06 February, 2012

A Cairene symphony

The one constant of Cairo so far is the car horns.  There are short protesting ones, long loud blasts, or a series of rapid honks as if they are Italians racing to say "ciao!"  I am told that they each have their own significance, like "I'm passing get out of the way," or simply "I'm on your left, don't move over!"

A small kitten adopted me this morning, and was keen to share my breakfast.  So she got almost everything except for my tea.

American University in Cairo Tahrir Square Campus

Breakfast by Tahrir Square
Tahrir Square looked much like a neighborhood under siege this morning.  On the way to the Sadat Metro Station, evidence of street violence remained in plain sight.  The American University in Cairo's (AUC) Tahrir Square campus remains shuttered, with concrete barriers immediately next to the school's buildings.  All through the night I heard the distant explosions of tear gas canisters and shouts of anger coming from the streest.  Though Cairo is relatively quiet at the moment, there is a restive ambiance about the city. 

Mubarak the Terrible?

But the famous Arab hospitality continues.  On the metro, an older gentleman asked me in Arabic if I am Chinese.  He was amused by my answer, and insisted that as the guest, I must take the seat. I also blindly stumbled into the AUC conference "The Arab Spring: One Year On," and got to reintroduce myself to what seemed to be the entire University of Oxford Middle East Centre faculty.   


Anonymous said...

This is Marshal Tantawi image and the Arabic writing means "to be thrown on the ground"

TCL said...

Thank you for the correction!