When we first arrived in Tahrir Square early this evening, I felt this overwhelming sense of the significance of the place. I was moved to tears. There is much work to be done concerning Egypt’s future; but goodness, what has been accomplished! People are coming alongside of one another, helping, supporting, and working together. Weekly there are community efforts to pick up garbage off the streets and participate in other such beneficial activities. When traffic gets bad, someone from the neighborhood comes out into the middle of the street to direct it. People greet one another and are openly nice to one another! There are lots of smiles, laughter, and an energy in the air… even still almost two months since Mubarak’s resignation.
One of my favorite moments of the day… Farouk had parked his car in a busy area near Tahrir Square. There were some security/police officers in the area who he had asked if they might keep an eye on it. Before the revolution, the police would require a “tip” to take care of these kinds of things. Watching cars and such is a bit outside of their job description, so they expected to be compensated. When we returned from our walk in the area, Farouk went to tip the security guards. They refused his tip and said “We are at your service…” This is one small (but significant!) sign of how things have changed as a result of the Revolution. It may sound silly, but there is almost a “spirit” in the air that is very different from the last time I was in downtown Cairo! You can feel excitement, generosity, and a feeling of commraderie that is unique to this time and place in the history of Egypt.
The more time I spend here the more I love Egypt!