southern Egypt one family (tribe) stopped the train for 3 hours to protest lack of help in their fight against another family (tribe). Family feuds are quite common here – often violent. People can’t depend on the govt so they have to rely on their families for justice and help.

Thurs. April 6

“Salafists make strong return” ( they’re a very conservative Muslim group that was kept in check by Mubarek, They clash with moderate Muslims as well as Christians. They cut off the nose of a Coptic because he wouldn’t kick a supposed, former prostitute out of his building. They burned a liquor store. They’ve also attacked Mosques that serve as mausoleums.

Have a good day and a relaxing weekend, and as our principal often says, “May peace be upon you.”